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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Livestock Systems

Click to view Archived News Articles by Ben Beckman
Ben Beckman is a beef systems Extension Educator serving the counties of Antelope, Cedar, Knox, Madison and Pierce.  He is based out of the Cedar County Extension office in Hartington.  You can reach him by phone: (402) 254-6821 or email:

The time for spring planting alfalfa is just around the corner. Selecting the right seed is crucial, and two traits to consider are fall dormancy and winter survival. These traits are often treated the same, but are different.
The 2024 beef feedlot roundtables will discuss new technologies in cattle feeding, a 2024 market outlook, severe weather responses, results of the 2022 National Beef Quality audit and hiring employees on visas. The information will be presented by UNL faculty, Nebraska beef producers, and speakers from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Nebraska Cattlemen affiliates. Anyone interested is welcome to attend the meetings Feb. 13, 14 and 15 in Bridgeport, Gothenburg and West Point, respectively.
Feeding hay can be one of the biggest expenses livestock operations have during the winter months. As we continue through the winter, are there opportunities to reduce feed losses and increase our feed efficiencies.
High fertilizer prices mean decisions about pasture fertility need to be weighed carefully, balancing the cost with rewards. However, it may also be an opportunity to consider alternative fertility options like interseeding legumes. Interseeding improves pasture production in two main ways, through fertility and quality. While winter may not seem like the time to put seed in the ground, alternative seeding methods like frost seeding and feeding seed may be exceptions to the rule.
While breeding season may be a ways off, making sure our bulls are cared for throughout the winter and ready to go when it is time to turn out is critical. A sound and fertile bull can mean the difference between success or failure of next year’s calf crop.