MJE Livestock Equipment Unveils New Sizes of the Conquistador Wheel Corral, Integrates Allflex Ear Tag Reader

MJE Livestock Equipment Unveils New Sizes of the Conquistador Wheel Corral, Integrates Allflex Ear Tag Reader

Article courtesy of MJE Livestock Equipment

MJE Livestock Equipment, a pioneer in livestock management solutions, has expanded its Conquistador Wheel Corral lineup with new models tailored to fit ranches of every size. Demonstrating a deep commitment to innovation and herd health, the new corrals are engineered to improve ranching operations, enhance animal well-being, and increase profitability.

The latest additions to the Conquistador range, including the compact Select model and heavy-duty 11-gauge steel options for all models, offers ranchers options from compact to spacious. Each model is meticulously designed to promote stress-free handling, which is essential in maintaining cattle health and achieving significant weight gains. The Select Model is perfect for smaller herds, while the Choice and Prime models cater to larger operations with their generous space and flexible configurations.

The new Select Plus model offers an expansion capacity, seamlessly growing with the rancher’s herd, and the HD option underscores MJE’s dedication to durability with its heavy-duty steel construction.

These options ensure that ranchers can select a corral that meets their current needs and adapts to future growth.

In a move that further solidifies MJE Livestock Equipment’s position at the forefront of agricultural innovation, the company has integrated the Allflex Ear Tag Reader technology into the Conquistador corrals. This integration provides ranchers with a cutting-edge tool for efficient livestock management, allowing for accurate tracking and data collection that supports informed decision-making and optimized herd management practices.

Quick setup times and solar-powered hydraulics across all Conquistador models exemplify MJE’s dedication to efficiency and sustainability. The user-friendly design empowers ranchers to focus on what matters most—raising healthy, profitable cattle.

MJE Livestock Equipment’s latest innovations reflect a continued commitment to empowering ranchers with tools that enhance their operations’ efficiency, safety, and profitability. By offering corrals that align with the size and needs of every herd, MJE ensures that cattle health and rancher success go hand in hand.

Ranchers interested in the new Conquistador Wheel Corral models and the advanced Allflex Ear Tag Reader technology are encouraged to visit their local MJE dealer to discover how these innovations can transform their livestock management and contribute to a more profitable ranching future.

About MJE Livestock Equipment

MJE Livestock Equipment makes the lives of farmers and ranchers easier through strategic herd management advice, facility design, and American-made livestock equipment built with innovation that makes ranching easier and cattle safe, healthy, and happy.

To learn more about MJE Livestock Equipment and become part of their fast-growing network of dealers, visit our website: www.mjelivestockequipment.com/dealers

For additional information, the news media should contact: 

Megan Elsey

Director of Public Relations and Marketing

MJE Livestock Equipment


(620) 846-2634

Anatomy of Sale Hosting

Anatomy of Sale Hosting

By Jaclyn Krymowski

Hosting a sale can wreak havoc on your nerves, even if you have been doing it for years.

But the rewards of putting yourself out there can be tremendous for your name, business brand, and reputation. Hosting a sale can help you establish your herd among your peers, network and attract buyers who will pay for the full value of your breeding stock.

While there will always be last minute hurdles, you can reduce sale day jitters by planning ahead.

Every Sale Starts with the Animals
Your consignments are the backbone of your sale. In the months leading up, you have plenty of time to consider which animals will be sold and make them look their best in the sale ring.

Whether you are exclusively selling your own stock or taking consignments from other breeders, you need to make sure that they all fit within the framework of your sale. Consider your ideal buyer.

Are genomics a big selling point? Are buyers in your areas hyper-focused on health or maternal traits? Are you hoping to capture seedstock producers, showmen or regional ranches?

Lay out the goals of your sale and set benchmarks for animals that will entice your ideal buyers.

In the 2018 VitaFirm blog post How to Host a Successful Bull Sale, Doug Slattery, COO of 44 Farms, shared his insights:
“You have to have the product for your customers, and you have to have them presented correctly using good genetics, nutrition and health. Customer service and customer relationships are key. You can’t expect customers to come and buy. You have to give them reasons to come and buy. The genetics, nutrition, service and relationships all have to come together. If one is missing, it won’t work.”

Understanding what you have to offer helps you develop highlights and ads for publications or online platforms. This information will help you define a target audience so you can draw them in for the sale. Weave this information across the sale catalog and other promotions accomplished in advance.

Doing the Work
There’s plenty of legwork to be done ahead of sale day, and you don’t want to short yourself on time or resources. One of the best ways to learn how to manage a sale is to attend other local auctions, cattle and non-cattle alike, to get an idea of how other managers create a flow and schedule.

Arrange the big ticket items first, and then handle finer details. This includes lining up an auctioneer, a sale manager, if needed, an online real-time sale presence, or any outside hires, such as additional labor to move cattle and handle bookkeeping.
After creating your objectives for your marketing, it’s dually important to create a to-do list and a timeline of steps to make sure you don’t overlook anything.

Art of the Sales Catalog
Another major component you’ll need to put in place is the sales catalog. While there will be a lot of changes made, it is best to get started on this several months in advance. This not only allows time to ensure a polished, final product for print and digital distribution, but it also gives you time to make decisions on your consignments and the sale order.

Remember, your catalog is not just a marketing tool. It gives buyers insight into your operation and your values and shows them what you are most proud of. And of course, it is also practical as it gives potential buyers information about your animals. Here is your opportunity to highlight pedigrees, EPDs, genomic details and like.

Start your catalog by compiling the information you need. For cows, it’s important to highlight their success in the herd. For heifers, be sure to note any breeding information, if applicable, and information about their dams’ performance. If you are offering bulls or semen, provide a few detailed notes of their impact in your breeding program to prove their value. Finally, be sure your terms of sale are printed clearly near the front of the catalog.

Have a plan in place to distribute catalogs in advance, be it online, in hand or a mixture of the two. It could be a worthy investment to mail hard copies of your catalog to a select list of likely buyers or past buyers.

The last two weeks before the sale, the focus is on day-of logistics and customer service. This includes pen layout, ring layout, and creating the final sale order. (If you are using a full service auctioneer or sales crew, your involvement in this might be minimal. However, be sure it’s on your list to review and approve so you avoid last-minute surprises.) It’s also a time to start further working with customers to answer questions and meet any specific needs.

The Big Day
The week leading up to the sale is a critical time. Make sure facilities are set up to efficiently move cattle through the ring and back into pens. And make sure it is easy for the crew to load out cattle. As well, ensure final pregnancy and health checks will be accomplished and last minute veterinary or transportation documentation made available.

Remember that your service does not stop when the gavel falls for the last time.. Reputation is built by offering cattle that buyers are happy with.

If you have hired a sale manager to help with the sale, they should have a system in place for bidder numbers and procedures for cashing out. If you plan to do that yourself as the host, it’s important you’ve created a system to cover all the bases.

If you have made the decision to host a sale, congratulations. This article is offered as a means of supporting that endeavor. It can be overwhelming and difficult to see the forest for the trees. So, stick to the basics, especially for your first sale. Start small but reasonable and don’t break the bank. If you plan for a recurring event, make it a goal to to improve each time, build your reputation, and find a niche for your brand and your herd.

What Do Stocker and Cow-Calf Producers Think of Virtual Fencing?

What Do Stocker and Cow-Calf Producers Think of Virtual Fencing?

By Thomas Aquino UNL Animal Science Graduate Research Associate. Yijie Xiong, NE Extension Specialist, Precision Livestock Management

Producers that attended the Nebraska Grazing Conference (NGC) August 8-9, in Kearny, NE. may have noticed a difference from previous proceedings. This year “TechCorner” was added to the exhibition, highlighting new and emerging products in precision livestock management (PLM) such as virtual fencing, data management software and smart water monitoring. In addition to PLM exhibitors, Wednesday morning’s programs were focused primarily on precision grazing management, of which the virtual fencing (VF) technologies were spotlighted in presentations and panelist discussion. Panelists and speakers included UNL extension specialists and representatives from various VF companies. The PLM session gave conference attendees insight into the current applications of VF technology and a glimpse into what the future might hold.

What do stocker and cow-calf producers think of the VF technology?

To answer this question, two graduate students at the conference conducted an intercept survey from the attendees to gather information regarding their perceptions of VF. Intercept surveys consist of open-ended questions asked in a casual interview format. There were six completely anonymous questions designed specifically for stockers and cow-calf producers/ranchers. Interviewees were randomly “intercepted” during break, in the hallway or the exhibition area, from whom full consents were obtained for this survey effort. 14 Survey respondents came from across the state and represented primarily stocker and cow/calf operations. All participants responded fully to each of the questions. Responses were used to gain insight into producer perceptions and attitudes regarding the application and efficacy of current virtual fencing technologies.

The following is a list of questions and a brief summary of common responses (and a few interesting ideas to consider):

Are you familiar with VF technology?
All participants were familiar with VF in some way or another. While none of the respondents had first-hand experience using VF, all knew what it was and had a basic understanding of how it worked. As adoption of this technology continues to expand, familiarity and knowledge of VF will grow amongst users and the general public.

