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

How much feed or hay do you have going into winter? Will you have enough feed to provide for current cattle numbers?

Consider the “best case” and “worst case” scenarios. Count bales, measure silage, evaluate remaining fall and winter pasture, and estimate how much possible grazing there will be.  Of course, get a real idea of how many calves and feeders you will have. Some may have too much feed laying around that is getting old. Selling some may generate a premium.

The pros and cons of grazing fall alfalfa, and capturing the benefits of targeted fall alfalfa irrigation after a dry year.
New for 2023! Livestock-Related Custom Rates Report

Each year, many Nebraska farmers and ranchers inquire about prevailing rates paid for certain kinds of custom farm services. In addition to the regular biennial custom rates services survey and report, the Center for Agricultural Profitability launched a new survey that provides data for producers and operators that work closely with the livestock industry in Nebraska. View report here

While we may be a ways off yet, greening spring pastures and growing cover crops are great opportunities for livestock to graze and reduce the need for fed forage.  This fresh growth also allows animals to start putting back on condition that may have been dropped over the winter months.  However, this is also the perfect set of conditions for a case of grass tetany.


With everything to get done in the fall, low on the priority list might be planning for pasture improvements next year and weed control.  However, some time spent on these topics this fall could pay dividends next year.

Corn residue can be a valuable grazing resource for cattle.  This year especially with a fairly dry fall and start to winter, stalks have maintained quality and been available for grazing for quite some time.  Typically, corn residue can run around 5-6% Crude Protein (CP) and 50-60% total digestible nutrients (TDN) which is a measure of energy.  For some classes of livestock this may be enough to get by without supplementation, but for others, some extra feed is required.