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Haugen to feature fall calving and rotational grazing at MSCA Summer Tou

By Carol Stender

Date Modified: 05/20/2013 9:29 AM

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ROSEAU, Minn — Fall calving and rotational grazing are a few of the production practices Steve and Deon Haugen will highlight during the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Tour stop July 9 on their Roseau farm.

Bear Creek Ranch is one of five beef operations featured on the tour. The tour stops are a good representations of cattle production in northwest Minnesota. The tour will be headquartered on the Roseau County fairgrounds.

Haugen is president of the Northwestern Stockmen's Association, which is hosting the event. Some producers might be surprised at the diversity of crops grown in the area, he said. While corn silage has long been part of the cropping mix, northwest Minnesota farmers also raise corn and soybeans as cash crops.

Many beef herds are also rotationally grazed, he said.

A slope surrounded by pine trees offers a good shelterbelt for his commercial Angus herd during storms. The herd lives outdoors year-round.

"You have to have good feed for the winter and good bedding when you have cows outdoors year-round," he said.

He has 400 head in his cow/calf operation and backgrounds cattle.

The Haugens have calved both in spring and fall, but now have settled on fall calving. The calves, born in August and September, don't have to deal with the cold and mud of spring , he said. The calves have also proven to be good gainers through winter.

The switch to fall calving came at about the same time when bovine tuberculosis was discovered in some cattle and wild deer in the area around 2005. Herds had to be tested once a year in the region and it made sense to calve in fall and conduct the testing around the same time, Haugen said.

Haugen has a closed commerical Angus herd and uses registered bulls. Calves are weaned in March and leave the farm around August.

Fall is a busy time with calving in the midst of harvest, but he likes the end results.

The Haugens raise soybeans, sunflowers, corn, barley and alfalfa. They rotationally graze the herd and move the cattle to a new paddock about every three days, Haugen said.

The first cutting of hay is baled in large rounds and used on the farm. It's treated as a supplement in the herd's diet and is mixed in their totally mixed ration, he said. The second and third cuttings are baled as large squares and shipped south.

Their herd's ration is primarily corn silage balanced out with beet pulp, liquid supplement and dried distillers grains.

the next generation has joined the operation. The couple's son, Mark, is involved with both cattle and crops, Haugen said. Mark and his finace, Kylie, will be married next year.

Their daughter, Stephanie, is a certified nursing assistant in Grand Forks and attends veterinary technician classes at Globe University in Moorhead.