Daily Archives: December 21, 2018

High levels of nitrate in oat hay feed can be toxic to cattle.

High levels of nitrate in oat hay feed can be toxic to cattle.

Farm and Ranch Guide

High levels of nitrate in feed can be toxic to cattle, a North Dakota State University Extension livestock expert warns. Nitrate interferes with the oxygen-carrying capacity of the animals’ blood, which can result in abortions and sudden death. “Oat hay is known as a feed prone to accumulate nitrates when grown under environmental stress,” says John Dhuyvetter, Extension livestock systems specialist at the North Central Research Extension Center near Minot, N.D. “It also responds well in growth and yield to nitrogen fertilizer, which contributes to elevated nitrates.”

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What’s Under That Tree?

What’s Under That Tree?

Hannah Williams

American Hereford

Growing up around the cattle industry my Christmas was different than many of my friends’. Instead of new clothes or the latest technology, I often received gifts that would be added to the show barn and my herd. As an eight-year-old I couldn’t have been more excited to figure out what was under all that wrapping paper on the morning of Christmas. As I began tearing into a large box with a camera in my face awaiting to see my surprised look, I took out all of the paper and discovered a small picture, little did I know that picture would change my world. I had just received my first show steer.

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Bermudagrass: 75 years of turning lemons into lemonade

Bermudagrass: 75 years of turning lemons into lemonade

Dennis Hancock

Progressive Forage

n the not-so-good-old days, there was a time when cotton was king and grass was despised in the South. It was a hardscrabble life, and the cotton plant was easily choked by competition. So any grass was a threat and not long for this world. Grass wasn’t even allowed in the yard. Yards were kept bare, and the soil was regularly swept clean with a broom made of branches. This makes it all that much more wondrous bermudagrass, the bane of every cotton farmer’s existence and worst of the despised grasses, is now grown on about 15 million acres in the southeastern U.S. and as many as 30 million acres in total.

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Selling fat cattle? BQA certification will be required soon

Selling fat cattle? BQA certification will be required soon

Jenny Schlecht


Cattle producers and feedyards that sell directly to most packing plants soon will need to be Beef Quality Assurance certified. Packing plants announced the requirement some time ago, says Karl Hoppe, area extension specialist for livestock systems at North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center. It goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

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Your ‘grass-fed’ beef may not have come from a cow grazing in a pasture

Your ‘grass-fed’ beef may not have come from a cow grazing in a pasture

Christy Brissette

Washington Post

Grass-fed beef sounds like a lovely idea. Customers envision happy cattle grazing on green pastures, producing meat that is better for our health and the environment. It turns out that none of this is a given. The jury is still out on whether grass fed beef is better for the environment (it’s only slightly better nutritionally), and, “grass-fed” doesn’t mean a cow was never served grain. Other aspects about grass-fed beef that may surprise many consumers include that it tastes different from grain-fed beef, and can be trickier to cook.

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Women in farming: Courtney Umbarger

Women in farming:  Courtney Umbarger

Amy Painter

CALS Magazine

Like many working mothers, Courtney Umbarger ’08 has a gift for navigating the details and to-do’s of her life with diligence and care while maintaining an unwavering focus on the big picture. A passionate advocate for farmers and children, she exemplifies an agricultural model that is inclusive, equitable, and educational, and she is beginning to see the seeds of her vision take root.

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Tough words: “Don’t listen to Extension. They will break you.”

Tough words: “Don’t listen to Extension. They will break you.”

Bob Kemerait

Southeast Farm Press

Service through Extension is the single most satisfying part of my job.  It is a belief that what we do is meaningful to some of the hardest working men and women in our country.  That what I do matters is the spark that gets me up every morning and keeps me going into the night.

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A family that fits: Leland Red Angus Ranch

A family that fits: Leland Red Angus Ranch

Mikkel Pates


The Lelands breed more than 500 registered mother cows annually. They produce their registered stock under the same range conditions as their commercial produces do. The goal is to assure the animals can adapt to environmental conditions, but with registered record-keeping. The Lelands are members of the Red Angus Association of America, as well as North Dakota and Montana associations.They sell a select group of bred cows on private treaty every fall.

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American Simmental Association Conducts Carcass Genotyping Project

American Simmental Association Conducts Carcass Genotyping Project

Sara Brown


The American Simmental Association (ASA) recently initiated a large genotyping project to collect more carcass records and genotypes on sire-identified terminal calves to improve progeny equivalents for carcass traits. All harvested cattle will be genotyped and the resulting data will be incorporated into the International Genetic Solutions (IGS) Multi-breed Genetic Evaluation powered by BOLT.

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How to increase nutrients to your cows in winter.

How to increase nutrients to your cows in winter.

Shelia Grobosky

Angus Beef Bulletin Extra

Old man winter has arrived in much of the United States, which means colder days as many producers are preparing for calving season. Just as the temperatures decrease, the cows’ nutrient requirements increase. “During extreme cold, the cows’ nutrient requirements can increase up to 10%-25%,” said Lindsey Grimes-Hall, BioZyme Inc. nutrition and field sales manager. “The number one nutrient cows need in the winter and as they approach calving is protein.”

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