Life of a Ranch Wife

By Lanna Mills

Oklahoma is ranked one of the top five leading beef producers in the country based on the inventory of all cattle and calves conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS). As of Jan. 1, 2016, 4.85 million head of cattle and calves were inventoried on Oklahoma ranches and farms alone, according to the Annual Cattle Review conducted by NASS.

Many cattle produced in Oklahoma, especially yearlings, are fed on wheat pasture. The great plains state is also one of the leading wheat producing states. With that being said, I think it’s safe to say that cattle and wheat go hand in hand.

Wheat is utilized for putting weight on cattle, and it is high in protein and moisture. Yearlings turned out on wheat will gain more weight faster than on grass pasture. Yearlings on wheat gain an average of two to three pounds per day.

Cattle are typically placed on wheat in the fall and are removed around March, unless the wheat is going to be grazed out and not harvested. The yearlings are weighed before they are turned out.

Learn more in the January issue of OKFR!