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Updated: 1 min 35 sec ago

What do stocker and cow-calf producers think of Virtual Fencing?

Thu, 09/28/2023 - 13:22
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Producers that attended the Nebraska Grazing Conference (NGC) August 8-9, in Kearny, NE. may have noticed a difference from previous proceedings. This year “TechCorner” was added to the exhibition, highlighting new and emerging products in precision livestock management (PLM) such as virtual fencing, data management software and smart water monitoring. In addition to PLM exhibitors, Wednesday morning’s programs were focused primarily on precision grazing management, of which the virtual fencing (VF) technologies were spotlighted in presentations and panelist discussion.

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Thinking of backgrounding calves this fall?

Wed, 09/27/2023 - 15:47
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Cattle prices have responded to lower cattle inventory.  If you are keeping up with cattle production news media, nearly every week, someone declares how much feeder calf prices have increased since last year.  Sales of 500- to 600-cwt feeder calves are getting close to $300/cwt.  Expecting a gross revenue of $1,600 or more for feeder steer calves this fall is not out of the question.  Yet, with increasing costs of maintaining a cow, some cow-calf producers may wonder:  to increase revenue in 2023, is it worth it to retain calves for feeding during a backgrounding o

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Welcome to the Feedlot: Best Practices for Managing Newly Received Feeder Calves

Wed, 09/27/2023 - 15:02
Sunday, October 1, 2023

As we near the feedlot fall run, and cattle are newly received into the feedlot, there are key considerations to keep in mind to achieve best cattle performance. The goal of a receiving strategy is to make the transition from calf origin into the feedlot or backgrounding yard as seamless as possible. The first 14 days upon feedlot arrival are critical in calf development and set the performance trajectory of the calf for the remainder of the feeding period. The main goal at receiving is to help with any bovine respiratory disease (BRD) concerns and improve upon the health of the calf.

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Pricing Corn Destined for Feeding as Silage, Snaplage, Earlage or Grain

Wed, 09/27/2023 - 13:58
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Grain production regions allow cattle producers to harvest grain crops as grain (dry or high moisture) or green chop to be preserved as silage for cattle feeding (feed crop).  Corn grain production is particularly well suited for this purpose.  Harvesting the ears and shank (earlage) or husk, grain, cob, and shank (snaplage) represent options intermediate to harvesting grain or chopping the whole plant. 

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Feedlot Cattle Handling Practices

Wed, 09/27/2023 - 11:57
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Stockmanship and low-stress cattle handling is a topic that receives a lot of attention. Even the latest report of the National Beef Quality Audit (2022) identifies cattle handling as an area for “focused improvement,” due in part to the persistence of bruising.

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Fall Cattle Lice Treatments

Tue, 09/26/2023 - 16:39
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Treating cattle for lice when it’s convenient—usually during preconditioning and preg-checking—isn’t necessarily the most effective approach.

While late summer and early fall endectocide (drugs that kill both internal and external parasitic insects) treatment may work on most internal parasites and horn flies, lice may escape.

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Understanding Cow Health Concerns on Corn Residue

Tue, 09/26/2023 - 11:56
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Grazing corn residue is common practice in the Midwest and a quality resource for cattle producers to utilize.  While the forages available can provide the necessary nutritional requirements, there are a few health conditions that need to be planned for prior to turn out.

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Best practices for vaccinating cattle, handling vaccines, and caring for animal health equipment

Tue, 09/26/2023 - 11:01
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Fall weaning and transportation can be a high-stress period for calves that may be transitioning from one operation to another. As animal care providers, it’s our job to take that into consideration and do all we can to reduce the stress load on these animals.

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Winter Rate of Gain & Implant Strategy of Stockers Influences Hot Carcass Weight

Mon, 09/25/2023 - 14:38
Sunday, October 1, 2023

This article was originally featured in Progressive Cattle and is a summary of the 2023 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report, Timing of Implant Use in the Backgrounding System.

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Reviewing Cow-Calf Share and Cash Lease Agreements

Mon, 09/25/2023 - 14:19
Sunday, October 1, 2023

The trend in cattle prices over the last year has been dramatically toward the upside. Prices have risen higher and faster than many market analysts thought possible for 2023. These changes in market value are having an impact on beef cow share and cash lease agreements in determining what is “fair” to both cow owners and those who are leasing the cows.

For a cow owner, the following are the four major drivers that determine what is "fair" in terms of a cash lease or percentage of the calf crop the cow owner should receive. Those factors are:

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More than 419,000 Tons of Rangeland Production are Lost Annually in Nebraska to Woody Encroachment

Mon, 09/25/2023 - 10:52
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Did you know that Nebraska’s grasslands lose over 419,000 tons of forage production every year due to woody plant encroachment? When woody plants like eastern redcedar spread and take over grasslands, they displace grasses and broadleaf plants and reduce forage production by up to 75%1 (Fig.1). New rangeland monitoring data shows that tree cover increased by over 402,000 acres in Nebraska’s rangelands from 1990-2019 (https://www.wlfw.org/yieldgap/). This means less forage for livestock and wildlife needs.

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Strip grazing annual forages in the fall: Is it worth the effort?

Mon, 09/25/2023 - 10:32
Sunday, October 1, 2023

After about 5 years of fall cover crop grazing, one thing became apparent: the amount of grazing achieved when we gave cattle access to the whole field from the start did not appear to be determined by the amount of forage that was in the field. This was because the weather seemed to determine how much trampling loss occurred. In wet years, we harvested less than 15% of the forage, and on average, we captured about 30%.

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Making Silage from Late Season Hail Damaged Corn

Wed, 08/30/2023 - 09:29
Friday, September 1, 2023

The first step in dealing with hail damage is to contact your insurance agent, so that you know what is required to meet obligations for hail or revenue insurance.

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Corn Silage as a Feed Source for Beef Cows this Winter

Tue, 08/29/2023 - 15:27
Friday, September 1, 2023

As you prepare to inventory feeds for feeding the beef cow this winter, corn silage may be an option. In last month’s BeefWatch, the article, “Is That Corn Crop Worth More as Silage or Grain?” walks through the calculations to determine price of corn silage standing in the field, chopped and packed in the silo, and corn silage delivered to the bunk. If the price of corn is $5.00 per bushel, corn silage delivered to the bunk with 10% shrink is $60.83.

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Feed Prices Favor Limit Feeding Stockers a High Energy Diet

Tue, 08/29/2023 - 13:22
Friday, September 1, 2023

For cattle producers that are set up to feed calves in a bunk, limit feeding a high energy diet may be a cost-effective option for growing calves this fall and winter. While limit feeding is not a new concept, current forage prices relative to grain/co-products may make it an attractive alternative to feeding high roughage growing diets. For instance, hay priced at $200/ton with a total digestible nutrients (TDN) value of 52% equates to approximately $0.22 per pound of TDN.

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Windrow Grazing Annual Forages to Extend the Grazing Season

Tue, 08/29/2023 - 09:24
Friday, September 1, 2023

In many areas of central and eastern Nebraska, drought conditions have resulted in reduced forage production on rangeland and pasture.  This is resulting in a shortage of feed for many producers and a need for forage between now and when cornstalks are available for grazing.  Windrow grazing annual forages allows producers to cut the crop at an optimum time for quality and increase harvest efficiency through strip grazing the windrows.   

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Will you Capitalize on Increasing Cow Value?

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 09:42
Friday, September 1, 2023

What a difference a year makes when it comes to cow prices!  Whether it is weigh up cows at $1.10 per pound or young bred heifers and cows pushing $2,500 - $3,000 per head, the recent rise in prices has been dramatic. Many cow-calf producers will sell calves this fall and make a solid profit. For areas that have received rain and forage is available, this will encourage retaining of heifers and the rebuilding of cowherds that have been reduced due to drought. The motivation of many will be to keep and acquire as many bred cows as possible to produce more high dollar calves.

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Resources for Helping Cattle Deal with Heat Stress

Fri, 08/18/2023 - 16:50
Friday, August 18, 2023


While we can’t control the heat, there are some things we can control to help cattle through it. 

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New Custom Rates for Livestock Services Published

Sun, 07/30/2023 - 09:41
Tuesday, August 1, 2023

A new report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability features current rates for custom services related to livestock production in Nebraska. It reflects the results of a statewide survey that was circulated in early 2023 to those who either provide or pay for custom work related to livestock.

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Drought-damaged Smooth Bromegrass Pastures: Assessment and Recovery Considerations

Thu, 07/27/2023 - 17:42
Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Top 5 Takeaways

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