Will Rogers once said, â€œIf you donâ€™t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it will change.â€
Truer words were never spoken. At press time, we have switched from temperatures 15 degrees above normal to temperatures 10 degrees below normal. Our daily highs are currently lower than our daily lows were just a week or so ago. Of course it is still dry as a bone, but the cooler temps have improved the attitudes of both man and beast.
Cooler temperatures of course mean fall, and fall means weaning time for the majority of cattlemen. For seedstock producers, weaning time is also the opportune time to collect as much data as possible, both on the calf crop and their mothers. There are many differences between registered cattle and their commercial contemporaries, but the largest and possibly most important difference is the amount of data registered calves carry with them.
And that is said realizing the reputation sets of commercial calves selling on video auctions and in the country these days carry quite a bit of data with them to the auction block.
I realize it takes extra time, extra manpower and extra pencils and paper to gather weights, docility scores, frame size etc., but trust me, the time invested is well worth it. If you donâ€™t believe me, turn to page 78 of this issue. This monthâ€™s NALF Line is by North American Limousin Foundation Director of Commercial Marketing Joe Epperly. In the article, he summarizes analysis he conducted based on data he gathered at bull sales this past spring.
Bulls with data brought more than bulls without data. Itâ€™s hard to improve things like weaning weight and scrotal circumference if you donâ€™t measure it each and every year.
Of course the cattle still need to be bred right, fed right and marketed in an appropriate fashion, but it would be a shame to let all of your hard work go unappreciated because you didnâ€™t take the extra time to gather the necessary data. After all, for most, the window to sell them isnâ€™t open all that long, so it is in your best interest to provide buyers with the data they require to make informed breeding decisions.