What benefits can VF offer producers?
Most of us understand the research potential that VF can provide, but in producers’ minds, better range management and forage utilization were the most common response. The ability to allocate cattle without the constraints of existing interior fence lines seemed to be the largest perceived benefit. Several producers also expressed interest in creating “exclusion zones” in areas they did not want cattle without needing to build more fences, which is completely doable using VF.

What concerns do you have about using VF?
Unsurprisingly, cost and reliability were the two major concerns across all respondents. Battery life was also a concern. Stocker producers were also worried about the collars “shrinking” over the course of the grazing season as calves grew.

A few of these concerns/questions were mentioned in our previous BeefWatch articles on VF topics, and we highly recommend you check these two articles to answer these questions 1) Technical Note: Where are my cattle at? Part II: Virtual Fencing and 2) Virtual fencing: a new frontier for grazing management. To bring you up to speed, we are providing brief feedback for each of the common concerns mentioned above.

1. What does it cost to have a virtual fence package and how reliable is it?
As we summarized in Technical Note: Where are my cattle at? Part II: Virtual Fencing, the cost of virtual fence products depends on a few factors such as the manufacturer, local cellular/network service availability, battery source, etc. Currently, only a couple of companies provide virtual fencing products, and the sales mode and unit/package prices may vary (although there are some similarities). Usually, virtual fencing is sold as a package, which includes the collar units, base tower unit, signal booster(s)/extender(s), software kit (could be a one-time fee, or more commonly, a monthly subscription fee), and installation. A maintenance fee is also possible, based on the producers’ specific needs. Some manufacturers rent collars (ranging between $100 to $120 per collar) instead of selling them directly and provide product protection/replacement service, just as you would expect from your smart phone’s care program. In addition to these base costs, a fee to cover the connectivity (either via major cellular or local internet providers) is likely needed. Most of the VF units are built using IP67 materials and are weather and light-wear proof.

2. What is the average battery life of virtual fence collars?
The battery life of the collars can impact the efficiency and duration of virtual fencing. There are two major battery sources used in VF units – lithium battery or solar. Both are replaceable or rechargeable. In general, if you need to monitor the herd every 30-60 mins, commercially available lithium batteries could support the collars for at least one to two months while solar batteries have the potential to last longer with reliable exposure to solar. As a rule of thumb, a greater GPS locating/sound alarming/electric shocking frequency leads to less battery longevity. And of course, the size of the pasture one needs to monitor plays a significant role in battery life. More information on these topics can be found in our BeefWatch article Part I: GPS sensors.

3. What about Collar durability?
This is a very important and practical concern. Unfortunately, most VF manufacturers do not include the collars themselves as part of the package (although, most of them have recommended collars or as an add-on accessories). Based on our experience, many of these collars were designed for herding dogs and thus, not practical for cattle use. This leads to the users to explore and identify collars that can withstand weather or cattle activities. We have tried utility belts for human workers, which were affordable but do not last long; and customized leather collars for cattle that have superb durability but are less affordable. We are still exploring good collar candidates. If you have good suggestions, please reach out.

What additional research would you like to see with VF?
The creative minds of survey participants led to an impressive list of potential research questions, however, a few stood out. Several participants noted the lack of information on using VF in crop reside grazing and wondered if that was a viable option. Additionally, producers were interested in some cost/benefit analysis to determine the cost effectiveness of VF. This can vary greatly from one operation to the next and is largely dependent on the value individuals place on labor and equipment cost associated with grazing management and cattle rotation. One respondent was also curious about the possibility of cost sharing if VF infrastructure worked between producers in the same area.

How would/do you utilize VF on your operation?
While no respondents had first-hand experience using VF, there was no shortage of ideas for application of VF. Smaller pasture size and more frequent rotations were the most common response. Respondents were most interested in more effectively utilizing pasture without creating additional cross fencing. One producer showed interest in using previously unfenced areas. It is important to remember just like traditional fencing, there are individuals who will test the virtual boundary and “breakout” therefore, it is advisable to only use virtual fence in areas with a sound perimeter fence.

Is labor an issue when considering grazing management?
10 out of 10 ranchers would probably agree that labor is always an issue, and this group was no different. Most respondents agreed that labor, or the lack thereof, was a consideration when looking at grazing management plans. All but one respondent also agreed that utilizing VF would alleviate some of the labor considerations associated with rotational grazing.

Special thanks are due to those who participated in this survey and conference panelists and speakers for sharing their insight. PLM technologies such as VF are rapidly becoming commonplace on the ranch, creating a need for additional research and extension programming in this new area to serve the industry’s needs. The information gathered from this intercept survey is useful in understanding producer perceptions and can serve as a roadmap for guiding future research. As virtual fencing technology continues to enter the marketplace, it is important to provide the Nebraska beef industry with timely and relevant information regarding its application.

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