Monthly Archives: December 2015

Manage bull costs with these producer tips

Manage bull costs with these producer tips

Wes Ishmael


“Decades ago, my granddad used the rule of thumb that a good bull is worth about five weaned calves, or about three finished steers,” says Donnell Brown of R.A. Brown Ranch at Throckmorton, Texas. “Our family has used that rule of thumb ever since. It continued to hold up well in a commodity market, but may need to change as there are more value-added opportunities for our customers.”

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Preventing calf scours

Preventing calf scours

Stacy White

Middlesboro Daily News

“Neonatal” calf diarrhea is defined as scours when it occurs within the first three weeks of a calf’s life. Bacteria, viruses and parasites can attack the lining of the calf’s intestine and cause diarrhea. The decrease in absorption of essential nutrients from milk leads to weight loss and dehydration. If the disease level is severe, calves often die, but even calves that survive will perform poorly for the remainder of their lives when compared to healthy calves.

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What happens in a cattle feedlot-Aerial Images

What happens in a cattle feedlot-Aerial Images

Ryan Goodman

Agriculture Proud

Google cattle feedlot aerial photos and you come up with a number of results that describe the “horrors of industrial beef”. People like to make these images out to be scary and damaging for conventional cattle operations. Even when an artist shares touched-up aerial shots of feedlots as a piece of art, opponents use them to demonize this way of finish feeding cattle.

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Using magnesium supplements to prevent grass tetany

Using magnesium supplements to prevent grass tetany

Rusty Clark

The Leaf Chronicle

Symptoms often observed include nervousness, lack of coordination, muscular spasms, staggering, convulsions, coma, milk yield decrease and death. If you suspect cattle are stricken with Grass Tetany a veterinarian should be contacted immediately as early treatment may save the animals.

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Omnibus Legislation Affects Cattlemen

Omnibus Legislation Affects Cattlemen

Angus Beef Bulletin

With bipartisan support, Congress passed the $1.15 trillion Omnibus Appropriations Bill Dec. 18, funding much of the government through fiscal year 2016. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis said the bill contained several victories for cattlemen and women.

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You might be a ranch kid if…

You might be a ranch kid if…

Dave Specht


At some point every boy or girl raised on a ranch realizes that life is different for them than it is for almost every other kid in the world.  It may be when you go away to college or when you head off the big city for an event.  There are several clues that will definitely help you to realize that you would be considered a ranch kid. 

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Safety in Working and Handling Livestock

Safety in Working and Handling Livestock

Rory Lewandowski


During the holiday season it can be easy to think about holiday plans and preparations and lose some focus when working with livestock, or perhaps you will have some non-farm family members or friends visiting and "helping" with livestock chores.

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IBBA Coordinates Successful International Field Day

IBBA Coordinates Successful International Field Day

The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) international committee held a very successful International Field Day at the Embassy Suites DFW North at Outdoor World in Grapevine, Texas.  IBBA international committee chair, Buck Thomason, kicked off the event by welcoming all of the participants to the United States.  Thomason discussed the importance of their visit for the growth of Brangus genetics throughout the world.

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Tips for assisting a difficult birth

Tips for assisting a difficult birth

Aaron Berger

Progressive Cattleman

Dr. Robert Mortimer from Colorado State University has written “Calving and Calving Difficulties,” and Dr. Richard Randle from the University of Nebraska has written “Assisting the Beef Cow at Calving Time.” Both resources provide information for assisting a difficult birth and are the basis for the guidelines given here.

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Insights on changes in feed-grade antibiotic use

Insights on changes in feed-grade antibiotic use

Russ Daly, DVM


Livestock producers and veterinarians recently gained a bit more insight into the changes they’ll be facing in the way antibiotics are used in food animals. Back in December 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published “guidance for industry” documents that outlined, among other changes, how the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) will become a critical component of food animal feed-grade antibiotic use. This June, the FDA came out with their “final rule” regarding how the VFD will be used – providing more detail about this classification of feed-grade antibiotics.

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Should you keep or sell your replacement heifer prospects?

Should you keep or sell your replacement heifer prospects?

Beef Roundtable

The market crash that started in late summer of 2015 and continued through the end of the year caused many cow-calf producers to mash a thumb on the pause button of herd rebuilding. As a result, heifers that may have been a copper-riveted cinch to become replacements looked a little less appealing in light of falling cattle prices.

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Prepare Cattle Facilities for Winter and Beyond

Prepare Cattle Facilities for Winter and Beyond

Del Williams

Cattle Today

In the brief, post-harvest, fall season before daylight grows short and the first frost prevents cattle from grazing in the pasture, farmers and ranchers running cow-calf operations finally have the time and labor available to prepare their facilities for the long winter ahead.

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Equipping the forage tool belt

Equipping the forage tool belt

Mike Rankin

Hay and Forage Grower

Black Friday is but a distant memory, the unwrapping ceremonies are complete, and Santa is back at the North Pole sipping hot chocolate, if not something stronger. The attention this week turns to a new year.

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Did you get a drone for Christmas? Don’t Forget to Register!

Did you get a drone for Christmas? Don’t Forget to Register!

On the Farm Radio

“Unmanned aerial systems can make farms safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly – and that helps everyone,” said Maryland farmer Chip Bowling, president of National Corn Growers Association. “If you’re stuffing a stocking with a hobby drone this holiday, take advantage of the free registration window and get it registered.”

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Marketing Branded Beef Works for Farms and Ranches

Marketing Branded Beef Works for Farms and Ranches

Wyatt Bechtel

Ag Web

An increasing amount of consumers want to know more about their food and are looking for local products. Beef producers have started to catch onto that trend and are seeing success in starting their own branded beef programs.

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Cover Crops for Forage Require Careful Herbicide Use

Cover Crops for Forage Require Careful Herbicide Use

Iowa Ag Connection

Many farmers are now becoming more interested in cover crops due to their soil conservation and water quality benefits, and livestock producers may find them attractive as food for grazing animals. But farmers need to exercise caution when it comes to herbicide selection if they intend to graze or harvest the cover crop.

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Conference Has Beef Production Information for Producers in the Driftless Region

Conference Has Beef Production Information for Producers in the Driftless Region

Denise Schwab

Iowa State University

The conference will be held at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque, a central location for driftless region producers and sponsors — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, University of Illinois Extension, University of Minnesota Extension, and University of Wisconsin Extension.

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Prepare for the Unpleasant

Prepare for the Unpleasant

Angus Beef Bulletin Extra

Kay Ledbetter

“We are just out of the drought of the decades, and rangeland recovery is under way,” McCollum said, “but the strong El Niño is over next spring, and we could revert back to dry conditions very quickly.”

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Protein Effects on Reproductive Efficiency

Protein Effects on Reproductive Efficiency

Taylor Grussing


Reproductive failure and reproductive losses cost the US beef and dairy industries over $1 billion dollars annually (Bellows et al., 2002). In addition, the number one reason for culling cows is pregnancy status (33%), closely followed by age and poor teeth (32%; NAHMS, 2008).

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Cut winter cattle feeding costs with corn residue

Cut winter cattle feeding costs with corn residue

Peter Vitti


For years, I have seen cornfields popping up over the Prairies (sorry for the pun). Much of this crop is harvested for corn silage, but significant acres are picked for grain. When just the cobs are harvested there is a tremendous amount of residue left on the ground.

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