Letter to Qualitas Partners – number 1.

At Faz Montana in Vilhena – RO, our partner Aguinaldo de Almeida Prado has a beautiful photo with the sun setting “between the horns of a cow”. On the 28/09/2021 at Faz Santa Rita da Aldeia of our partner Nelore GOU in Porto Estrela – MT I tried to do something similar.

Make the rice and beans well done…on the whim.

My father taught me how to ride a bike in the following way: he would put me on the bike and push me holding the seat and tell me not to pedal. Look ahead and learn to balance yourself first, that's what he said. In a short time he released the bicycle seat and I was balancing myself without pedaling. Only after I was more secure did I start pedaling. This prevented me from injuring myself more seriously while learning. And that's how I taught my kids to ride a bike. And they didn't get hurt in learning either.

It is this principle that we would like to suggest to you: Make the rice and beans well done before intensifying the production system. Were you able to balance on the bike without getting hurt? That's the right time to increase speed.

At Qualitas we have partners who are “beasts at the wheel” and who are at a thousand an hour reaping excellent results. I apologize to these if the following suggestions are too basic!

⦁ Decrease the breeding season to a maximum of 90 days (allows three FTAIs in all cows that are synchronized in the first week of the breeding season and two in most other cows) and only then start calf insemination at 14 months;
⦁ Wean calves earlier until the beginning of May until the breeding season is reduced to 64 days;
⦁ Supplement calves and heifers after weaning with 0.3 to 0.7% of live weight until the end of March of the following year;
⦁ Sell empty cows by the end of June, regardless of whether they are fat or thin. Only fatten lean cows after June if it's in confinement;
⦁ From July to October only have pregnant females and weaned calves in the rainfed pastures. And only pregnant females if you have pastures for integration, farming, livestock or confinement;
⦁ Sell or remove from pastures (send to confinement) all males that are not candidates for bulls by the end of March, as pastures or confinement must be released for calves and weaned calves and to fatten empty cows until the end of June;
⦁ Manage pastures well before silage/confinement. It is an excellent strategy, making silage to recreate the calves and calves and supplementing early primiparous during the drought. And also to kidnap part of the cows (those with the worst body score) in the first rains, to help in the faster regrowth of grasses;
⦁ When starting silage production, start by making some grass that you already have on the farm. It is only necessary to clean, correct and fertilize the soil and hire a machine to cut the grass and make the silage;
⦁ Buy inputs such as corn, protein bran, mineral supplements and fertilizers a year in advance and at the best times;
⦁ Learn or hire a company that helps you protect the sale price of your animals.

These attitudes will ensure:

⦁ focus on increasing herd enjoyment/sales, which is to produce 1 calf per cow and sell at least one animal per ha per year;
⦁ Adjustment of pasture stocking according to its productivity throughout the year and thus there is no degradation;
⦁ Maintenance of good body condition for all categories of the herd;
⦁ Operational safety;
⦁ Predictability of results;
⦁ Profitability;
⦁ Sustainability.

The most important objective is: to increase the number of animals sold in relation to the average stock on the farm, without decreasing the number of sows.

We are totally emotional and that's why it's hard to agree to sell:

⦁ Younger, weaker and lighter calves…and cheaper;
⦁ Lean empty cows…and cheaper;
⦁ Lighter tourniquets…and cheaper;
⦁ Lighter fattened oxen…and cheaper.

We understand that these sales are part of a process of improving the production system until reaching the 64-day breeding season.

And you can avoid items 2, 3 and 4 if you find a Boitel (outsourced confinement) that fattens these animals for you, charging for the service only after the animals are slaughtered.

Let's analyze it well before doing the confinement itself. Do we have the same competence and scale to produce/buy/fatten up as a company specialized in this business?

In conclusion, it is very important to consider the result achieved in terms of the risk taken. More intensive systems, especially those without cost control/hedge and without operational excellence, are more subject to losses and negative results.

Intensification and greater productivity are needed and increasingly important as costs rise and margins squeeze. The challenge is learning to intensify the right way. The technologies are consolidated and applied with excellence by Qualitas Partners. I'm sure everyone is happy to share them.

I would like to quote Howard Marks author of the book What Matters to the Investor: “…intelligent risk-taking for profit is the best way to achieve successes that repeat over a long period”.

Moments of "irrationality" in the market like the one now, after the Atypical case of "Mad Cow" that has no risk to human health are more common than we believe. Having a Production System and strategies that consider these risks is very important.

“Who has focus has system”. From the book: Atomic Habits. James Clear

Big hug and inté!

Leonardo Nishimoto Souza


Leonardo Souza
Leonardo Souza
Veterinarian from the Federal University of Goiás, specialist in Beef Livestock at Rehagro, managing partner of Qualitas Genetic Improvement, with 21 years of experience in the areas of management, production and genetic improvement. The Qualitas Genetic Improvement Program has more than 40 farms in the states of GO, TO, RO, SP, PR, MG and MT and also in Bolivia, totaling a herd of more than 250,000 heads.

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