Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rebuilding NM cow herd will be challenging

Rebuilding the state's cow herd in areas hit hardest by drought will present both opportunities and challenges for ranchers, said a cattle specialist with New Mexico State University. It's estimated that more than 100,000 beef cows will have to be replaced to return New Mexico's herds to 2010 levels. Manny Encinias, who also serves as the director of operations for the New Mexico Beef Cattle Performance Association, said the industry has experienced a reduction in herd inventories of more than 20 percent since 2010. Although nearly 90 percent of the state remains in some stage of drought, Encinias said cattle producers are looking forward to rebuilding herds with higher quality genetics from regionally adapted registered cowherds. "The two largest challenges the cow-calf producers will face when restocking will be finding the females that are adapted to our arid production environment and then being able to afford these replacements," he said...more

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