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.

Active in all 93 counties and at beef.unl.edu

Beef Systems

Whether or not we work in agriculture, in rural Nebraska and other farming and ranching areas, agriculture provides us with some of the first signs of spring. We have all smiled at newborn baby calves bucking, head butting each other, and running with their tails sticking straight out. But those who aren’t farmers or ranchers, or otherwise involved in agriculture, might wonder what “calving season” is and why it is such a big deal to the men and women of agriculture. Driving by those playing calves, they might not realize all that goes into making sure those babies get a good, healthy start.

Aaron Berger, Beef Educator Nebraska Extension

When beef producers look at annual cow costs and doing an economic analysis, three categories tend to make up the largest percentage of total costs: feed, labor/equipment and cow depreciation. Other expenses, such as breeding expense and veterinary costs, tend to be significantly less than the “Big Three.”

Aaron Berger, Extension Educator 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.
In February, Dr. Pablo Loza was making plans to relocate from Argentina to Scottsbluff to assume his duties as the new feedlot management and nutrition specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research Feedlot on May 1. Five months later he remains grounded from traveling by the COVID-19 pandemic, as are so many others. But Loza is stuck farther from his workplace than most. In his apartment in Cordoba, Argentina, he awaits the lifting of restrictions on work visas in the United States.
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?
Many cow-calf producers in Nebraska have become accustomed to using distillers grains as a source of both protein and energy to help meet the nutritional needs of lactating cows from calving until green grass is available. Due to the ongoing distillers shortage, many producers are considering including corn silage in the ration to help alleviate some of the energy shortfall in their hay resources. However, concerns have been expressed that silage in the diet will result in diarrhea or scours in their calves.