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Updated: 27 min 27 sec ago

Maximizing Profits Under Drought Conditions, Higher Input Costs, and National Herd Liquidation

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 13:50
Monday, August 1, 2022 Competing Market ForcesSpanish: 

Flexible Leases, Price Risk Management Can Offer Relief Amid Poor, Expensive Pasture Conditions

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 13:39
Monday, August 1, 2022

May marked the beginning that pasture and range conditions are released by USDA-AMS in their weekly crop progress reports by state. This gives the industry its first barometer of how bad the drought could be this year across the United States to the overall industry and to specific geographic areas. The USDA-AMS reports pasture and range conditions in five categories: very poor, poor, fair, good, and excellent.

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Manure Application Following Silage

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 10:19
Monday, August 1, 2022

With silage harvest coming up quickly, manure application will soon follow. Because silage is often the first crop to come off the field, it allows for earlier manure application and thus an earlier cleanout of pens before winter. As that manure application plan develops, include best stewardship practices for optimum rates and preferred application methods in final decisions. But, wait, what do those things mean?

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Drought-stressed Corn: A Feed Opportunity

Mon, 07/25/2022 - 10:02
Monday, July 25, 2022

Many areas of Nebraska and surrounding states are experiencing drought and lack of water for irrigation. What are the alternatives and considerations when grain harvest won’t be a viable option?

When harvesting drought-stressed corn to feed, consider: 

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Managing Early Weaned Calves

Sun, 07/24/2022 - 15:43
Monday, August 1, 2022

The current map from the U.S. drought monitor (Current Map | U.S. Drought Monitor (unl.edu)) has all but a small corner of Nebraska listed as abnormally dry to extreme drought. This ongoing drought has been affecting parts of the state since 2020, forcing beef cattle producers to make drought related management decisions. One of the options often proposed to help reduce pressure on drought stricken pastures is early weaning.

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Without Trust, How Does a Family Function?

Sun, 07/24/2022 - 15:32
Monday, August 1, 2022

Many of us that work with farm families hear stories like this: the son is home from college to start his career on the farm. He visits with his parents on a change during action or management. The son identifies a field to be converted to “no-till,” and while he goes into town for parts, his father starts disking the field. In cases like this, the son will feel like he has not been trusted to make decisions. Lack of trust among family members can be a huge issue for any family moving forward, especially if they are working on farm/ranch succession plans.

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Strategic Culling for Cowherds to Cope with Drought or High Feed Costs

Sun, 07/24/2022 - 15:10
Monday, August 1, 2022

The US drought monitor is indicating that drought conditions for central states, including Nebraska, remain in 2022.  Seasonal outlook for the remainder of summer in Nebraska and western states is characterized as drought tendent.  Persistent drought pressured forage and grain prices and deteriorated pasture conditions.  Concurrently, the January US beef cow inventory declined from a peak in 2017 of 31.2 million cows to 30.1 million cows in January of this year.  Implications of lower beef cow inventory on supply of feeder calves are already evident in the marketplace: f

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Late Season Pasture Fly Control

Sun, 07/24/2022 - 15:01
Monday, August 1, 2022

Late August and September usually signal pasture fly season should be ending. However, over the last few years our fall seasons have remained warm, sometimes well into early November and flies persist at problematic levels longer than typical. This upcoming fall season may be no different based on several meteorology forecasts. If these predictions hold true, pasture fly control efforts may be required through late fall.

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Utilizing Wheat in Feedlot Diets

Fri, 07/22/2022 - 16:37
Monday, August 1, 2022 Grain Source

The United States produced 1.65 billion bushels of wheat in 2020, with wheat ranking as the third largest produced grain after corn and soybeans. As grain prices increase, dependent on availability, utilizing wheat may be an option for producers to implement in their feeding program.

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2022 Nebraska Grazing Conference

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 11:33
Friday, July 1, 2022

The 2022 Nebraska Grazing Conference will be held August 9 and 10 at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney, NE with a program bridging grazing lands conservation and management.

