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Farm Program Disaster Assistance for 2022 Drought and Fire Losses

Tue, 11/29/2022 - 09:24
Thursday, December 1, 2022

The 2022 production year presented several challenges to Nebraska producers. Widespread drought conditions and several large wildfires created loss situations with significant financial impact. This article is a quick reminder to producers of available assistance from USDA programs that may apply to their situation.

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Do You Have Mold and Mycotoxins in Your Silage?

Mon, 11/28/2022 - 16:34
Thursday, December 1, 2022

We typically suggest getting forage tested to determine nutrient content such as energy and protein. But with silage, additional testing may be needed, especially when grown under stressed conditions and/or put up in less-than-ideal conditions. The presence of mold in silage can decrease the energy value, feed intake, and performance of cattle. Additionally, some molds produce harmful mycotoxins that can impact animal production and health.

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Value of Gain on Winter Backgrounded Cattle

Mon, 11/28/2022 - 15:51
Thursday, December 1, 2022

This article was first published by "In the Cattle Markets" on Oct. 31, 2022.

Cumulative national feeder and stocker cattle receipts are slightly lagging both 2021 and the 5-year average (2017-2021) at 12,098,700 head through Oct. 21. In 2022, more of the receipts are coming from cattle weighing less than 600 lbs. and heifers – both signals that the drought in various parts of the United States is affecting feeder and stocker cattle being sold.

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The Impact of Low Stocks-to-use Ratio and the Ukraine-Russia Conflict on the Distillers-to-Corn Price Ratio

Mon, 11/28/2022 - 11:52
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Distillers’ grains play an important role in both maintaining ethanol plant profit margins and providing affordable, nutritious feed to livestock feeding operations. Distillers’ grains are produced as necessary by-products of the fuel ethanol production process and therefore rely on an input grain – most commonly corn in the United States – and fuel ethanol in their production (USDA ERS 2021).

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2022 Beef Update with Private Pesticide Recertification

Mon, 11/28/2022 - 10:03
Monday, November 28, 2022

Producers in central Nebraska will have an opportunity to learn from beef issues that impacted the area during the 2022 growing season. The Beef Update program will help producers make decisions for the 2023 growing season and they can renew their private pesticide applicator license. This year the program will be offered in two locations across central Nebraska in December in Taylor, NE and Valentine, NE.  

Monday December 12th at Taylor, NE – Loup County Fairgrounds; 1 pm – 4 pm

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Get Perspective Before Deciding

Wed, 11/23/2022 - 16:56
Thursday, December 1, 2022

I run across situations where one party, or both parties have decided that their estate plan isn’t fair or equitable.  I have also had recent contact with landlords that think the tenant is taking advantage of the farm lease and are not paying an appropriate cash lease rate.  Either situation is a dispute, and everyone stops listening to each other.  The parties dig in their heals and have made up their mind that they are not being treated fairly or equitably.  When that happens, the relationship between the parties is usually permanently damaged at some level.

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Measure to Manage: Exploring management strategies to cut costs, increase performance, and capture value at the Three State Beef Conference

Wed, 11/23/2022 - 15:36
Thursday, December 1, 2022

For 38 years, the Three-State Beef Conference has provided beef cattle producers in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska an annual update on current and critical cow-calf and stocker topics affecting producers in the three-state area.

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2023 – Year of the Stockman

Wed, 11/23/2022 - 14:01
Thursday, December 1, 2022

It has been said, “Develop your communication skills because when you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.”  This is just another way of saying that we’re known by what we produce (words, actions, etc.).  Our reputation, in other words.  Said another way: “Develop your husbandry skills, because when you handle and care for animals, you tell the world who you are.”  Stockmen have long considered their work an art form, and take pride in honing their skills with a level of devotion seldom rivaled in other professions.  In a time where the agricultural work

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Potential Impacts of a Long Hard Drought on the Subsequent Calving Season

Wed, 11/23/2022 - 13:51
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Drought across the Great Plains has greatly reduced the supply of grass available this grazing season. While many cows went to market to save grass for a core herd, those cows that remain may have had access to limited, dry pastures. Grass in many areas appeared dormant as early as July. Therefore, not only was quantity limiting, but quality may have been limiting as well.

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A Year in Review for Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance, 2022

Wed, 11/23/2022 - 13:18
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Another year has come and gone for the Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance program, and while it was a year of successes for the program as a whole, there is still plenty of work to be done. As I sit here writing this thinking back on all the accomplishments we have achieved this year, I am happy to brag about where the program currently is and where it is going in the future.

