Daily Archives: May 24, 2007

Mixer Wagon Economics

Mixer Wagon Economics

J.J. Wagner1, D. Peterson2, R. Hanson3 and H.L. Miller4

Departments of Animal and Range Sciences and

Economics and Southeast South Dakota Experiment Farm



Seventy-two Simmental cross and Charolais cross heifers (475 lb.) were utilized in a growing study to estimate the economic value of using a mixer wagon and feed scale to feed light cattle a high roughage diet. Cattle fed the mixed diet gained an additional 22.6 lb on 61.2 lb less dry matter over the 133-day trial than did cattle fed the unmixed diet. Annual ownership and repair costs were assumed to equal $2356. If yearling feeder cattle sold for $80/cwt and if corn, hay and corn silage were worth $90, $80 and $25 per ton, respectively, it would take a minimum of 114 head of feed for 133 days each year to pay annual costs for the wagon. The economic analysis of the data from this trial suggests that even relatively small cattle feeding operations should strongly consider investing in a mixer wagon with a scale.


The Judicious Use of Antimicrobials for Beef Producers

The Judicious Use of Antimicrobials for Beef Producers

Universty of Minnesota


The production of safe and wholesome animal products for human consumption is a primary goal of beef producers. To achieve that goal, producers should be committed to the practice of disease prevention through the use of vaccines, parasite control, stress reduction, environmental management and proper nutritional management. Responsible and timely management practices can reduce the incidence of disease and therefore reduce the need for antimicrobials; however, antimicrobials remain a necessary tool to manage infectious disease in beef herds. Prudent use of antimicrobials is important to reduce livestock pain and suffering as well as minimize losses due to disease. Furthermore responsible antimicrobial use will help minimize antimicrobial resistance in bacteria, which can impact animal health in your operation and the safety of food you produce.


Forage Brassicas

Forage Brassicas


Annual forage brassicas can provide livestock producers with fast-growing, high yielding, quality fall pasture. Brassicas are a group of closely related plants, which include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rape, radish, turnip, rutabaga and swede. They have been used extensively in Europe as livestock forage, especially by sheep, for at least 600 years. Brassicas tolerate temperatures down to -5 degrees C and are well adapted to the cool, northern parts of Canada. Forage brassicas grow best on well drained soils with a pH of at least 6.


“Preg” Check and Cull Replacement Heifers Early

“Preg” Check and Cull Replacement Heifers Early

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

Many Oklahoma ranchers choose to breed the replacement heifers about a month ahead of the mature cows in the herd.  In addition, they like to use a shortened 45 to 60-day breeding season for the replacement heifers.  The next logical step is to determine which of these heifers failed to conceive in their first breeding season.  This is more important today than ever before.


As the bulls are being removed from the replacement heifers, this would be an ideal time to call and make arrangements with your local veterinarian to have those heifers evaluated for pregnancy in about 60 days.  In two months, experienced palpaters should have no difficulty identifying which heifers are pregnant and which heifers are not pregnant (open).  Those heifers that are determined to be “open” after this breeding season, should be strong candidates for culling.  Culling these heifers immediately after pregnancy checking serves three very economically valuable purposes.


1)      Identifying and culling open heifers early will remove sub-fertile females from the herd.   Lifetime cow studies from Montana indicated that properly developed heifers that were exposed to fertile bulls, but DID NOT become pregnant were often sub-fertile compared to the heifers that did conceive.  In fact, when the heifers that failed to breed in the first breeding season were followed throughout their lifetimes, they averaged a 55% yearly calf crop.  Despite the fact that reproduction is not a highly heritable trait, it also makes sense to remove this genetic material from the herd so as to not proliferate females that are difficult to get bred.


UNL specialist: control pasture weeds now Tell North Platte what you think

UNL specialist: control pasture weeds now  Tell North Platte what you think

by West Central Research and Extension Center – 5/23/2007

North Platte Bulletin

While spring rains have boosted grasses and forages, weeds are also thriving, says a University of Nebraska–Lincoln specialist.

The time to control pasture weeds is now, said Jerry Volesky, range and forage management specialist at the UNL’s West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte.

Some farmers and ranchers tolerate a few weeds in pasturelands, but vigorous patches of weeds will compete for soil moisture and space later in the summer. Substantial weed infestations can significantly reduce the production of desirable grasses.

Spraying with herbicides in late May to mid-June will control most common weeds such as ragweed, ironweed, goldenrod, mullen, sunflowers, marestail, kocia, croton, horseweed and even Russian thistle, as well as noxious weeds.


Feeding high-quality forage boosts animal performance

Feeding high-quality forage boosts animal performance

By Bryce Roberts, ag extension agent

The Spencer Magnet

The ultimate test of forage quality is animal performance. Producing high quality forages is vital to improved animal performance, whether your goal is more pounds of milk, a higher rate of gain, increased wool production, or an improved conception rate.

Forages provide a major percentage of the nutrients for beef and dairy cattle, sheep and goats, horses and ruminant wildlife. If the quality isn’t right, you can’t feed animals enough forage to achieve production goals.

Forage quality is defined as “the extent to which a forage, whether pasture, hay or silage, has the ability to produce the desired animal response.”


Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The May 23, issue # 538, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefMy23.html

Certainly supplementing calves with additional high quality feed while still on their mammas will boost weaning weights, but will it boost profit? Explore that issue in this week’s letter.

Articles include:
* Do The Math Before Creep Feeding
* The Principle of “Value of Added Gain”
* Banding Vs. Cutting
* Forage Focus: Roundup Ready Alfalfa Update
* Glyphosate Preharvest Options
* The Ohio Heifer Development Program Now Accepting Cooperator Applications
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130