The current feed shortage has stimulated a lot of "panic buying" of low quality feeds and producers are baling anything that will roll up. We have to ask the question "what is your goal for this winter?"
Some people would say "just keep'em alive until spring." In that case, you might be OK. But, if the goal is to maintain a productive herd, some feedstuffs that are very low in their nutrient content will be a problem.
If we don't address this problem, Kentucky beef producers will see the effects of the '07 drought on their 2008 and 2009 calf crops.
There are at least three areas of concern for this coming winter/spring. They are: 1. very low protein levels prior to calving can cause weak calves; 2. low energy levels and poor body condition can cause cows to produce low quality colostrum milk that is much lower in maternal antibodies causing lower calf survival rates; and 3. poor body condition of the cows in the spring will dramatically decrease pregnancy rates.