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Technical Note: Where are my cattle at? – Part II: Virtual Fencing

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 11:27
Friday, July 1, 2022

In recent years, a modern technology, “virtual fencing,” has emerged into the market and has been gaining growing interest from the livestock producers, particularly in the cattle sector. Virtual fencing technology has been studied in some European countries and Australia where grazing beef and dairy cows are predominant. More research is currently being conducted in the USA to better understand how virtual fencing might fit within cow-calf and yearling operations as a tool for grazing management.

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Keep Summer Cattle Marketing Current

Mon, 06/27/2022 - 14:42
Friday, July 1, 2022

Feedlot managers understand that heat stress reduces intake.  This effect is more marked in cattle that are closer to their finishing weight, and during the first heat event of the season as cattle are not acclimated to heat yet. 

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Weighing Risk and Reward of Annual Forages

Mon, 06/27/2022 - 11:50
Friday, July 1, 2022

This planting season, early dry conditions followed by late wet conditions in some areas have caused some fields to be designated prevented planting acres. To go along with this, high feed and forage prices and less than ideal pasture conditions due to previous years’ drought are allowing the opportunity for producers to think outside the box. After all, an influx of prevented plant acres provides freedom to produce annual cover crops to counter-balance current forage prices.

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Determining Value of Beef Through Grading

Mon, 06/27/2022 - 11:12
Friday, July 1, 2022

When a beef animal is harvested, the value of the carcass and the resulting cuts are determined based on the grades of the carcass. Quality grading and yield grading is monitored by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS). Unlike inspection, which monitors food safety and is mandatory for meat products being sold in the United States, grading is a voluntary program and is used to determine the marketability of the product.

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Impact of Production on the Final Product

Mon, 06/27/2022 - 10:31
Friday, July 1, 2022

Quality is a prediction of the expected palatability of a carcass. Quality grade is based off animal maturity and marbling. In addition to these factors, other characteristics such as color, texture and firmness of the final product are considered by those making purchasing decisions. Differences in these characteristics can be impacted by several different things and often tie back to the life of the animal. It is often noted that the combination of genetics and environment can impact the phenotype, or physical characteristics, of an animal.

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Supplementing Yearlings in the Summer Grazing Season: Is it Worth it?

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 12:00
Friday, July 1, 2022

Forage quality and yearling rate of gain decline throughout the summer, particularly in cool season grasses. Strategically supplementing yearlings with dry distillers grains in the second half of the summer as the grass quality declines will increase average daily gain (ADG), but will it increase returns?    

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Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory Open House

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 11:37
Friday, July 1, 2022

The 23rd annual University of Nebraska–Lincoln Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory (GSL) Open House will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. This year’s Open House will be a hybrid format with our traditional in-person event held at GSL along with being live streamed online webinar.

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Adequate Nutrition for Breeding Season Success

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 10:17
Friday, July 1, 2022

We ask a lot from our cows come breeding season. We expect her to be providing adequate nutrients for calf growth (lactating), we expect her reproductive tract to repair and return to estrus prior to the start of breeding. All these expectations are within 90 days after calving to maintain a yearly calving interval.

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What to Expect from Alternatives to Corn Silage

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 09:36
Friday, July 1, 2022

Drought has limited pasture availability and forced many producers into feeding total mixed rations (TMR) to cows. Including silage in a TMR can reduce ration cost, improve the energy content of the diet, and add moisture, which can serve as a ration conditioner. However, high commodity prices have encouraged many grain farmers to plant corn for grain rather than silage. Silage can also be made from small grains such as rye, wheat, oats, triticale, or barley, or from summer annual forages such as forage sorghum, sorghum-sudan or pearl millet.

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Strategic Deployment of Heat Abatement Strategies

Fri, 06/17/2022 - 10:45
Friday, June 17, 2022 The following is a list of strategies to reduce the impact of heat stress on cattle in the feedlot with suggestions for sequential deployment. Strategies listed under preparation are intended to be deployed early within 10 to 14 days of the initial heat event forecast. Strategies listed under remediation are intended to be deployed as the heat event proceeds.Spanish: