Management decisions relating to culling stock cows have increased dramatically in complexity under current market conditions, says Jim Krantz, a South Dakota State University cow/calf specialist.
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According to Krantz, low national cattle inventories indicate potential for continued profitability in the cow/calf sector for several years to come, but the figures may also alter many historic recommendations on culling cows.
When reviewing the factors that influence culling decisions, about 80% of cows are culled because they are open, age or teeth concerns, or simply unproductive, Krantz says. The remaining 20% leave the herd because they produced small calves, had dispositions problems, were injured, or had udder problems and, in some cases, eye concerns.
Should that temperamental cow get a second chance? Should beef producers consider more intensive management for older cows?
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