Last updated on September 18th, 2020 at 12:34 pm

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7 Survival Tips For Summer: Cattle Ranching

Weathering Your Storm is an article featured in the August 2020 edition of the American Cattleman Magazine.  Click Here to view the August American Cattleman Magazine Online. 

Summer can be a difficult time of year for many ranchers. The heat, the summer sicknesses, the cost of labor, etc. We've compiled 7 key tips that have proven to help ranchers throughout the dog days of summer.

  1. Focus on Breeding Performance
  2. Stretch Your Forages
  3. Eliminate Creep Feed
  4. Reduce Sickness & Vet Bills
  5. Eliminate Wastage of Mineral
  6. Make Use of Our 150-Day Financing
  7. Take Advantage of Value-Add Programs Available

Stay sane throughout summer by taking advantage of these helpful summer cattle ranching tips.

Tip #1: Focus on Breeding Performance

Now more than ever, ranchers cannot afford to have open cows on the ranch.  They are a machine that is not making you money.  The focus on breeding performance and fertility and tightening up that calving and ensuring your cow is bred is the single most important thing to survive tough times.  Insist on a mineral program that gives you the highest change of impacting fertility.  Riomax® has 100% rumen by-pass trace minerals to give those key trace minerals (Copper, Zinc, Manganese, and Selenium) the highest scientific change of getting into the bloodstream and hence impacting reproductive performance.   Click here to view case studies. 

Tip #2: Stretch Your Forages

With Riomax® we have seen results over the years that show a hay savings benefit of between 17% and 30%, the same applies for running on pasture.  When you can better utilize every mouthful and every acre it means you get to stretch your forages and optimize your land base and better utilize your resources which is your land.  To quote a rancher from Wyoming,  "My cows are grazing parts of the pasture that they have never grazed before.  It is like I have got a brand new ranch."  (Click to view more rancher results) As a result, stretching your forages means increased carrying capacity/stocking rates or more grazing days per pasture.   Both impacting your efficiency and driving down your cow costs.

Tip #3: Eliminate Creep Feed

When that cow is better utilizing every mouthful and she is producing milk at her optimum genetic capacity, that milk production is passed on to that calf and we impact calf weight gains tremendously without using expensive creep feed and expensive supplements.  It is all about helping that calf better utilize mama's milk.  First of all, helping mama produce better milk, higher butterfat in that milk, the calf better utilized mama's milk and the calf better utilizes any forages it's grazing.  The key point here is that eliminating expensive creep feed does not necessarily equal any lower weaning weights.

Tip #4: Reduce Sickness (From Heat Stress) and Vet Bills

Vet bills can eat ranchers alive.  Summer pneumonia, pink eye, foot rot; all of these things can be significantly reduced with a sound vitamin/mineral program.  Further, a healthy calf is a calf that is gaining better, again impacting your weaning weights.

Tip #5: Eliminate Mineral Waste

It brings tears to my eyes to see mineral blowing across a pasture.  It can be the best mineral in the world but if it's not getting into the cow, it is not doing the cow any good, and it is eating a hold in the rancher's pocketbook.  With Riomax, we have the program known as Waste-Proof, Wind-Proof and Water-Proof. So that every dollar you spend on that mineral program goes to the cows.

Tip #6: Make Use of Our 150 Day Financing

With tough times and possibly no income until fall, you might want to consider our John Deere Financial Program which allows you 150 day terms from purchase.  If you are buying product through one of our dealers you would need to check with the dealer to ensure they have that option.  Click here to see our financing options in more detail. 

Tip #7: Take Advantage of Value-Add Programs Available

Ranchers are victims in this whole system with a lot of pressure on their margins and many times are forced to be price takers rather than price makers.   We would encourage ranchers to adopt the mindset of taking more control of your margins and taking the initiative and utilizing program that exist such as NHTC (Non Hormone Treated Cattle), G.A.P. (Global Animal Partnership), AGA (American Grassfed Association), etc.  Be mindful that Riomax® is qualified for use in all of these programs listed and is drug free, hormone free, antibiotic free and utilizes no urea.  Click here to view more information on which Riomax® products are qualified for each program. 

Stay Profitable Throughout Summer & Tough Times

To sum up, there are a lot of things we cannot control in this turbulent economy with COVID-19, with the supply chain interruptions in the food industry with the unrest and the general difficult times we are living through.  Our message is that there are actionable, doable, achievable steps that can directly impact your bottom line and that is what we at Riomax are all about.  Success and sustainability, today and tomorrow.

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