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Updated: 38 min 52 sec ago

Feeding Elevated Levels of Corn Silage to Reduce Liver Abscesses

Tue, 08/24/2021 - 11:16
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

This article was originally featured in the Wyoming Livestock Roundup.

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What to do with High Nitrate Forage?

Tue, 08/24/2021 - 11:07
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Given the drought conditions in some locations this year, many producers may be asking themselves how to handle the annual forages they have standing in the field that may not have grown as much as would be expected under normal conditions. These drought stressed forages can be high in nitrates and may be potentially toxic to cattle.

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Choosing a Method for Pregnancy Diagnosis

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 14:05
Sunday, August 1, 2021

Previous research has shown the benefit of pregnancy diagnosis and how it adds to a producer’s bottom line. Keeping one cow over winter can cost $100-$200 in feed and supplements so removing open cows can help decrease winter feed costs. Options for managing non-pregnant beef females are discussed in a BeefWatch article appearing in this issue. Pregnancy diagnosis is a very valuable tool in the beef industry and it is grossly underutilized. Only about 20% of producers employ some sort of a pregnancy diagnosis in their herd.

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Early Pregnancy Detection

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 13:47
Sunday, August 1, 2021

Early pregnancy detection in replacement heifers or cows is a tool producers can use to increase profit. Traditionally, cows and replacement heifers are pregnancy tested in the fall of the year and then non-pregnant cows and cull cows are marketed at that time. This is also when cull cow prices are seasonally at their lowest.

Timing of Pregnancy Test

Pregnancy can be detected in cows as early as 30 days using ultrasound and blood tests.

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Ensuring Beef Quality Assurance to Beat the Heat

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 13:07
Sunday, August 1, 2021

The summer heat is bearing down across the nation. With the summer heat comes the concern for animal welfare, specifically towards cattle in feedlots. With rising temperatures and high humidity, cattle are more prone to heat stress. This concern increases when winds die down reducing air movement.

When cattle experience heat stress, producers may see reduced intakes and gains. However, in extreme cases, cattle can succumb to the detrimental effects of the heat stress they are experiencing. 

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Managing Early Weaned Calves

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 12:32
Sunday, August 1, 2021

Early weaning is typically defined as weaning before calves are 150 days of age. In extreme cases beef calves may be weaned at 45 days of age, but more commonly early weaned calves are over 90 days of age. Early weaning may be advantageous in times of drought, when cows are in a confinement system, or as a body condition management tool for very young or old cows. Once weaning has occurred, the cow, now without the demands of lactation, can be maintained on poor quality forage and little to no supplement.

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Using Livestock Risk Protection Insurance to Protect Profits

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 12:03
Sunday, August 1, 2021

In an effort to improve participation, several enhancements and improvements to the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance program for cattle have taken place over the last three years. 

They include:

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Managing Summer Calving Herds During the Breeding Season

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 11:44
Sunday, August 1, 2021

Many producers have moved from spring to summer calving to avoid death loss from inclement early spring weather and to see a reduction in labor and winter feed costs. Just as there are upsides to changing timing of calving, there are also downsides, which may include reproductive challenges and decreased calf weaning weight. It is important to understand the change in management practices when converting to a summer calving herd.

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Do not Let Pinkeye Decrease Efficiencies in Summer Grazing

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 11:23
Sunday, August 1, 2021

It is no secret that rainfall and humidity aid in the quality and quantity of summer forage production. However, these two factors also contribute to the fly populations. Not only do large fly populations cause irritation that creates devastating production losses, but also spreads infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) or pinkeye. Pinkeye is a highly contagious disease that promotes inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva portions of the eye. The occurrence of pinkeye increases in the spring and peaks in the summer months before decreasing in the fall.

