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Updated: 50 min 36 sec ago

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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Technology in Cow-Calf Production Systems: A good or bad thing?

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 16:40
Thursday, October 20, 2022

In the last few years, buzzwords like precision livestock management have been thrown around quite a bit. Although the official name of “precision livestock farming” debuted in a European conference in 2003, usage of technology in beef production systems isn’t a new thing. Artificial insemination began in the 1950s, use of growth implants became commercially available in 1957, and use of EPDs in bulls started in the 1970s. These 3 technologies adopted in commercial cow-calf systems would be considered precision livestock management tools.

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Soybean Residue Value

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 15:13
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Baling of soybean residue after harvest has gained popularity again this fall due to higher hay prices and forage shortages following drought. Further, delayed corn harvests are also slowing stalks residue baling and stalks grazing. According to the USDA AMS Nebraska Direct Hay sales report, large round cornstalks bale values are $110 per ton versus $80 per ton for large round soybean residue bales. So, the question arises, do soybean residue bale values justify raking and baling costs, reduced soil protection and nutrient removal?

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Minimizing Storage Losses of Round Bale Hay

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 10:36
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Storing big round hay bales by lining them up along the fence row may be easy, but it is not economical.  Baled forage probably constitutes the highest percentage of winter feed cost we have wrapped up in a cow. The production of hay uses immense resources, and the ration quality is affected by hay quality. Storing dry hay on the ground without cover causes greater amount of spoilage when compared to other methods of storage.

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Cautions for Cattle Grazing Frosted Forages

Thu, 09/29/2022 - 15:37
Saturday, October 1, 2022

When some forages are frosted, the potential for bloat, toxicity, and nitrates may increase for grazing cattle.

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Flexible Stocking Rate Options for Drought Management

Thu, 09/29/2022 - 14:20
Saturday, October 1, 2022

It is often recommended that ranchers stock at a moderate stocking rate to avoid overgrazing and to manage for dry conditions. However, during severe multiyear droughts, even moderately stocked rangelands become overstocked, and managers are forced to sell breeding stock to adapt. Depending on market conditions during and after drought, liquidating breeding stock can have significant financial impacts on the operation. Developing plans that provide for interannual variability can give producers the opportunity to take advantage of above average years and prompt action in poor years.

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Tensions Surrounding US Beef Exports to China

Thu, 09/29/2022 - 14:11
Saturday, October 1, 2022

This article was originally published by "In the Cattle Markets" in August 2022.

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Preventing Baler Fires

Thu, 09/29/2022 - 10:18
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Corn harvest is just starting and with the shortage of forages this year, several corn fields will have corn stalks baled up.  With the majority of the state being in some variation of drought, the potential of a fire occurring and spreading rapidly is a topic of concern.  Here are a few tips and reminders to prevent fires from occurring.

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Nebraska Extension Provides New Cover Crop Grazing Conference November 1, 2022

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 16:26
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Nebraska beef producers and corn growers can enhance their operations by attending the 2022 Cover Crop Grazing Conference. Scheduled for November 1, the conference will take place at the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center near Mead.

The conference kicks off with registration, refreshments, and a trade show at the August N. Christenson Building at 9:00 a.m.  Educational programs are from 10 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. and include a producer panel session and live field demonstrations.   

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Nebraska Extension to Host Beefwatch Webinar Series

Tue, 09/27/2022 - 16:53
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Nebraska Extension will host a Fall 2022 BeefWatch Webinar Series. This free webinar series is targeted to help cow/calf producers make management and feeding decisions this winter. Each session will feature industry experts and plenty of opportunity to interact to get your questions answered. More information about the BeefWatch Webinar Series can be found on our webpage: https://beef.unl.edu/beefwatch-webinar-series

Each webinar will begin at 8:00 PM Central Time.  

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Science Guide Outlines New Approach for Reducing Eastern Redcedar

Tue, 09/27/2022 - 14:04
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Nebraska rangelands lost over 419,000 tons of plant biomass production in 2019 due to woody plant encroachment1. This was determined using new monitoring technology that tracks production losses as a result of increasing tree cover since 1990. Encroachment by species like eastern redcedar can reduce forage production by up to 75% in heavily invaded locations and is among the greatest threat to Great Plains grasslands.

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Pasture Recovery from Drought

Tue, 09/27/2022 - 09:59
Saturday, October 1, 2022

There are three critical time periods that occur during drought. These are immediately before, during, and following drought. These phases appear to be separate and are usually described as such. However, there is overlap between them that may encompass a period of six to nine months. The goal of drought planning before a drought occurs should focus on reducing the negative impacts that occur during the drought. The goal of drought planning during the drought should focus on short-term and long-term pasture recovery.

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Beef Quality Assurance During the Fall Run

Mon, 09/26/2022 - 15:27
Saturday, October 1, 2022

It seems the year is just flying by with fall already upon us, which means it is about time for the “Fall Run”. Millions of cattle are being transported across the U.S. over many miles. A past Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) surveyindicated that feeder calves traveling to Texas or Nebraska feedyards traveled 468 ± 415 miles.

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