Whether ranchers and farmers are raising cattle, bison, horses, sheep or other livestock, reliably providing fresh water is a necessity throughout the year, but a particular challenge during winter when standing water sources can ice over. With beef cattle and other livestock, lower water consumption can slow growth and compromise health; and in dairy cows or cows with calves, it reduces milk production.
Disastrous 2019 weather spills over into cattle breeding
The disastrous weather in 2019 continues to have a long tail, not just for grain producers but for livestock operations as well. It is currently surfacing in a higher percentage of unbred beef cows this fall and winter than in past years.
Let those mama cows do their motherly thing
It’s possible that cow-calf producers can have a tunnel-vision focus on only the pregnant cow when calving time approaches. They hang their calf puller and chains near the calving pen and concentrate on getting that newborn calf on the ground. Questions dominate their minds. Will they be able to pull that smaller heifer’s calf? Which one will have a foot or two down in the birth canal? Will that black baldy have another backwards calf this year?
Grazing corn residue proves its worth
Corn growers considering grazing cattle on no-till corn residue don’t have to worry about compaction, according to University of Nebraska (U of N) research. Yields of subsequent crops don’t suffer either from grazing of the previous crop’s aftermath. If anything, grazing of the residue could slightly increase yields of subsequent crops.
Built-in and better – cattle of tomorrow being bred today
Seeing new car advertisements, that thought runs through my mind. With an active family, I can’t count the number of times there’s been an immediate mess—think sandbox remnants dumped out of tennis shoes or cereal spread across the floor—and I wished a vacuum cleaner would appear out of thin air. About the day after I first had that thought, I saw the brand new minivan with an integrated vacuum.
Hay stocks up from last year but still below average
Derrell S. Peel
Weather challenges in 2019 led to many questions about the quantity and quality of hay production and supply heading into 2020. Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture reports provide a summary of 2019 hay production and the status of hay stocks as of Dec. 1.
Balancing calving ease priorities in heifer matings
Western Livestock Journal
One of the most exciting times of the year on cow-calf operations is when the calves are born and producers can see the results of their breeding decisions. Experts from the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University say it can also be stressful and costly if those mating decisions lead to calving difficulties, which is why much care needs to be taken when planning those matings.