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Updated: 32 min 43 sec ago

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: 

2022 Summer Stocker/Yearling Meeting and Tour June 23 in Imperial

Thu, 06/02/2022 - 09:57
Thursday, June 2, 2022

Nebraska Extension will host a stocker/yearling systems summer meeting and tour Thursday, June 23 in Imperial, Nebraska. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. MDT and the program will kick off at 9:00 a.m. MDT at the Crossroads Wesleyan Church, Imperial.  Lunch is sponsored by Merck Animal Health, followed by a tour of Wine Glass Ranch in the afternoon.

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Meeting water needs of cattle in the feedlot

Tue, 05/31/2022 - 12:09
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Various factors affect water intake; but temperature, humidity and feed intake are the main drivers. Additionally, the first heat events of the season (late May and early June) are the most stressful on cattle: cattle are generally reaching finishing weight and condition, they are not acclimated to heat, and they have not shed their winter coat. This transition also catches managers and staff off guard as they are focused on late-winter yard management.

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Coping with Effects of High Feed Prices and Possible Drought in 2022

Wed, 05/18/2022 - 15:45
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Presently, despite timely rains in certain areas of Nebraska, the threat of drought for the summer of 2022 is not dissipated.  Prediction models of precipitation for May to July place most of Nebraska counties at leaning below normal probability with probability of temperatures likely above normal.  Weather conditions and continued high grain and forage prices will result in greater annual cow costs in 2022.  

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Technical Note: Where are my cattle at? – Part I: GPS Sensors

Wed, 05/18/2022 - 12:07
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Global positioning system (GPS) technology has been implemented into the agriculture world in numerous ways. It is a satellite navigation system based on real-time geolocation and time information. GPS data can be a useful tool to maximize production, manage more efficiently, and reduce costs. Farmers have proven the positive benefits of integrating GPS technology in their operations, such as tractor guidance, planting, application rates, and yield mapping.

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