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The Second Quarterly Report on Levels of Negotiated Trade by Region Under the Livestock Industry’s 75% Rule

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 10:15
Sunday, August 1, 2021

Last year, several pieces of legislation were introduced in Congress, with the principal aim of increasing the level of negotiated cash trade.[1] The cattle industry responded to the proposed legislation by creating a voluntary framework, known as the 75% rule, which includes cattle feeder and packing plant triggers based on levels of negotiated trade and marketplace participation.

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2021 Nebraska Grazing Conference

Sat, 07/31/2021 - 10:04
Sunday, August 1, 2021

The 2021 Nebraska Grazing Conference is back as an in-person event after going virtual in 2020 due to the challenges of COVID-19. This year’s conference will be held Aug. 9-11 at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney with a program that bridges grazing lands production and conservation.  

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How Stocker-Yearling Cattle Complement a Cow-Calf Operation in the Sandhills - A Producer’s Perspective

Thu, 07/29/2021 - 12:19
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Stocker-Yearling cattle can complement cow-calf operations by providing flexibility in utilizing grazing resources. In this month’s BeefWatch Producer Perspective Podcast, John Ravenscroft from Cherry County, Nebraska discusses how the Three Bar Cattle Company utilizes home raised and purchased calves to grow as stocker-yearlings to complement their cow-calf operation.

Topics discussed include:

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Blue-Green Algae Impacts on Cattle

Wed, 07/07/2021 - 17:24
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Hot, dry weather is impacting part of the state which in turn is impacting the water quality for grazing cattle.  In some pastures, the only water source available are ponds and dugouts which can contain hidden dangers to the cattle.

Blue-green algae also known as cyanobacteria blooms are caused by excess levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.  These nutrients are commonly introduced from runoff or soil erosion from fertilizer and manure.

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Past BeefWatch Articles and Webinars to Help with Drought Related Decisions

Tue, 06/29/2021 - 15:10
Thursday, July 1, 2021

Are you getting enough rain?  What management decisions do you have in place if it stops raining? Below are some past BeefWatch articles and BeefWatch webinars that may help you with management decisions related to drought.

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Pasture and Forage Minute: Grazing with the Weather

Tue, 06/29/2021 - 14:18
Thursday, July 1, 2021

Precipitation and temperature play major roles in pasture productivity, and knowing how to adjust grazing to match current conditions is key.  Are you shifting your management to meet recent weather?

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Pasture and Forage Minute: Poisonous Pasture Plants

Tue, 06/29/2021 - 13:25
Thursday, July 1, 2021

While generally not as problematic in Nebraska compared to other western states, poisonous plants can exact their toll on livestock enterprises, and many times the losses are unrecognized. 

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Managing Risk with Annual Forages

Tue, 06/29/2021 - 13:00
Thursday, July 1, 2021

Annual forages are a useful tool to help manage risk. From a crop management standpoint, they can be used to manage erosion risk and build more resilient soil profiles. From a livestock management standpoint, annual forages can provide a valuable source of additional feed resources. They can serve an important role in a cattle producer’s drought management plan and overall strategy for controlling feed costs.

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Cattle Markets React to USDA Reports: Implications for Risk Management

Tue, 06/29/2021 - 10:24
Thursday, July 1, 2021

This article was first published in the June 2021 issue of The Nebraska Cattleman magazine.

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Quality of Forage and Impacts on Intake and Animal Performance

Mon, 06/28/2021 - 18:54
Monday, June 28, 2021

As we progress into summer, forage quality can rapidly change depending on factors like rainfall, temperature, etc.  A good example of the dynamic interaction of rainfall and forage quality is shown in Table 1. In the Sandhills, 2002 and 2018 were drastically different in total precipitation; however, forage quality driven by forage growth and maturity in terms of crude protein were very similar in a drought or wet rainfall year.  Understanding these relationships is important in making proactive management decisions.

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Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory Open House sponsored by Elanco

Mon, 06/28/2021 - 18:35
Thursday, July 1, 2021

The 22st annual University of Nebraska–Lincoln Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory (GSL) Open House will be held on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. 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. The online webinar will only cover the morning sustainability topics. 

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