Feed Lot

SEP-OCT 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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38 FEED•LOT September/October 2018 that can help them become better stewards of the land. Their feeding systems includes identification tags to allow for increased efficiency in sorting. They also use their tablets and smartphones to keep track of the feed wagon and monitor the health of the cattle—even when they're away from home. For more than a decade, John has worked with South Dakota State University (SDSU) on beef cattle reproduction projects. The research has helped them tighten up their breeding and calv- ing seasons. "This family's real- ly willing to try new things," said Stephanie Perkins, a lab technician at SDSU. "Every year when we finish with the study John wants to know the results right away. He's very keen on knowing what the next step is and what he can do to better his operation." The Moes family has also plant- ed 25 acres of trees to serve as a windbreak and to provide habitat for wildlife. Their pastures are currently in a 10 -year easement program, and they put a perpetual easement on 230 acres. Over the years they've cross-fenced pastures and installed pipelines and water tanks to help improve their rota- tional grazing system. "When we do all this, we're thinking of the next generation," said Bryan. "We want to make this land as good—or better—than play a key role in the fight against a wide variety of invasive species on Maui. "Gorse is a weed in Hawaii. It's native to Western Europe and the British Isles and was brought in the late 1800s to Hawaii. Like every- thing else, the genie got out of the bottle once it arrived to Hawaii, and it's spread across Haleakala Ranch, covering a couple thousand acres of high quality pasture." The team at Haleakala Ranch works with conservation partners to protect the watershed and im- prove their natural resources, in- cluding restoring native rainforests. Haleakala Ranch is also a mem- ber of the Maui Cattle Company, finishing their cattle to be sold as local beef. Each year the ranch hosts a variety of groups including the Ag in the Classroom program. "It's a very important program that Haleakala Ranch and the rest of the community gets involved with because these kids are very disconnected from where their food comes from," said Greg Friel, livestock operations at Haleakala Ranch, "and the more we can get involved with exposing them to [the ranch], the better it is for them and for us as the agricul- ture community." "The family has the same goals that I have," said Friel. "They want to see this ranch get better and better every year. We just celebrat- ed 130 years of this ranch being founded. We're looking forward to that 150th anniversary, and that 200th anniversary." M OES FEEDLOT got started in 1987 , with 20 bred heifers in 1988. The operation got to the point where they were feeding 400 head on outside lots without much in the way of their own facilities, but changed when John Moes' son, Bryan, returned to the operation. The Moes family knew that they needed a way to support future generations, so they installed a new monoslope MANAGEMENT Stewardship... from previous page MOES FEEDLOT facility in order to increase the ca- pacity of the feedyard. "We didn't really have the avail- ability to buy any land," said Bryan, "so we started investing in the feedlot. In 2011 we did another ex- pansion to have 1,999 head." With the feedlot expansion came the need to control any runoff. All of the facilities were carefully de- signed so water and nutrients are captured before they can reach sensitive wetlands and watersheds. "It was very important for us to make sure that all of our runoff was contained and handled in a safe matter to the environment," said Bryan. "So, everything is collected from the manure for rain runoff where nothing goes to our slews. That was very important for us to coexist with the water holes we have around us." Manure scraped from the pens is a valued asset and applying it to the fields has improved soil quality and crop yields while decreasing the use of commercial fertilizer. "We've raised our organic matter from a two to a 6½˝, said John. "With that, every percent of organic mat- ter that you increase you get an ex- tra inch of holding capacity. We're keeping the water on the ground, and it's going up to the atmosphere and coming back down on our area instead of running down the river." The Moes family is always on the lookout for new technology

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