Cold Weather Feedyard Management
Mark J. Venner, Beef Enterprise Consultant, Land O’ Lakes Farmland Feed
The winters of 1998 and 1999 have spoiled us with excellent weather (and performance), however December 2000 has had days that remind us what terms like wind-chill and blizzard are. While we can not change the weather, we can implement some management and production techniques that increase cattle comfort and keep cost of gain figures from increasing.
Many environmental factors influence nutrient requirements and the subsequent performance of cattle. The most important variable is temperature, however wind, snow, rain and mud also cause winter stress. Cold is an obvious stress factor that increases an animal’s demand for energy. As this demand for energy (maintenance) increases more feed is used for heat and less is available for gain.
Grazier: Defining stocking rate and stock density
I’ve found that a number of cattlemen and other livestock producers really don’t understand the difference between stocking rate and stock density. Some tend to use the terms interchangeably, though they’re actually two very different concepts, with very different effects on the pasture-livestock system.
Simply put, stocking rate is the basic relationship between livestock and the forage resource. It’s the number of animals on the entire grazing unit for the entire grazing season. Think of stocking rate in terms of either animals per acre or liveweight per acre. If we have 100 acres and 100 yearling steers weighing 700 lbs., the stocking rate is one steer/acre or 700 lbs. liveweight/acre.
Grains Are Higher; What About Livestock?
Corn continues to be the ingredient everyone is watching. The latest price run-up in corn has many people talking about a new all-time high. Of course, wheat and soybean prices also have been exploding.
While the decision is primarily between corn and soybeans in the Corn Belt area, the decision on the fringes of corn country is between corn and wheat. In many cases, wheat and soybeans look like a more profitable alternative right now.
Cow Calf: Steps To Proper Heifer Development
Follow these steps for proper heifer development:
1. At weaning, select the oldest heifers that are closest to their target weight. Select at least 20% more heifers than are needed, which will allow you to cull and replace heifers that do not perform during development.
Oklahoma soil has wide range of nutrient needs
By Joe Benton
If there was a simple $10 add-on that could be purchased at the parts store, installed in less than 30 minutes with a tool as simple as a screwdriver and would guarantee an improvement in the fuel efficiency of your cars, trucks and tractors, for as long as three years, would you do it?
Soil testing is a similar scenario; it takes less than 30 minutes to collect a good sample, one trip to town to deliver it to the Extension Office, it costs $10, a soil probe is about as simple as a screwdriver and it will guarantee an improvement in crop production efficiency for up to three years before it needs to be done again. Whether you are growing forages, a garden, lawn or flowers, determining plant nutrient needs is essential to the health of what you are growing.
Cattle Health: Hit Them Where It Hurts, Effective Fly Control
Effective pest control takes into account an insect’s life cycle, how mobile it is, how it eats, and what it feeds on. These key characteristics are different for each of the flies that beef producers have to deal with. Proper identification of problem flies is the first step in selecting appropriate management strategies — and avoiding spending money on products or practices that have little chance of working.
Using Ionophores in Replacement Heifer Diets
Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University
In an effort to insure more replacement heifers are bred to calve early in their first calving season, ranchers should consider using a supplement containing an ionophore in the growing diet of the heifers. “Ionophore” is the generalized name for the feed additives monensin (Rumensin) and lasalocid (Bovatec). Both are presently approved for use with growing programs for replacement heifers.
Research conducted in Texas and Wyoming indicated that growing heifers fed 200 mg monensin per head per day reached puberty at an earlier age than did similar heifers fed similar diets containing no monensin. Similar data is available for lasalocid.
Cattle Update: Functions Of Management
Management is often defined along functional lines. The functions of management can be described as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.
Planning is the development of the mission, goals, and tactics that will set the course for the business. Estimating costs and returns is part of the planning function. Planning includes data collection, problem solving, and decision making. Identifying, diagnosing, and prescribing solutions for problems are a part of the planning process.
Don’t Throw that Hay Away
by Ed Haag
With production costs as high as they are, no one can afford to throw away an amount of hay equal to what their cattle consume, but that is precisely what you could be doing if you aren’t paying attention to how you handle that forage.
Robert Kallenbach, Department of Agronomy, University of Missouri (MU), has studied the hay-feeding process and is still surprised by how much of it is wasted during and after that activity.
“It is not unusual to see 30% of what is fed not going into the animal,” he says. “That can have a big impact on the cost of maintaining your herd.”
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Mucosal BVD Disease
An animal persistently infected with NCP-BVD virus is not able to elicit any defense against becoming subsequently infected with the CP-BVD virus. When a CP-BVD infection is superimposed onto a NCP-BVD infected animal, mucosal BVD disease can result. The clinical signs of mucosal BVD disease are similar to but even more severe than those associated with the chronic form of BVD. The erosions extend from the muzzle, through the gut, and out the rear.
Final Brief Filed in OTM Rule Case
11 plaintiffs, including R-CALF USA, have filed their final reply brief in their request that a District Court in South Dakota issue a preliminary injunction to suspend USDA’s over-30-month Rule. The rule became affective last November and opened the Canadian border to imports of live cattle born after March 1, 1999, and beef products from Canadian cattle of any age. Attorneys for both sides have suggested the District Court hold a hearing on the preliminary injunction as soon as February 19th or 20th.
Paying too much at the trough
Delta Farm Press
Paying too much at the pump has transitioned into paying too much at the feed trough.
“Like fuel, some feedstuffs today are twice as expensive compared to a few years ago,” says Shane Gadberry, assistant professor-livestock specialist with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Because of this, producers should shop for the most economical sources of protein and energy this winter.
Routine hay analysis at the U of A Diagnostic lab suggests that hay is rarely deficient in protein for pregnant cows, but 40 percent of the hays are inadequate for lactating, or milk-producing, beef cows, Gadberry said. Low-intake protein supplements — like protein blocks and lick tanks — provide unnecessary protein when fed to gestating cows.
While these products are effective at providing supplemental protein, limitations on intake often results in lactating beef cattle remaining energy deficient when wintered on a hay based diet.
Task force begins review of ag regulatory structure
A new task force has begun the difficult job of examining how Indiana’s ag sector is regulated.
The 20-member Indiana Agriculture Regulatory Structure Task Force was created by the Daniels administration “to examine Indiana’s regulatory structure and to take steps, if necessary, to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the state’s regulatory systems,” Ted McKinney of Dow AgroSciences said. He chairs the task force. Representing Farm Bureau is Justin Schneider, IFB staff attorney, who is the task force’s vice chairman. Farm Bureau itself is facilitating the activities of the task force.
Oklahoma water wars
By Trent Loos
For as long as I have attempted to be an advocate for American agriculture, I have struggled to understand why most don’t appreciate the economic impact that agricultural operations have in rural communities. The standard multiplier, to the best of my knowledge, continues to be seven times. For every dollar generated by the local farming operation, it turns over seven times in the community. The Iowa Development Authority tells me that every dairy cow in a county has a $7,000 economic impact on that community.
As we really gear up to hit 2008 rolling, I have committed to do everything possible to explain to non-farm folks the benefits of farming. I understand that people are quick to shun the economic advantages, if they think a pig farm will stink; but let’s face the fact that the migration of young people out of rural America will only turn around if we start telling it like it really is. The bottom line is that new money and new opportunities are vital to sustaining rural America.