Data on Pregnancy rates, calf weaning weights, and sale prices on the University of Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station’s Gund Ranch from 2008-2020
The University of Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station’s Gund Ranch near Austin, Nevada is approximately 100,000 acres with grazing by 325 cow-calf pairs. Cows are mostly Angus (80%) and Hereford (20%). Bulls are Angus X Hereford. Calves are mostly Angus with some black baldies. Cattle graze a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) grazing permit from April through July. Calving starts about mid-April. Branding is planned for 90-100 days after birth with bull calves castrated as this time. Privately-owned meadows are grazed July-September with weaning starting on September 15. Cows are grazed on BLM low elevation shrublands and weaned calves are kept in meadows with supplemental hay feeding on the Gund Ranch from October 1st through January 1st. The calves not kept for replacements are gathered and weighed for a total herd weight and shipped approximately the 1st of November. The larger end of the steers and heifers typically range from 475-490 pounds. Around 100 head are loaded onto a semi to achieve a full truckload of 48,000-50,0000 pounds. The smaller end of the steers and heifers are shipped on a second semi load. Weights are decreased with a 2% shrink calculation. In Nevada, there are only two sale barns, so many ranches receive more money by selling semi loads shipped to grazinglands of buyers’ choice. Calves are primarily sold on the internet go through Roundup Cattle Company. In years with drought conditions, calves may not reach the 48,000-50,000 weight limit for a second truck. Thus, the smaller calves can be marketed through a local sale barn at a one of their special calf sales.