Travis Mulliniks, Range Cattle Nutritionist
Greetings from the staff, students, faculty, and crew at GSL!
The last year has been another mentally and physically challenging test for
many producers. With another year of limited rainfall and in some areas
decreased forage quality, pregnancy rates across the state have been all across the
board. Along with the limited moisture this last year, we had a shortage in hay
produced and overall hay inventory. Coupling low hay supplies and a wet, cold
winter, we have seen a lot of thinner than average cows across the state. With
good contingency planning and herd management by the crew, our March-
calving cows at GSL calved on average in a better body condition score than
our historic average. Jacki Musgrave and John Nollette will get you up to date
on the cattle operations with the Ranch Update.
Currently, the drought outlook for much of the Sandhills and western
Nebraska is a little optimistic that drought conditions may be eased up. While we
may like to be optimistic about spring moisture, making sure you have an updated
drought/contingency plan will be important as we move closer to the growing
season. As Jerry Volesky points out in the weather and forage forecast, we may
want to be planning a later turnout than our “normal” turnout. This means our
contingency or feeding plans may need to go out into middle part of June.
As Andy Applegarth retired this last November, John Nollette was promoted
and transitioned to a lead role of operations. Over the last couple of years,
John has taken on more and more responsibilities at GSL and has done a
tremendous job leading the crew. As research increased at GSL the last several
years, John was instrumental at meeting the challenges and helping scientists
and faculty achieve their goals with beef production systems research. With
that, check out more about John in our staff spotlight this edition.
We are currently advertising for the 2023 Ranch Practicum. Troy Walz has
done a tremendous job of advertising and has had a lot of interest early on this
year for participants. Later in the newsletter is more information. If you are
interested in the Practicum, please send them Troy’s way at 308-872-6831.
Just a reminder the 24th Annual UNL GSL Open House will be held
Wednesday, August 23rd. More information will be coming out this summer on
the agenda; however, we do plan this to be a hybrid event with an in-person and
virtual option as we have done the last three years. We had a great turnout and
program this last year with approximately 205 in-person and online
participants from 7 different states and 3 countries (US, New Zealand, and Canada).
Moving to a hybrid format has really helped increase the reach of what is going
on at UNL and GSL. We continue to receive extremely positive feedback on the
direction of the Open House and overall research objectives showcased during
the Open House. So, kudos to the crew and faculty that help put this on each
We hope you get something out of this issue and please let us
know how we can better serve you.