The top five stories last year on Beef Producer's website in 2018 included three new stories and two old stories.
The most-read story last year was Consider the no-depreciation cow-calf operation, in which rancher Wally Olson from Oklahoma showed readers the real pattern of cow valuation. That normally includes about four years of appreciation from weaned-heifer price to a 4- or 5-year-old bred cow, followed by several years of depreciation until the cow eventually reaches open cull-cow status.
This concept actually shows readers of Beef Producer the straight-line depreciation model used by the IRS and by accountants is not real. Instead, they can potentially sell cows at peak valuation, and keep or buy more heifers to develop, thereby avoiding most depreciation and capturing real cow appreciation. Of course, like other good management practices exposed on this site, it requires a good cost structure.
This story was well-read when it first came out, but has continued to garner readership in web searches.
The second most-read story was Two rations to feed early weaned calves, an article we ran in July 2017. The lead to the story suggested the calf rations are useful for early weaning of drought-stressed calves, but these two rations can be useful in many other situations.
Both rations are well tested and have been used by thousands of beef producers, according to a source at Oklahoma State University. Our story also offers eight tips for early weaning and feeding these rations to young calves.
The third most-read story on Beef Producer's website in 2018 was Get broomsedge out of your pasture and hay land, a 2014 story on pasture fertility by Tom Bechman, the editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. This article tied the prevalence of broomsedge grass in pasture and hay ground to low phosphorus or lime levels in the soil.
The fourth most-read story in 2018 was a photo gallery from Content Director Alan Newport's road trip to the NCBA meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, last winter. Road trip of cow country west was a series of photos along the road and from ranchers and consultants visited on the trip. It also included some historical data on declines in stocking rate in southeastern Arizona, which was once a cattleman's paradise with more than one million cattle on Cochise County alone.
The fifth most-read story last year on the Beef Producer website was Here's the ugly truth about fake meat, and expose on the lab-grown meat craze being pushed at the public by the mainstream media. The punch line for this blog is the fact lab-grown meat are pushed as a kinder, gentler alternative to animal production and slaughter, yet they are grown from the blood of fetuses, which are collected from cows killed in slaughter plants. The blog also uncovers other lies by the purveyors of fake meat.