We became committed to Shaver Beefblend genetics in 1994 with the purchase of 12 pure Shaver cows from Shaver Beefbreeding Farms in Newton, Ontario. Over the years with further purchases, embryo transfers and herd multiplication we have grown to 125 head of breeding females and are the only pure Shaver Beefblend herd in Manitoba. In the last 6 years we have evolved into being a low cost operation removing grain from our development program of young stock. All replacement stock is developed on forage only. We are not so much concerned with maximizing production as some seedstock producers as we are focused on being profitable. We sell customers breeding stock that we know are profitable and productive without the aid of increased inputs.
The farm consists of approximately 800 acres of owned and rented tame grass land. We manage the cattle under intensive rotational grazing for the summer months and will rotate swath grazing with bale grazing to see us through the balance of the year. Calving commences by mid April for a 45 day breeding season and weaning will take place end of October (200 day approx.) depending on markets. Weaning weights for 2009 averaged at 550-560 lbs for heifers, 600-620 lbs for bulls/steers on milk and grass alone.
In our operation we feel the soil is the most important tool on our farm and we must care for it as we would our own family, nurturing it every step of the way to ensure its stability for future generations. By using rotational grazing we feed the soil by cycling the nutrients through the cows back to feed the microbiology of the soil, which in turn grows the grass we harvest and helps to protect the surface of the ground from extreme temperatures and dehydration. Here in Manitoba we generally have good conditions for grass production and our target is to graze 10 cow/calf pairs per acre/day. Any leftover grass Mother Nature takes care of by either recycling the nutrients or regrowth for future grazings.
We welcome questions or visitors at any time and look forard to meeting new friends and customers. Call today for your Shaver Beefblend breeding stock.
Brian, Sonja, Thomas and Kristelle Harper
The farm help; Thomas, Kristelle and Bandit