Category Archives: Feed Shortage

In the Grip of Drought, Producers Turn to By-Product Feeds

In the Grip of Drought, Producers Turn to By-Product Feeds

by Evan Whitley

Noble Foundation

I don’t know what we have done to Mother Nature, but she is mad. Lack of rain has caused cattle producers to scramble for any means possible just to hold on to their cattle. This proposition would have been hard enough just based on this year’s lack of moisture. But, the fact that many producers are fighting the effects of last year as well has made it darn near impossible. However, if we are trying to stay positive, then one good thing that has come out of all this is we have had to stretch conventional thought paradigms and incorporate some pretty unorthodox thinking.

An example of this revolves around supplementing alternative feedstuffs to mature cows. Now, don’t get me wrong, we should rarely ever feel good about hand-feeding mature cows 75 to 80 percent of their daily nutrient requirements. However, it is nice to know we could if it is economically justifiable and the cattle are “good” enough to merit this kind of thinking.

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Cattlemen seek additional feed sources

Cattlemen seek additional feed sources

by Tom Steever

A scarcity of feed in some parts of the country has cattle feeders clamoring for new resources to sustain their cattle through the winter. Cattlemen 160 strong crammed a Springfield, Illinois extension center Wednesday to hear nutrition specialists talk about the value of feeding co-products from the processing of corn and soybeans into renewable fuels, sweeteners and beverages.

Early frost and a dry season exacted a high cost to cattlemen in lost forage, according to Dave Seibert, animal systems educator at the University of Illinois.

“Many of them had to feed either all or part of their hay this summer just to get the cows through, so they’re out looking for other sources of feed to really assist with getting their cows through the winter,” Seibert told Brownfield during a break in the day-long program, “and especially if they calve in the winter, that means that they’re nutritional demands are that much higher.”

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UNL programs focus on by-product feeding

UNL programs focus on by-product feeding

Gothenburg Times

LINCOLN—Two upcoming University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension programs Dec. 5 and 19 will use ongoing UNL research to help producers determine if by-product feeding is a economical feed staple in their operations.

The expansion of the ethanol production industry in Nebraska has created opportunities for cattle producers to use byproducts as a feed source. The programs will focus on using ethanol byproducts from feed rations to storage.

The programs run from 7-9 p.m. Both programs will be at the Saunders County Extension Office located at the UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center’s August. N. Christenson Research and Education Building near Mead.

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Recovering from the freeze and drought of 2007

Recovering from the freeze and drought of 2007

by Bryce Roberts

Spencer Magnet

Spencer County farmers are not likely to soon forget the past year. A double punch of a late spring freeze and a summer drought has left pasture and hay fields gasping. Now that some rain is again falling, producers may be wondering how well their fields will recover and if they can make changes to better prepare for future weather problems.

“There are no easy answers for recovery,” said Ray Smith, extension forage specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. “There’s no miracle cures. Good, sound forage management is really what is needed.”

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Washington County Va. to vote on hay bailout

Washington County Va. to vote on hay bailout

TriCities.com

ABINGDON, Va. – The Washington County Board of Supervisors will decide at its Dec. 11 meeting whether to spend $250,000 to help bring hay to Washington County farmers at a lower price than they’re paying now.

“The consensus of the board is this is an important industry,” Chairman Kenneth Reynolds said of agriculture in the county.

“I can remember my father saying if we’re not careful with the way development and things are going – and this was back some 30 years ago – if we’re not careful, the American people are going to go hungry,” Supervisor Dulcie Mumpower said. “We do give incentives for our industries from time to time.”

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Troughs needed to stretch hay supply

Troughs needed to stretch hay supply

by Rusty Evans

The Leaf Chronicle

Jim Neel of University of Tennessee Animal Science shares some tips with us this week on winter beef cattle nutrition:

Feed troughs will be needed for cow-calf producers who are planning to stretch their hay supply this winter with corn or concentrate feeding.

However, most Tennessee cow-calf producers do not have adequate trough space to get the job done.

When serving as a hay stretcher, corn or other concentrate feeds will need to be limit-fed. This requires trough space for all the animals to eat at the same time.

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Webcast Tonight: Getting through the Winter on a tight Forage Supply

Webcast Tonight: Getting through the Winter on a tight Forage Supply

The April freeze in addition to the dry summer left some Indiana pastures in less than ideal condition. However, this creates an opportunity for growers to make improvements, according to Keith Johnson, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service forage expert.

To help livestock owners get through the winter on a short forage supply, Purdue Extension will host an IP-videoconference & Webcast Nov. 20 from 7-9 p.m. EST that may either be viewed online or at locations around Indiana.

To view on the IP Video connection:

Contact your local Indiana Extension office.

To View via the internet:

Participants with a high speed Internet connection, web browser and Microsoft Windows Media Player, can log on and watch the videoconference live from their own computer at mms://video.dis.purdue.edu/agcomm or CLICK HERE. This link will be made active on the day of the event. Bookmark this page to return to it on Nov. 20.

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Hay Is A Valuable Commodity – Save Money By Limiting Feeding Waste

Hay Is A Valuable Commodity – Save Money By Limiting Feeding Waste

Cattlenetwork.com

Storage and feeding losses can accrue for any hay bale type, but large, round hay bale management systems often lead to the greatest and most consistent losses. By the time that hay is fed, much of it will have lost more than 25 percent of its feeding value. Research on hay storage often supports what many producers say, “I get about three bales’ worth of feed out of every four bales that I put up.”

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Good hay storage, feeding management help stretch winter feed supply

Good hay storage, feeding management help stretch winter feed supply

University of Minnesota

How you store and feed hay can make a big difference in how long your hay supply lasts this winter. Overall short supplies have been driving up hay prices in many areas, says Dave Kjome, southeast Minnesota dairy educator with the University of Minnesota’s Extension Service.

Storage can have a lot of impact on quality and quantity, especially with big round bales, says Kjome. He cites information from Iowa State University extension crop specialists Jim Jensen and Al Seim. “They concluded from a study that even when the big bales are covered or stored inside, curing loss of hay dry matter amounts to five percent,” he says. “They also found that hay stored outdoors is subject to additional weather losses. Dry matter weight losses of 10-25 percent were common. The more fibrous, weathered hay can be as much as 25 percent lower in feeding value.”

Kjome cites another Iowa State study showing the value of binding bales with plastic net and storing on crushed rock. This practice reduced weathering and digestible dry matter losses. Hay in the outer 12 inches of the round bale mass, which represents 66 percent of the volume, had a higher nutritive value.

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Purdue Webcast: Getting through the Winter on a tight Forage Supply

Purdue Webcast: Getting through the Winter on a tight Forage Supply

The April freeze in addition to the dry summer left some Indiana pastures in less than ideal condition. However, this creates an opportunity for growers to make improvements, according to Keith Johnson, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service forage expert.

To help livestock owners get through the winter on a short forage supply, Purdue Extension will host an IP-videoconference & Webcast Nov. 20 from 7-9 p.m. EST that may either be viewed online or at locations around Indiana.

To view on the IP Video connection:

Contact your local Indiana Extension office.

To View via the internet:

Participants with a high speed Internet connection, web browser and Microsoft Windows Media Player, can log on and watch the videoconference live from their own computer at mms://video.dis.purdue.edu/agcomm . This link will be made active on the day of the event. Bookmark this page to return to it on Nov. 20.

FULL STORY

Alternative By-product Commodities for Growing Replacement Heifers

Alternative By-product Commodities for Growing Replacement Heifers

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

Because of the limited forage resources, many producers may be planning on growing fewer than usual (if any at all) replacement heifers. Nonetheless, the replacement heifers that are in the future plans for Oklahoma cow herds must be fed adequately to be grown completely and ready for the next breeding season. In most instances, heifers need to gain 1 to 1.5 pounds per day from weaning to the start of the breeding season. Standing forage could be in extremely short supply and harvested hays lacking in both quality and quantity. Therefore, producers may find themselves looking for alternative feeds that can be purchased that will provide both energy and protein and yet be comparatively safe to feed in pasture or drylot situations.

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Grazing management strategies vary with time and pressure

Grazing management strategies vary with time and pressure

By Doug Rich

High Plains Journal

Grazing sounds simple, turn the cows, calves, goats or sheep out and let them eat grass. But, at the Missouri Forage and Grassland Council annual conference, producers learned there are many different grazing management strategies.

Producers can choose from a variety of grazing strategies ranging from high stock density grazing, grazing for a healthy ecosystem, New Zealand style grazing or patch burn grazing. Each style has its own benefits depending on the individual producer’s available resources, labor and goals.

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Beef producers should avoid surprises, inventory feed resources

Beef producers should avoid surprises, inventory feed resources

Rensselaer Republican

WEST LAFAYETTE – Not all bales feed the same, and producers need to take that into consideration when feeding cattle, said a Purdue University expert.

The actual bale weight is not the amount that cattle will consume. Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef management specialist, said it’s important to not make assumptions based on bale weight alone.

