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Updated: 25 min 58 sec ago

Developing Heifers to Fit Their Production Environment

Mon, 09/27/2021 - 15:44
Friday, October 1, 2021

As producers begin selecting replacement heifers, a commonly asked question is, “What is the best method for developing heifers?” Considering the expenses involved in developing replacements, determining the most cost-effective system for a specific production environment is important for both long-term profitability and longevity of those females.

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Safely Grazing Frosted Sorghums

Mon, 09/27/2021 - 15:20
Friday, October 1, 2021

The first light frosts are still a few weeks away in Nebraska. However, planning for these events should be considered by beef producers grazing plants in the sorghum family. In addition to sorghum, plants such as sudangrass, and milo or grain sorghum fall under this same level of risk as colder temperatures draw near. Following a freeze, these forages can be highly toxic with prussic acid. Drought, pasture clipping, and overgrazing are other events that can cause increased levels of prussic acid. 

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Range Beef Cow Symposium XXVII coming to Rapid City, South Dakota

Mon, 09/27/2021 - 14:47
Friday, October 1, 2021

The Range Beef Cow Symposium (RBCS) will be held in person November 16-17, 2021 in Rapid City, SD. The RBCS has been held every other year since 1969 and is hosted by South Dakota State University, Colorado State University, University of Wyoming, and University of Nebraska beef cattle extension.

The RBCS is a great place not only to hear the latest updates on topics of interest to the beef industry, but is also a great place to network with producers, industry leaders, and the vendors who make it happen.

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Webinar Planned on Winter Cow Care Agreements

Tue, 08/31/2021 - 11:20
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability will host a webinar that examines the development of winter cow care agreements at noon on Sept. 2.   

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What Are Video Auctions and CME Futures Telling Us About Fall Feeder Cattle Prices?

Tue, 08/31/2021 - 11:01
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The feeder cattle market has experienced a significant amount of price variation between March and July. There has been upward price pressure from historically strong retail meat demand and meat exports to China. While there have been positive price movements for feeder cattle, most of the downward price pressure has come over the uncertainty of forage production and higher grain prices.

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Test, Don’t Guess - sampling and testing hay

Thu, 08/26/2021 - 16:45
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Fall is here and the weather reminds us of the changing of the seasons. This is the time of year when many producers are hauling hay home for the winter as well as pricing and purchasing hay. There is a tremendous range in hay quality depending upon level of maturity, fertilization, growing conditions, harvest circumstances and storage methods. Accurately sampling and testing hay is the only way to get a real understanding of the nutritive value of feed.

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Making Soybeans as Hay or Silage

Tue, 08/24/2021 - 11:39
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Some parts of the state are not getting the moisture for their soybean crop so the decision to salvage them for hay or silage may have to be made. Soybean hay or silage can have feed values very similar to alfalfa; but it is very important to put it up properly.

The first thing is not to get in a big hurry because August rains could make a crop. Harvest soybean forage when leaves start to turn yellow; just before they drop off. It’s especially important to harvest before a freeze to prevent rapid leaf loss.

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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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