Tuesday, August 31, 2010


We are going to try to land apply some milk this fall on a few hundred acres to see how it works. We have a few local dairy's but haven't found a good steady supply of milk yet. I did get the name of a DFA rep out of Springfield, Murray Lane. His phone number is 479-640-6956. They get "hot loads" in Monnett from time to time that they need to get rid of...land application would be a perfect use for it. Here is a link to the benefits of land applying milk:


Saturday, August 14, 2010

A bad week...

I got an email this morning requesting an update...I apologize for the infrequent posts but since the calves stopped dying, things have gotten a little boring...until last Sunday. We had tabbed Sunday as the day we wanted to get the entire mob in and work the cows and calves. Our plan was to work all the cows Sunday morning and use temporary removal of the calves to help get the cows to come in heat. A 48 hour removal is recommended. We were also going to early wean the heifers calves. Well things got off to a good start but by 11:00 am it was starting to get pretty warm so Hal (my ranch manager) made the wise decision to work the remaining half of the cows on Monday. We had trapped around 30 head of cows we wanted to cull and had planned to load them out in the evening. Well, by 4:30 that afternoon, 2 of the cull cows we kept back were dead and Hal was bucketing water to 4 more that were down. The cows had abundant shade, plenty of space and ample water. We decided against loading them out that evening and decided to wait to see how things went. By Monday morning, 12 of the 30 cull cows were dead. Hal made the again wise decision to turn out all of the animals we had left to work, including the calves....we'd work them another time. It was very hot, but I'm not convinced the heat killed the cows we lost. Hal's more conscientious than I've ever been and I've worked cattle in weather just as hot...we work our cows in July/August every year. I'm thinking it was something in the water we hauled to the cows but I'm really not sure...I just don't think it was heat related. Obviously it's easy to blame the heat and maybe that was what killed them, I just don't understand why the cattle we worked and turned out lived and nearly half of the cows we kept back died. The only difference was the water.

As far as the mob grazing goes, things are going well. The cows get 10 acres per day and seem to be leaving a decent amount of residual forage. It looks like we'll have plenty of fall grazing available. I'm still concerned about getting enough stockpiled forage stored up for this winter...600 head of pairs will be by far the most animals we've ever carried on this ranch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We turned the bulls in last Wednesday, August 4th. We will leave them in for 45-50 days and will likely work the rest of the cows and calves when we pull the bulls out the end of September. Hopefully we'll have better luck the second time around.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lost my patience....

After reading the latest from the Summer Conference in Colorado, I sent the following to the NCBA and a similar note to the CBB:

I'm sending this email to both you and the CBB. As a lifelong cattle producer who depends on this industry for my livelihood, could I ask that you please all grow up and figure this shit out! Do you really need to act like a bunch of spoiled rotten kids that aren't getting their way? Act like a goddamn professional business, set aside the bullshit agendas and figure out how to increase the demand for our product! This kinda crap is the reason I am no longer a member of the NCBA!

Nathan Sanko
Back 2 Basics Beef

and I got this response:

Hello Nathan,

I just wanted to take a few minutes to address the concerns you raised (and submitted via our website) about the relationship between CBB and NCBA. Your concerns are not unlike many in the industry who have seen the frictional relationship between these two organizations detract from our respective roles in increasing beef demand and protecting the business environment for our industry. I want you to know NCBA and CBB took conciliatory actions this week during the Beef Industry Summer Conference and have agreed to continue working together in our planning processes. I believe this was the first step necessary in mending a joint relationship that the industry needs in order to serve producers such as you.

I also want to make sure you know NCBA’s policy division continues to be a strong voice for cattlemen in Washington, DC; defending the interests of producers on issues important to maintaining your business, such as pushing back against burdensome environmental regulations and the death tax. I do hope you will reconsider your decision to not be an NCBA member. Having worked in Kansas for many years, and closely with your dad on membership initiatives, I know how important it is to you to have the freedom to operate your business, as you wish. NCBA stands behind and protects those principles every day. If you change your mind regarding membership, please know we welcome you back. If I can provide more details or answer any questions, please contact me.


I still haven't heard from the CBB.