2016 Fall Update
2016 Fall Update
Two weeks of warm weather with only nominal rainfall is just what we needed to start off November. It has been the wettest harvest in our 11 autumns at Applecross, and there is still water lying in the fields. The two week break has allowed us to at least get the bulk of the fall work done – the paddocks are clean, the manure is out, and most of the feed is in the yard, just in time to bring the cattle home to their pre-calving winter quarters. It is always a great feeling to have ‘the necessities’ of fall work done before winter arrives in force.
It will be a different December for us this year – after selecting from our calf crop and evaluating the cow herd, we have decided not to sell bred heifers this year. A 75% bull calf ratio in 2015, meant we only retained 6 heifers of our own and, while we did augment that number with a few purchases last fall, we felt like we would only weaken our herd if selections were made for Fleckvieh Equation. The good news is that a year off with no prep-work will allow us to relax and take in the fall sales as buyers only, as we continue to look to diversify and augment the quality of our cow herd.
We are quite happy with the group of heifer calves we have retained (in sufficient numbers that it appears certain we will only have a one year hiatus from Equation). After a really strong FGAF WowEffect bull calf group in 2015, he turned his attention to a really neat heifer group for this year, leaving us with multiple stand-out daughters. We liked the ‘Wow’ offspring so much that we successfully acquired the walking rights to him for 2016 – you will see plenty more of the ‘WowEffect’ in the future. The bull calf group is also steadily putting on the pounds. We are only wintering 4 bulls for the Red Deer Bull Sale this year, but they continue to showcase our herd philosophy – moderate framed, maternally focused bulls that show a balance of calving ease and strong performance. It is early yet, but we are quite happy with the overall quality of our 2016 calf crop.
With fall sale season upon us, we look forward to a steady diet of fabulous discussions with fellow breeders, and the inspection of plenty of top quality genetics, which are sure to make for some difficult decisions (and hopefully a fair bit of luck that the chosen animals are available at the right price point).
We look forward to visiting at the sales,