Yates Adcock, Cattle & Forage Manager, Dustin, OK
Yates' metamorphosis to no-till came after years of conventional tillage wheat for winter pasture. In 2011 during extreme drought they lost Bermuda on sandy low organic matter soils ad used a warm season seed mix to have forage to graze. This opened their eyes to cover crops.
The cow herd story: Almost all are home raised. Cows last about 12-14 years. The problem....12-14 years ago when we were making breeding decisions, we thought we knew what a good cow was, I was wrong. When we removed the hay our operation really changed, the cows accustomed to welfare showed themselves.
The reality is this, our forages at certain times of the year must have some supplement for our cows to maintain acceptable body condition and maintain our production goals. We evaluate the cost of different supplement programs including all forages. Back to type of cow.... easy keeping, stay in good flesh on grass, large volume, hoofed forage eating machines, that bring a calf every year, never low on gas or diesel, or need to be greased, need a battery or new belts! It's my opinion you get the right cow for your area and the forage and it's better for all.