Nebraska is nationally known as the Beef State. Our team provides research-based information and resources to beef producers to help them provide an economical, safe, quality product to consumers while protecting and preserving Nebraska's vast natural resources.

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Beef Systems

Nutrition, profitability, and health are the themes of the 2020 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Beef Roundup hosted by Nebraska Extension on Tuesday, January 21, and Tuesday, January 28, at 7:00 pm CST (6:00 pm MST). Each evening can be viewed from any location with internet access or at several on-site viewing locations across Nebraska. On Tuesday, January 21, the webinar will cover meeting the mineral requirements of your cow herd and how to adapt cow-calf nutrition to environmental conditions. On Tuesday, January 28, discussions will cover drivers of cow-calf profitability and how to build health resilience into cow-calf systems. Cedar County will host an on-site viewing location at the Extension Office in Hartington. Please contact Ben Beckman at 402-254-6821 for a webinar link or to register for the Hartington on-site viewing of the programs. Please register by January 17. For more information read more.
Hay put up too wet can lead to a number of issues, most notably mold and heat. Since hay is not protected from oxygen like most of our anaerobic fermented feed stuffs (silage, haylage, etc.) high temperatures, moisture, and oxygen allow aerobic bacteria to grow, using plant protein and sugars for growth and producing carbon dioxide, water, and heat. Too much of this and temperatures can rise high enough to kick off a process called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction takes normal proteins and sugars and changes them through a series of chemical reactions into something called the Maillard polymer. The problem is that the resulting Maillard polymer, while tasty to our animals, isn’t great nutritionally. The chemical reactions actually have tied up proteins and lowered the forage’s true crude protein content. Luckily, the solution is fairly simple.

With the wet weather this year, putting up quality hay and keeping it protected from the elements has been a challenge.  While some weathering of bales is to be expected, those that were put up a bit wet, have been sitting in water, or were otherwise saturated need some special considerations.

The market value of agricultural land in Nebraska declined by three percent over the prior year to an average of $2,650 per acre according to the 2019 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey. This marks the fifth consecutive year of downward pressure as market values have dropped.

There are many things on our checklist as we recover from these historic floods and blizzards from the past several days. As we move forward, producers need to know the basics of the Livestock Indemnity Program and how this program may provide financial assistance to help cover livestock losses.
While this winter hasn’t been one for the record books in terms of snow fall, Mother Nature has been sure to remind us that she’s in charge by dropping the temperatures to well below freezing recently. Most producers have been through cold snaps before and are aware of the challenges they present; frozen water sources, increased feed requirements, and keeping a closer eye on the herd to make sure nothing goes awry. Properly understanding what resources we have and how much of an adjustment to make, is critical to properly manage herd nutrient requirements during this time of increased demand.