Robbin and I are trying to pace ourselves and grin our way through these dry times begun last grass season with less than ten inches of rain, about 60% of average. With only dry fuzz for forage, our cows are holding-up remarkably well as they calve, due in large part to the truckloads of hay we’ve provided since the middle of August.
We may be luckier than most, like the cattlemen on the Coast Range who’ve had to liquidate their cowherds after additional tough years for forage. In the next couple of weeks we’ll begin reducing our number of replacement heifers when we get them in for their round of shots before we put the Wagyu bulls out December 1st. Then onto the cow pastures to send the late-calvers to town.
It takes years to build a nice herd of young cows and only a couple of dry ones to undo decades of work. But trying to find a silver lining, we hope this culling process will ultimately improve the genetics of our cows into the future. Fortunately the market’s fairly strong and Congress has left Washington for home.