It is Labor Day weekend 2018, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the end of a very hot and dry summer. Spring in northeast Texas was rainy and cool but all too short as the hot weather hit early and suddenly. If you have been experiencing a hot summer as we have, you may be wondering what is wrong with your breeding program! You may be finding it hard to settle your cows and perhaps several that were pregnant in the early summer have dropped the calves they were carrying. Now you’re heading into fall breeding cows that you were hoping to have early spring calves from in 2019.
But don’t panic. It’s not the fault of your bull, your AI tech, you or your cows, it’s just that for whatever reason, cows just don’t get pregnant easily if the weather is hot and the night temperatures exceed 80º. Take heart, the weather is beginning to cool off and you will probably find that your cows will begin to conceive in a more normal fashion. One problem for people living in a hot climate like ours is that if we breed our cows now we’re going to have calves in the middle of summer which can be hard on both cow and calf; or, we wait yet another few months to breed for fall calves which means even more months that your cows are open which is not ideal either.
If you are fortunate to have plenty of shade trees on your property, you may want to go ahead and breed for summer 2019 calves. We have chosen to do just that, and will be installing fans in the barn to create a cooler environment for summer calving. Thankfully, long hot summers like this one come around only about every 7-8 years so it’s not a terrible problem, but it is something that breeders have to take into consideration when planning their breeding programs.
Oh yes, and yesterday it rained on our scorched pastures for the first time since May! Thank Heaven!