Several ranchers have just faced one of the roughest and most challenging winters in recent years. As a result of the dicey winter, producers are now facing an unfavorable spring.
The cold and wet conditions that were present during the winter have led to thinner-than-normal cows. When discussing those conditions, Justin Waggoner, a beef systems specialist with K-State Research and Extension, said, “…both of those [cold and wet] increase the energy requirements of the cows.” It takes more energy stores for a cow to do any of their normal, daily activities in the mud than it would if they were on dry ground. When talking specifically about the impact of the cold weather, Waggoner notes, “When those temperatures drop below 18 degrees, we can see a pretty dramatic increase in energy requirements.” 
When producers are trying to maintain body condition in their herd, it is helpful to focus on the protein and energy need. Waggoner explained that protein sources were usually well covered by supplementation, but quality energy sources can often be lacking. To rectify that concern, high-fiber sources of energy can often be a producer’s strongest bet. Producers are currently dealing with a hay supply that is both tight and expensive. As a result, concentrated nutrition sources – like range cubes or dried distillers grain – could play a major role in benefiting the health of producers’ herds.
If a producer is unable to maintain or improve the body conditioning of their cattle, they may want to consider culling a little more aggressively than usual during this season of their operation. If you are looking for additional ways to ensure the success of your operation, let Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency help. Our team takes pride in understanding the Agribusiness industry and the unique insurance needs these operations require. We partner with our clients to provide a comprehensive safety and risk management program specific to your needs. We look forward to answering any questions you may have regarding coverage for your commercial business, email or call us today.
Resources:  Kansas State University Research And Extension. (2019, April 3). Tough Winter Leads to Challenging Spring for Kansas Cattlemen. Retrieved from Drovers: Driving the Beef Market: tough-winter-leads-challenging-spring-kansas-cattlemen
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