by David Lile, UC Cooperative Extension
Fall gathering time continues for Lassen County cattle producers. Cattle herds across the region already have, or soon will be brought down out of the mountains off BLM and Forest grazing permits and back to home ranches in the valleys. Most of these cattle will graze aftermath of
alfalfa and meadow hay fields through the fall.
By “aftermath” we mean the leftover plant growth since the last cutting of hay. Grazing these hayfields in the fall is big benefit to producers and
important to the overall production cycle. Generally forage quality is pretty high and calves will continue gaining and cows adding body condition before winter. By end of next month when winter arrives in earnest, cows will either be shipped to winter range to graze in the foothill country of the Sacramento valley or will be moved locally to winter feed grounds and fed hay until next spring, when the cycle repeats itself.
An excellent cattle market in 2012 helps offset what are some otherwise challenging conditions. Drought from last winter made stock‐water and feed in relatively short supply on rangeland this summer. Compounding the drought effects, fires all around our county and throughout the west burned a substantial amount of forage on grazing land. So this adds up to a good chance that hay and winter pasture will be in relatively high demand and short supply this winter, and we would
rather not contemplate the effects from another dry year.
For those looking to market calves or cull cows in the near future, take advantage of the Lassen County Cattlemen’s Feeder Sale coming up on October 26 at the Shasta Livestock Auction. Part of the commission for cattle being consigned to this sale is donated back to our local Cattlemen’s Association. The feeder sale is usually one of the biggest fundraisers of the year, providing money for scholarships and industry issues. Just be sure to write Lassen County Cattlemen on your yellow slip when delivering cattle to the yard. For more info about the feeder sale, contact Cattlemen’s President Brian Wolf. Also on the Ag calendar, for all you Cattlemen and Cattlewomen, don’t
forget to RSVP for the joint membership meeting also on Oct 26.