There’s money to be made in taking time to winterize your cattle herd.

November is a good time for beef producers to assess their pastures and facilities and take care of routine tasks to prepare their cattle operations for winter, a Purdue Extension beef specialist says.

Cattle are healthier, have more successful pregnancies and have better rates of gain when they have access to quality nutrition and facilities during the cold winter months.

One of the first recommendations from Ron Lemenager is to assess pastures and hay fields and have forages analyzed as soon as possible. Once producers know what they have in terms of forage, they can start to plan their supplemental feeding strategies based on animal protein and energy needs.

Listen to Lemenager talk about winterizing beef operations.

Common supplements include corn and grain byproducts, such as soybean hulls, corn gluten feed and distiller's grains.

"The market's somewhat lower now, and it's a good time to start checking supplement prices," Lemenager said.

 

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While corn might be an economical energy supplement this year, Lemenager said producers need to compare prices and evaluate energy requirements for their herds before deciding.

"Beef producers should ensure there are adequate minerals and vitamins in the diet by providing a high quality vitamin-mineral mix," he said. "Minerals are especially important to immune function and reproduction."