Dry pastures bring cattle off the range
It may be a little early, but it’s time for the cows to come home.
A dry summer’s end parched the grasslands. There is little point in grazing on them, county extension agent Rickey Roberts said.
“Really, it is time to go get them,” he said of grazing cattle. “For the health of the plants and the health of the range it is time to go get them off there.”
U.S. Climate data reports average rainfall of 4.12 and 3.5 inches for the months of August and September.
Marion farmer Alan Vogel has cow-calf pairs he plans to keep out just a little longer.
“There’s still grass out there,” he said. “It’s just not very good quality, so we have to supplement with protein. We’ll probably lay them out for another 30 days.”
The decision to take cattle off the range also depends on their hardiness, longtime farmer Terry Vinduska said.
Stock cows and calves can survive on drier grass, but feeders may not do as well.
“Guys that have feeder cattle are putting the steers and heifers on feed and bringing them in,” he said. “Feeder cattle will not gain weight on the grass — bring them home.”
The corn harvest hit in time for livestock that can be fenced and fed ample grain, Roberts said.
“We’ll have a place to put those cows and get them done,” he said.
Last modified Sept. 30, 2020