Cows must fit their environment to stay in production. Common sense tells us it is much easier, as well as much more profitable, to change the cow to fit the environment than it is to artificially change the environment to fit the cow.
Your environment can only support so much size, growth and milk. Once you go beyond that point, you will have to reduce stocking rates and/or use expensive inputs to artificially change the environment. That may have worked when calf prices were ridiculously high a few years ago – but it won’t work now.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that nearly all purebred operations have spent the last 50 years focused on maximizing production per cow (bragging rights) – instead of production per acre (profit). As a result, they have big (5 to 7-frame), high-milking cows that no longer fit any real-world ranch environment. The trouble with big, high-milking cows is they require a tremendous amount of feed just to meet their maintenance requirements. Maintenance requirements must be met before any weight gain or reproduction can take place.
Ironically, the beef industry reached the point where there has been no significant increase in weaning weight many years ago. The cows keep getting bigger and bigger, but weaning weights have leveled off. The only way to make those big, high-maintenance cows produce bigger calves is to pour the feed to them. That is a surefire recipe for failure! As you attempt to increase production per cow, your production and profit per acre will decrease. Is that what you want?
Pharo Cattle Company has spent the last 30+ years producing low-maintenance cattle that can increase pounds and profit per acre in every environment they have been placed. We have cooperative herds from Minnesota to hot, humid fescue country in Missouri and Mississippi and all the way to the high-plains desert. We also have cooperative herds from the southern plains of Texas all the way to the northern plains of Montana and North Dakota. We have sold bulls into 44 of the 50 states – including Hawaii. We have also sold bulls to customers in Canada, Mexico and Australia.
A cow ought to be supporting the ranch – instead of being supported by the ranch! Who is working for who? The only cows that can effectively support the ranch are moderate-sized, low-maintenance cows that fit their environment. The only way to produce cows that fit their environment is to use bulls that were produced by moderate-sized, low-maintenance cows that fit their environment. Like begets like! As long as you continue to use bulls that were produced by high-maintenance, 5 to 7-frame cows that must be pampered to stay in production, you will NEVER produce cows that fit your environment.