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Cattlemen see drought as natural climate cycle

Cattlemen see drought as natural climate cycle

By Jeff DeYoung,

Iowa Farmer Today

Severe drought in much of the country over the past decade has affected the cattle industry.

Joe Schuele, director of communications for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), says Southeastern producers are bearing the brunt of this year’s drought.

“They are really looking at a drought unlike anything they’ve seen this decade,” he says. “The Far West has had a rough year, and of course, the Southern Plains were very dry until this year.” Schuele says NCBA does not believe the dry weather is related to anything more than a cyclical change in the climate

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Analyzing Your Forage

Analyzing Your Forage

Cattlenetwork.com

Forage quality changes with maturity and storage. A forage test can supply useful information about the nutritive value of hay or pasture. This information can be used to adjust the amount of supplement fed. If forage quality is high, the producer can feed less supplement, resulting in savings. Conversely, if the forage quality is low, diet supplementation can improve animal performance, and increase profits. This article discusses how to take a forage sample and how to interpret the laboratory results.

Taking a forage sample: Forage testing forms can be obtained from many county Extension offices or from the website of the lab you plan to use. Several labs are listed here. These forms contain complete instructions on how to collect forage samples. Proper collection and identification of a sample is very important. A tool is needed to collect hay samples. Your local Extension office may have a Penn State Forage Sampler or similar device. A hay sampler consists of a long tube with a cutting edge on one end and a shank on the other that can be fastened to an electric drill or hand brace.

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Forage shortage has potential to cause three-year hit

Forage shortage has potential to cause three-year hit

Julie Douglas

Rushville Republican

WEST LAFAYETTE — Last April’s freeze and dry summer weather will not only affect farmers this year, but also could potentially hit pocketbooks for three years.

Helping beef producers cope with short forage supplies this winter is the goal of an IP videoconference being held Nov. 20 by Purdue University experts.

“Many beef producers in Indiana and in the Eastern part of the United States are facing a short forage supply,” Ron Lemenager, a Purdue Extension beef specialist said.

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Corn Stalk Grazing Calculator Now Available

Corn Stalk Grazing Calculator Now Available

KTIC

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — A University of Nebraska-Lincoln spreadsheet allows farmers and ranchers to make better informed decisions about cattle grazing corn stalks. The Excel spreadsheet, titled The Corn Stalk Grazing Calculator, can be accessed at http://www.agmanagerstools.com. The spreadsheet, designed by UNL agricultural economists Matt Stockton and Roger Wilson and animal nutritionist Aaron Stalker all at the West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte, not only estimates the number of animals that can be supported on a given field of corn stalks with a specified yield, but also has an economic evaluation including the cost to transport the livestock and check their care and conditions. “With corn harvest nearing completion and weaning time for many producers happening this month, farmers and ranchers are likely to be negotiating the terms of agreements with landowners to graze their corn stalk residues,” Stockton said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s cattle inventory report counted more than 1.9 million beef cows that calved in Nebraska.

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Farmers seeking cure for hay headaches

Farmers seeking cure for hay headaches

Woes from spring freeze and months of drought add up

Thonline.com

By Jim Suhr

ST. LOUIS — On his southern Illinois spread, where some 450 cows look to him for food, the only thing that seems to be growing these days are Dale Moreland’s headaches over hay.

The 55-year-old cattleman, like others in the Midwest and beyond, has been hurt by a one-two punch of a spring freeze and months of drought. That combination has savaged hay crops and kept pastures from greening, forcing producers to tap hay stockpiles months earlier than usual.

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Roughage Alternatives to Hay

Roughage Alternatives to Hay

Carolina Virginia Farmer

Matt Poore, N.C. State University Beef Cattle Specialist, speaking Oct 23 at an Area Cattle Drought Meeting in Laurinburg, N.C., told cattle producers to consider alternative roughages to offset hay shortages brought on by the drought this year.

Many high concentrate diets are carried to the cattle by hand but most producers favor other methods of delivering feed to cattle, he said. Alternative roughages to hay are the answer for many.

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Corn Stalks & A Protein Block…..That All You Got?

Corn Stalks & A Protein Block…..That All You Got?

Cattlenetwork.com

Feeding the cow herd this winter will be a challenge that will have farmers looking at all options for meeting the nutritional needs of their cattle. Corn fields are dotted with large rolls of baled corn stalks, which have prompted even non-farm folks to wonder about this unusual sight. We know from the numerous questions we get that many producers plan to use stalks as a significant part of their winter feeding program.

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