In working with cow-calf producers and discussing unit cost of production, labor and equipment costs are often the second largest expense category identified after grazed and harvested feed. Expenses related to labor and equipment have increased dramatically over the last several years and especially in the last 18 months. Competition for labor is high and those with the necessary work ethic and skills frequently find industries outside of agriculture offering wages and benefits difficult to compete with and be profitable.Spanish:
Livestock feed is often the greatest annual cost to producers, making grasslands and grassland management an important component of the livestock industry. Profitable and effective grassland livestock management begins with understanding the forage resource, including identifying the plants in the pasture. To manage grassland profitably, managers must be able to identify what plants are there, understand their nutritional value, what plants livestock prefer to graze, and how grazing and other factors impact each plant.Spanish:
This article was first published by "In the Cattle Markets" on May 9, 2022.Spanish:
While areas across Nebraska have received some precipitation, much of the state remains in moderate to extreme drought. Following recommended trigger dates for necessary management changes, now is the time asses current precipitation accumulation, cool-season forage growth, and seasonal forecasts.Spanish:
SDSU Extension, Kansas State Research and Extension and Nebraska Extension will host a series of Diversifying with Small Ruminants workshops June 7 in Salina, KS, June 8 in O'Neill, NE and June 9 in Chamberlain, SD. The program will go from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and lunch will be provided.
This program was developed due to interest by cattle producers looking at adding sheep to their beef operation. We will discuss things to consider when looking at such a move and producers will discuss what they have learned from adding sheep.Spanish:
Today’s farms and ranches require decisions to be made throughout periods of elevated risk and uncertainty. Managing operational efficiency, grass banking, and destocking herds are all commonly used to stabilize returns during drought conditions and market extremes.
However, the compounding effects of extreme weather, market volatility, and rising input costs have re-focused attention on management alternatives that offer a broader set of resources to use when developing or implementing grazing management plans.Spanish:
Calving season is wrapping up and transitioning into breeding season. Like any other segment of beef production, breeding protocols require decisions and preparation to ensure we meet the goals of the operation.Spanish:
Protein is often the first limiting requirement when selecting diets and designing supplementation strategies for cows and growing cattle. Age and stage of production impact how much protein an animal requires. Understanding the different types of protein can help tailor supplements to meet protein requirements economically and effectively.Spanish:
Some spring calving herds are starting to gear up for the breeding season by utilizing either natural service, artificial insemination (AI), or a combination of both. According to a recent NAHMS survey, 84.85% of operations utilize natural service only and 10.3% utilizing AI and exposure to bulls. The implementation of estrous synchronization has the potential to shorten your calving window, concentrates labor, allows for more uniform management of cows, and can create a more uniform calf crop.Spanish:
This article was first published by "In the Cattle Markets" on April 5, 2022.Spanish:
The Nebraska Range Short Course is scheduled for June 20 to 23, 2022 on the campus of Chadron State College. The short course is sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Chadron State College, and the Nebraska Section of the Society for Range Management. It is designed to provide individuals who have a background in ranch, natural resource, or wildlife management an opportunity to increase their knowledge in many topics associated with the field of range management.Spanish:
Many rural consumers are switching from multiple trips to the grocery store or local butcher shop to bringing their own cattle in for custom processing. Provided the consumer has access to large areas of available freezer space as well as the ability to afford the upfront cost, this may be an economic way to supply a family with high-quality protein. Following is a guide to selecting the proper animal to feed out for harvesting freezer beef.Spanish:
As the drought that has plagued the western Great Plains for over a year spreads across the Midwest, producers are making hard decisions about cowherd management. Drought is no stranger to most cow-calf producers so most have a plan for culling decisions related to about 20% of the cow herd. When drought threatens the grazing resources for the other 80%, difficult decisions have to be made. The first question that must be answered is should I feed them or sell them.Spanish:
Drought conditions are challenging producers to be creative as they think about options for maintaining the cowherd through the summer with limited summer pasture forage projected to be available. Several research studies conducted at the University of Nebraska have shown that cows can be managed effectively utilizing a limit fed ration. In a limit fed ration, the nutrient requirements of cattle are met with a diet that is less than the actual amount of dry matter that the cattle would eat if they had full access to all they could eat.Spanish:
The prices of synthetic fertilizers have increased significantly over the last year, leaving growers and even homeowners facing the decision of finding alternative sources of nutrients.Spanish:
Wildfires affect America’s farm and ranches, damaging and destroying homes, barns, agriculture production facilities, crops and livestock. Recently we have dealt with a major fire in Furnas and Gosper counties. Below are some tips to help avoid or minimize fire damage to your property.Spanish:
This article was first published by "In the Cattle Markets" on March 2, 2022.Spanish:
Much work has been done on illustrating the benefits and performance of price risk management tools available to livestock producers. These tools include futures and options available through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), video/cash contracts, basis contracts, and more recently Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance offered through USDA’s Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA).Spanish:
Beef producers may need to consider several items before adding small ruminants to their operation. Producers adding small ruminants to their operation have found that they could follow an old recommendation of adding a ewe or doe per cow without adjusting their stocking rate while improving their pasture utilization by 10-20%. Below are considerations when adding sheep or goats to a beef operation.Spanish:
This article is a summary of the 2022 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report, Impact of Urea on Corn Silage Growing Cattle Diets.
With current feed prices and the majority of the state experiencing dry conditions, producers may be evaluating alternative feed options for this year. Understanding differences in protein content and degradability of various feeds is important when determining the most cost-effective option while meeting cattle nutrient requirements.Spanish: