Monthly Archives: February 2016

Do we HAVE to cull genetic defect cattle? Science says no

Do we HAVE to cull genetic defect cattle? Science says no

Jared E. Decker


Several years ago, I authored an article for BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly that spelled out my perspective on how the beef industry should manage genetic defects rather than immediately eliminate all carriers. One could assume that is simply the opinion of an academic. However, there are data to back up the view that harsh approaches to eliminate genetic defects have a negative impact on the beef industry.

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Is It Residual or Is It Residue?

Is It Residual or Is It Residue?

Jim Gerrish

On Pasture

A lot of people in grazing circles seem to use these terms interchangeably, but in grazing science they mean two very different things. Residual is the living plant material left behind after a grazing event. For clarity we often say ‘post-grazing residual’. Residue is dead plant material left on the soil surface. It is synonymous with litter or duff.

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Producers monitor lameness, costs

Producers monitor lameness, costs

Caitlin Ellingson

Iowa Farmer Today

To address lameness in cow herds, prevention is better than treatment. J.K. Shearer, a professor of veterinary medicine at Iowa State University, spoke at the Driftless Region Beef Conference here Feb. 4-5, about the common causes of lameness cattle. He said producers should know the signs in order to run a more efficient operation.

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Two Beef Production Management Workshops Scheduled for early March

Two Beef Production Management Workshops Scheduled for early March

Iowa Beef Center

Beef producers who want to hone their management practices are invited to attend one of two workshops set for early March in north central Iowa. Iowa State University Extension program specialist Russ Euken said these “Sharpening Your Beef Cattle Management Skills” events will focus on cow-calf and feedlot management topics.

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Converting Crops to Grass

Converting Crops to Grass

Kay Ledbetter 

Angus Beef Bulletin

A growing interest in shifting out of crop production and into a forage-based system in the Rolling Plains has Stan Bevers, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist in Vernon, consulting his crystal ball. He has some advice for those who are contemplating the move: “Have a multi-year plan and have a chunk of equity, because you can’t borrow your way through this.”

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Heifer development: Rebreeding 1st calf heifers

Heifer development: Rebreeding 1st calf heifers

George Perry, Taylor Grussing


According to the USDA-NASS Cattle Inventory Report that was recently released, beef producers across the country are expected to calve 106% more beef heifers than last year. With this in mind, producers will also be breeding more 2-year old females this year.

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Canada invests in genomic technologies for cattle sector

Canada invests in genomic technologies for cattle sector

Food In Canada

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay has announced a $1-million government investment to increase adoption of genomic technologies in Canada’s cattle sector.

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Missouri continues rebuilding beef cattle herd

Missouri continues rebuilding beef cattle herd

High Plains Journal

Missouri’s cattle farmers and ranchers added 400,000 head to its overall inventory over the last three years, as shown by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service release of the 2016 Missouri Cattle Inventory Report recently. Since 2013, total cattle numbers increased from 3.7 million head to 4.1 million head.

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The Energy Value of Distillers is Greater Than Corn in Forage Based Diets

The Energy Value of Distillers is Greater Than Corn in Forage Based Diets

Mary Drewnoski

University of Nebraska

Distillers grains is greater in protein than corn but it is also greater in energy. When evaluating the cost of supplements for beef cows or calves, producers should be comparing the cost on a per lb of nutrient needed. If one is looking for sources of supplemental energy then the cost per lb of TDN is the way to compare various supplements. Unfortunately, with byproducts it is sometime difficult to know what TDN value to use.

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What is the ideal target weight for heifers? It depends

What is the ideal target weight for heifers? It depends

Wes Ishmael


Heifers can be developed to lighter target weights than the traditional 65% of mature weight by the first day of breeding season without sacrificing reproductive efficiency or longevity. But, it depends on the heifers, the environment and nutritional management during and after breeding season.

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BeefTalk: Where are the Breeding Systems?

BeefTalk: Where are the Breeding Systems?

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

The underlying feel to many discussions today is that cattle are too big. The question often is embedded in other thoughts, such as management, nutrition, reproduction, health or just plain producer ramblings. The question is often vague because data is generally lacking.

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How to stop the most preventable nutritional disease in cattle

How to stop the most preventable nutritional disease in cattle

Paul Beck and Melissa Beck

Progressive Cattleman

Imagine a disease that creates a paralyzing fear in cattle producers, preventing them from utilizing all the forage options available to them. Pasture bloat, also known as frothy bloat, is that disease and is one of the most preventable nutritional diseases in cattle.

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2016 Cow-Calf Production Shows Less Profitability

2016 Cow-Calf Production Shows Less Profitability

Roger Wilson

University of Nebraska

In 2015 the University of Nebraska Agricultural Economics Department formulated four cow-calf budgets. The Sandhills cow/calf producer budget is for a herd of 500 cows and the data is from a panel of producers in Cherry County. The remaining three budgets are the 50-cow herd located in the panhandle of the state, and 300- and 750-head cow herd systems generally located in and around Custer County.

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R-CALF CEO delves into recent drop in beef prices, future proposals that could affect industry

R-CALF CEO delves into recent drop in beef prices, future proposals that could affect industry

Trevor McDonald

Hannibal Courier-Post

n 2015, U.S. beef prices rose to the highest level in history. By the middle of the year, prices plummeted at an unprecedented rate. Bill Bullard, CEO for Ranchers-Cattlemen Legal Fund (R-CALF) — a group that represents individual cattle farmers and ranchers — said the group requested an investigation with the Senate Judiciary Committee into the decline in beef prices, productivity and herd sizes.

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A day in the life of an Iowa farm dog

A day in the life of an Iowa farm dog

Morning Ag Clips

His name was Grouch.  He was a German Shepherd dog: black, broad and taller than most, with a white blaze on his chest.  My dad always claimed Grouch was ‘part wolf,’ mostly because it kept salesmen within earshot off our farm.

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Indiana Forage Council meeting spotlights low-lignin alfalfa, annual forage for livestock

Indiana Forage Council meeting spotlights low-lignin alfalfa, annual forage for livestock

Cheri Frederick

Ag Answers

The Indiana Forage Council will hold its annual meeting and seminar March 7 in Columbia City, offering livestock producers the opportunity to learn how to improve their forage-livestock business.

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Make 2016 the Year of the Customer

Make 2016 the Year of the Customer

Tom Field

Angus Journal

The last quarter of 2015 has seen a significant market correction for feeder calves as cattle feeders struggle to find margins. A strengthening dollar will press the brake on exports, and retail prices are testing the limit of consumer willingness to purchase higher quantities of beef.

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Calving barn video technology

Calving barn video technology

Taylor Grussing


Labor is one of the most valuable resources on the ranch, and producers often try to utilize their time wisely to decrease hours spent on a project. Producers can potentially decease time spent in certain areas of the ranch with the use of modern video technology thus allowing them to multitask.

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SD house committee considers COOL legislation

SD house committee considers COOL legislation

Tri State Livestock News

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association testified in support of House Bill 1228 in front of South Dakota’s House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. The bill would have created a requirement that grocery stores within the State of South Dakota label beef as to its country of origin if the information is available to them.

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Kentucky Farm Bureau Beef Expo exceeds $1.2M in sales

Kentucky Farm Bureau Beef Expo exceeds $1.2M in sales

Lane Report

The Kentucky Farm Bureau Beef Expo, held from Feb. 19-21 in Louisville, generated more than $1.2 million in sales. It was the second highest sales total ever—last year’s total was $1.39 million—and it was the fifth consecutive year sales exceeded $1 million.

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