Triangle/Chino Winds NRCD
Our mission at the Triangle/Chino Winds NRCD is to advocate for all local agricultural producers. We are dedicated to coordinating with governing agencies and local landowners to achieve conservation goals.
By Reuban Verner
My Dad used to say that it always rains at the end of a dry spell. The hard part comes in holding things together until that end.
My philosophy on managing livestock in times of drought is that it can be helpful to have adverse conditions change the way you see your cows. It can be hard to cull the poor doers on good years, because you have the feed to carry them over and, after all, “she just needs a second chance”. On years with sparse rainfall, that second chance becomes expensive.
More importantly, it shines a light on the ones that have weaned calves and bred back despite two poor summers in a row. Those are the ones worth keeping around. Seeing the difference between these two groups is valuable.
Years ago, I heard a quote by a railroad employee who commented that trains had done more damage to the beef industry than anything else, because every cow hit by one was irreplaceable seedstock that should be valued at least two times the current market. Having had a few hit myself, I agree. Drought has the potential to improve our herds like nothing else because it forces us to pragmatically choose which individuals really have the most value to our operations in the future.
I also learned from my dad that when you go to culling someone else’s cows, you are taking your life into your hands.