Part of the winter feed expense equation is deciding whether standing forage can be grazed, or hay must be fed. In dry years, winter grazing may be reduced or unavailable, and the value of what is available can increase. Winter feed not usually considered may offer an alternative, affordable option. UNL’s Feed Cost Cow-Q-Lator (available at cap.unl.edu/livestock/tools) offers a way to compare feed options.Spanish:
Managing cow-calf pairs with limited perennial acres will be the topic of discussion in Alma, Nebraska on December 6 and Wayne, Nebraska on December 8, 2021. Drought is a reoccurring plight that frequently reduces perennial forages available for grazing while conversion of pasture ground to crop ground continues to reduce available pasturelands. Increasing costs of production and high taxes make diversifying income and increasing the use of land necessary to get the most out of every acre.Spanish:
After calving and going to spring grass this year the word drought was used quite often. With other States to the west of Nebraska liquidating cows from the herd it sounded like it could hit Nebraska. Different portions of Nebraska were in different severity of drought this year and questions were raised about the tax implications to consider when liquidating cows.Spanish:
Yucca plants, which are also called soapweed, can be quite common on rangeland in western and central Nebraska. In some areas, they can be quite thick and significantly reduce grass production. There are ways, though, to reclaim those grazing lands.
Once established, yucca plants can increase on drier rangeland sites. They produce a deep taproot that competes aggressively for the limited water in these soils. With sharp leaves protecting the plant, cattle rarely eat it during summer.Spanish:
Nebraska beef producers and corn growers can enhance both entities of their operation through attending the inaugural 2021 Cover Crop Grazing Conference scheduled for November 16th, 2021. This conference will take place at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead. Registration and the first trade show session will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last for one hour.Spanish:
The USDA Risk Management Agency recently announced that it has moved the sign up deadline back to December 1 from the historic date of November 15 for Pasture Rangeland Forage (PRF) Insurance. Producers now have an additional two weeks to work with their crop insurance agents to make insurance plans for the 2022 year. The PRF Insurance program uses a rainfall index model based on weather data (precipitation) collected and maintained by the NOAA's Climate Prediction Center to determine losses and trigger indemnities.Spanish:
There are times feed in the local area is scarce or expensive. This may happen during a time of drought or other natural or manmade disaster. With the help of UNL’s Feed Cost Cow-Q-Later it’s easy to make some comparisons among methods of feeding cows and with some additional information estimate comparison costs among feed sources, including transporting cows. With the current drought conditions in many parts of the Western US, we felt it was worth the effort to develop the tool and provide some commentary on what we found about those costs.Spanish:
With dry conditions in much of the western half of the United States, reports of livestock producers looking for fall and winter forage are accumulating. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Crop Residue Exchange (http://cropresidueexchange.unl.edu) is a free online tool designed to link cattle producers to other producers with available grazing resources.Spanish:
For many ranch operations multiple enterprises are a part of the overall business. In addition to the cow-calf enterprise, land is owned, replacement heifers are developed, hay is harvested, and often, yearlings are wintered and grazed through the summer before being sold. Breaking the whole ranch into enterprises and identifying where value is being created and costs are occurring can show where opportunities exist to change and improve the profitability of the ranch business.Spanish:
Cornstalk residue is a tremendous resource for fall and winter grazing; however, this year care needs to be taken in grazing drought stressed cornstalks due to the potential of high nitrates in the feed.
Cattle prefer and will select the grain as well as leaves and husk first which tend to be lower in nitrates. Because drought stressed corn is smaller and stunted, it is more likely that cattle will eat lower into the stalk where nitrate levels may be high. Nitrates are usually more concentrated in the bottom third of the stalk in the corn plant.Spanish:
With fall upon us, many producers are beginning to plan shipment of this year’s calf crop or moving cattle from summer pasture to crop residues, fall/winter pastures, or to a dry lot. Each and every year, millions of head of cattle are transported from point A to point B. During this time, our bumper-pull trailers, gooseneck trailers, or cattle pots are giant billboards for the cattle industry.Spanish:
As producers begin selecting replacement heifers, a commonly asked question is, “What is the best method for developing heifers?” Considering the expenses involved in developing replacements, determining the most cost-effective system for a specific production environment is important for both long-term profitability and longevity of those females.Spanish:
The first light frosts are still a few weeks away in Nebraska. However, planning for these events should be considered by beef producers grazing plants in the sorghum family. In addition to sorghum, plants such as sudangrass, and milo or grain sorghum fall under this same level of risk as colder temperatures draw near. Following a freeze, these forages can be highly toxic with prussic acid. Drought, pasture clipping, and overgrazing are other events that can cause increased levels of prussic acid.Spanish:
The Range Beef Cow Symposium (RBCS) will be held in person November 16-17, 2021 in Rapid City, SD. The RBCS has been held every other year since 1969 and is hosted by South Dakota State University, Colorado State University, University of Wyoming, and University of Nebraska beef cattle extension.
The RBCS is a great place not only to hear the latest updates on topics of interest to the beef industry, but is also a great place to network with producers, industry leaders, and the vendors who make it happen.Spanish:
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability will host a webinar that examines the development of winter cow care agreements at noon on Sept. 2.Spanish:
The feeder cattle market has experienced a significant amount of price variation between March and July. There has been upward price pressure from historically strong retail meat demand and meat exports to China. While there have been positive price movements for feeder cattle, most of the downward price pressure has come over the uncertainty of forage production and higher grain prices.Spanish:
Fall is here and the weather reminds us of the changing of the seasons. This is the time of year when many producers are hauling hay home for the winter as well as pricing and purchasing hay. There is a tremendous range in hay quality depending upon level of maturity, fertilization, growing conditions, harvest circumstances and storage methods. Accurately sampling and testing hay is the only way to get a real understanding of the nutritive value of feed.Spanish:
Some parts of the state are not getting the moisture for their soybean crop so the decision to salvage them for hay or silage may have to be made. Soybean hay or silage can have feed values very similar to alfalfa; but it is very important to put it up properly.
The first thing is not to get in a big hurry because August rains could make a crop. Harvest soybean forage when leaves start to turn yellow; just before they drop off. It’s especially important to harvest before a freeze to prevent rapid leaf loss.Spanish: