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Updated: 39 min 26 sec ago

Keep it Tight; Store Hay Right

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 16:41
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 Setting the Stage 

Even before storing, producers can give hay a better chance to make it from the field to the cow with as little loss as possible. Baling at correct moisture levels will lead to proper curing without additional heat, mold growth, and dry matter loss. Bales should maintain moisture levels below 20% for this to happen. 

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Keeping an Eye on Body Condition in Fall Calving Cows

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 15:29
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

With much of the eastern and western borders of Nebraska in a drought, producers with fall calving cows need to be especially mindful of body condition on fall calving cows. In Nebraska, most fall calving herds actually start calving sometime in August. This allows producers to take advantage of late summer grass as a forage resource with ample protein and energy for the newly lactating cow. However, the hot dry conditions this year have left many pastures not only short on dry matter tonnage, but also short on the nutrient density required to maintain the lactating cow.

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Forage Testing Can Save Dollars

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 15:07
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

As cow-calf producers strive to reduce feed costs by finding different avenues to increase grazing days, many still have to use harvested forages in their year-round feeding program.  Sampling and testing forages for quality can make designing a feeding program easy and economical.  Nutrient concentration can vary considerably in feeds especially forages.  Protein in alfalfa hay can range from 10-25% on a dry matter basis and grass hay will contain between four and 18 percent protein.  Using book values to balance rations can result in many times over or under feeding ce

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Limit Feeding Cows Corn as an Alternative to Hay

Tue, 08/18/2020 - 16:37
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Feed costs make up the largest expense in a cow-calf operation. While hay is often used to feed cows through the winter, current prices make corn a competitive option to feeding hay. Considering corn has a higher energy content than hay, the cost of feeding hay is often higher than corn on a price per pound of energy basis. For example, corn priced at $3.30/bushel ($118/ton) equates to approximately $0.08 per pound of total digestible nutrients (TDN) while hay priced at $100/ton is nearly $0.11 per pound of TDN. 

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Windrow Grazing Annual Forages to Extend the Grazing Season

Tue, 08/18/2020 - 16:28
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

In many areas of 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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Changing Grid Premiums and Discounts Due to Underlying Changes in the Fed Cattle Industry

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:28
Saturday, August 1, 2020

This article was originally published in the June 9, 2020 edition of In The Cattle Markets.

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Feeder Cattle Future Price Spreads: Opportunities to Hedge?

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 14:03
Saturday, August 1, 2020

This article was originally published by In The Cattle Markets on July 20, 2020.

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Nebraska Extension to Host Calf Health Management on Arrival Webinar Series

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 13:34
Saturday, August 1, 2020

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension will host the 2020 Calf Health Management on Arrival Webinar Series. The webinars will take place weekly beginning on Aug. 18.

The Calf Health Management on Arrival Webinar Series is designed to highlight management strategies relative to biocontainment, stress mitigation, nutrition, and treatment options that will set calves up for success. Each session will feature a presentation from an industry expert and a segment featuring a veterinarian or producer perspective.

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Is That Corn Crop Worth More as Silage or Grain?

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 16:45
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Ongoing dry and drought conditions in many parts of the state are supporting hay and forage prices as we look towards this fall.

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Leafy Spurge

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 14:30
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) is a concept to identify potentially invasive species prior to or just as the establishment of the invasive is taking place.  An Integrated Pest Management plan (IPM) can be developed to manage, contain and eradicate the invasive species before it can spread further.  This will avoid costly, long-term control efforts.

Leafy Spurge 

a.k.a. - wolf’s milk, faitours-grass, tithymal
Scientific name:  Euphorbia esula L.
Family:  Euphorbiaceae – (Spurge family)

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Utilizing Summer Annuals

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 10:21
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Whether grazed, harvested for hay, or cut for silage, warm season annual grasses are the kings of forage production.  Common species like forage sorghum, sudangrass, sorghum/sudangrass hybrids, and millets grow best under warmer temperatures, with peak performance at 75-90°F.  All species are highly productive with sudangrass on the lower end producing 3-5 tons per acre and forage sorghum recording yields up to 11 tons per acre.

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Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory Open House Online Webinar sponsored by Elanco

Mon, 07/20/2020 - 16:34
Saturday, August 1, 2020

The 21st annual University of Nebraska–Lincoln Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory (GSL) Open House will be Wednesday, August 26, 2020. The GSL Open House committee made the decision this year to transition the program to live webinar and will offer attendees to interact with presenters. Morning speakers from UNL and Elanco will update producers on beef quality assurance (BQA) programming in Nebraska, discuss why low-stress cattle handling matters, explain the benefits of third-party audits, and review beef sustainability. 

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How Many Pounds of Meat Can We Expect From A Beef Animal?

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 15:53
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Consumers who buy a live animal from a local cattle producer or 4-H member for custom processing are often surprised by the amount of beef they receive, the amount of freezer space needed and that they did not get back the entire live weight of the animal in retail cuts.  This article will discuss how to estimate how much meat you will receive when purchasing an animal to harvest.

Dressing Percentage is an important term to remember as it represents the portion of the live animal weight that transfers to the hot carcass weight.

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Pinkeye in Cattle

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 10:03
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Driving or riding through a pen or pasture of cattle is a favorite chore for many producers.  Making sure our cattle have plenty of clean water, access to feed or forage and monitoring herd health are important aspects of daily care.  When examining cattle, one important disease not to overlook is pinkeye.  Pinkeye is a highly contagious infectious disease that not only affects cattle in Nebraska but worldwide. The incidence and severity of this common disease can vary widely from year to year.

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Phragmites / Common Reed

Mon, 06/29/2020 - 14:41
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) is a concept to identify potentially invasive species prior to or just as the establishment of the invasive is taking place.  An Integrated Pest Management plan (IPM) can be developed to manage, contain and eradicate the invasive species before it can spread further.  This will avoid costly, long-term control efforts.

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Silage for Beef Cattle Conference Moves to Free, Online-Only Webinar Series

Fri, 06/26/2020 - 17:06
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Nebraska Extension, Lallemand Animal Nutrition and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are hosting the third Silage for Beef Cattle Conference with one major change:  this year, the event will be a series of four, hour-long free webinars held from July 7 through Aug. 4, 2020.

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Annual Forages Planted in Middle to Late Summer can be Excellent Fall Feed

Fri, 06/26/2020 - 14:28
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Dry conditions in many parts of the state are challenging producers to consider options for growing additional forage to provide feed for this fall and winter. In some parts of the state, less than 50% of long-term average precipitation has been received from the middle of April to the middle of June. This has severely impacted forage production from perennial dryland hay fields as well as yields from winter and spring annual forages.

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Pollinators and Nebraska Rangelands

Fri, 06/26/2020 - 11:50
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Native rangelands are well known for their importance as a forage resource to beef cattle and other livestock. These same rangelands are also an essential resource for smaller six-legged foragers: insect pollinators. Insect pollinators include a diverse number of species of beetles, flies, wasps, butterflies, moths, and bees, many of which are found on rangelands in Nebraska. Pollinators are integral in maintaining healthy ecosystems and food security for humans.

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Options for Reducing Stocking Rates Due to Dry Conditions

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 16:59
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Hot and dry conditions are persisting in Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas and have expanded into portions of Nebraska, reducing range and pasture production. Forage production on cool-season dominate pasture and rangeland is highly correlated to precipitation and soil moisture from March through May. If adequate soil moisture is not present during this period, vegetation will not be able to fully express its growth potential. On rangelands with predominately warm-season grasses, precipitation in June and July will contribute to continued forage growth.

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Managing Cows through Dry Conditions

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 12:06
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Hot, dry conditions in early summer have taken a toll on grass growth in much of the Great Plains this year. There are several options cattle producers may want to consider to conserve grass in these dry areas. Every producer should have a drought plan that includes trigger dates and a culling strategy, but once those top cuts are made, what feeding options are there for the core herd?

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