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Purchased Hay: The Extra Costs

Wed, 11/23/2022 - 11:48
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Winter is finally here and for some, dry weather has resulted in a lower than desired hay inventory.  While we can reduce demand by adjusting rations or selling animals, purchasing hay may be the best option to fill in a feed gap. 

Most of the time, purchased hay is hauled in and fed without issue.  It’s a regular occurrence for many operations and should always be an option for consideration.  While the sticker cost is typically the first factor considered why buying hay, there are additional costs that purchased hay can bring to an operation. 

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2022 Cattlemen’s College

Mon, 11/14/2022 - 16:42
Monday, November 14, 2022

Nebraska Cattlemen and Nebraska Extension will be hosting the 2022 Cattlemen’s College on December 6 at the Buffalo County Extension Building (1400 E. 34th Street, Kearney, NE). Registration, and a chance to begin viewing the graduate posters on display, will be at 12:00 p.m. The program will run from 12:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

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Feeding Corn Residue in A Round Bale Feeder: Can It Meet Cow Needs?

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 14:46
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The drought across much of the western U.S has resulted in low hay production, high hay prices and in some cases, no hay to be bought.  Some producers may be considering using corn residue bales. Corn residue has been traditionally used as a roughage source in feedlot diets and more recently mixed with more energy dense feeds and fed to cows in confinement. However, many operations may not have the ability to mix and feed diets.

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The 2022 GSL Youth Science Field Day

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 09:51
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Forty-seven high school students from Cherry, Grant, Hooker, and Thomas counties attended the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory (GSL) Youth Science Day on October 5. Beef Systems Extension Educator, T. L. Meyer, kicked off the event with an introduction to GSL before dividing the students into two groups for lab rotation topics. The six topics included Smart Feeder technology (Travis Mulliniks and Jacki Musgrave), beef reproduction (Rosemary Anderson), fire and range management (Ryan Benjamin), precision livestock management (Yijie Xiong and T. L.

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Single Trait EPDs vs. EPD Indexes vs. Production Ratios

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 13:56
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The numerous tools to aid in genetic selection allow for expedited progress toward breeding objectives. However, there are variations in how values are calculated and the units they are reported in. Single Trait Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs), EPD Indexes, and Production Ratios are typical of reported data and can provide guidance towards breeding objectives when applied as they are intended. While the bells and whistles vary across breed associations, the basics of each measurement can be applied across breeds and genetic reporting platforms.

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Cow Costs Higher In 2022

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 13:38
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

As the 2022 calendar year winds down, this is a good time for spring calving herds to look at what it cost them to produce a calf in the past year. What did it cost to run a cow on your operation this year? How do you calculate the costs? How do you value raised feed, labor, equipment, as well as replacement females grown on the ranch? These questions are frequently asked when the conversation of annual cow costs comes up.

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Drought Risk Management Planning: PRF Insurance Signup Deadline is December 1

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 16:35
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Pasture Rangeland Forage (PRF) insurance coverage is available on a calendar year basis with a signup deadline of December 1. For coverage in calendar year 2023, producers must sign up for PRF by December 1, 2022. At this point, many producers across the state are thinking about the impact of drought. Some may already be implementing PRF, and others may be thinking about adding it as a part of their drought risk management strategy. PRF insurance is administered by the USDA – Risk Management Agency (RMA) and is available for purchase through local crop insurance agents.

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Protein supplementation: What should I know before purchasing?

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 15:44
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Daily energy intake can be a limiting factor for cow performance while grazing winter range or dormant forages. As forages advance in stages of maturity, there is an inadequate supply of crude protein, which effectively limits energy intake and overall intake itself. Intake declines rapidly as forage crude protein falls below about 7%, a relationship attributed to a deficiency of nitrogen (protein) in the rumen, which inhibits activity of the rumen microbes.

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Feeding Ionophores in Mineral Supplements

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 11:06
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Ionophores have been safely utilized in the beef industry for a long time. If fed according to the recommended rates, ionophores are considered safe and effective. Ionophores are feed additives used in cattle diets to increase feed efficiency and body weight gain. In addition, ionophores can decrease the incidence of bloat and coccidiosis.  Ionophores can be fed to cattle in several different supplemental packages from liquid feeds, cakes, pellets, and loose minerals.

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Post-weaning Cowherd Management

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 09:27
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

To build a nutrition program for a cow-calf system, it is important to know the herd’s nutritional requirements, have set trigger points to make rapid changes in nutritional management if needed and know the quality and quantity of your forage resources. With many producers across the state starting to or already weaning calves, it’s a good time to note the body condition score (BCS) of the cowherd.

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