Given the relatively poor state of pasture over winter, many beef farmers accept negligible growth rates for their cattle by default. And yet, even in the face of low pasture quality there's every reason why meaningful stock growth can be achieved. If you're interested in doing just that, then read on.
Much emphasis is placed on rearing good quality calves from birth to 100 kg. Attention is paid to management, health and nutrition and in the majority of cases, weight targets are monitored. Unfortunately, between reaching 100 kg and getting to the point of finishing, this can wane and targeted body weight gains may not be reached.
Fodder beet is increasingly popular as a winter feed for beef stock. However, it does have some nutritional constraints, including a low phosphorus content, low fibre level (<20%) and less than optimal protein content (13%). It does have a high sugar content, which makes it very palatable.
Whether you farm dairy or dry stock, raising strong, healthy calves is vital for the future of your business. Doing this successfully requires growth targets, regular monitoring and an appropriate feeding strategy.