Many beef producers may need a Plan B when it comes to winter forages due to dry conditions, said Dr. Jason Banta, beef cattle specialist, Overton.
Banta said supplemental feeding started earlier than usual for many producers around the state because of dry fall conditions. The Texas state climatologist’s long-term winter forecast called for warmer, drier conditions.
“Compared to 2016, we’ve been much drier, so that means less stockpiled forage and shorter pasture conditions,” Banta said. “This means producers will have to feed hay much earlier compared to recent years. The warmer temperatures would be good for winter forage growth, but below-average rain could be bad, so it’s important to plan ahead.
Banta said 2- and 3-year-old cows should have a body condition score of 6 or better at calving. Cows 4-years-old and older should be in a body condition score of 5 or greater at calving.
Cows with a body condition score of 5 don’t look fat or thin. Ribs are not noticeable and areas on each side of the tailhead are fairly well filled in but fat pones have not developed, according to the AgriLife Extension overviews.
For more body score information, go to: http://bit.ly/2jN6Yfx
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.
Learn more about Opportunities to Support Extension.