(April 2014) The open winter left many producers with more hay left over than expected. Despite receiving some rain or snow recently, most areas still are very dry below the surface. Drought is likely to be a problem again this summer, at least somewhere. Because hay is expensive and pastures short, we need to consider ways to minimize damages if we receive less than average rainfall. Learn more.
(April 2014) New technologies are available in the ethanol industry allowing the conversion of cellulose to ethanol as an advanced biofuel. Currently new cellulosic ethanol plants are being constructed to use fiber many cattlemen rely on as a feedstuff. Future expansion of cellulosic ethanol includes using the fiber component of distiller grains which will change the nutrient composition of the byproduct and also how it is used in beef diets. In this recorded webinar, Dr. Galen Erickson discusses how fiber is our #1 need for energy during the lifetime of most cattle. Learn more.
(April 2014) Feedlot closeouts were evaluated to determine how animal performance changes throughout the finishing period on a live- and carcass-weight basis. Some cattle feeders have the paradigm that when feed costs are high and profit margins are negative it is more profitable to market cattle early. However, is this always the case? In a webinar recording of the presentation at the 2014 Feedlot Roundtable, Jim MacDonald presents the data on determining the optimal profitability on sales by live-weight basis and carcass-weight basis. Learn more.
In this issue of the newsletter you will find information on these timely topics and more.
• "Bulls Worth Waiting For" – 21st University of Nebraska Bull Sale
• 2014 Nebraska Ranch Practicum Accepting Applications
• Range Judging Contests in Nebraska – A Legacy and a Future
• Meat labeling terms Part 3: No-added Hormones, No Antibiotics, and Humanely Raised
• How About Including Some Grass in That New Alfalfa Seeding?
For more information on these and other topics or to view archived newsletters, visit UNL BeefWatch.
(March 2014) No matter when you calve, controlling the breeding and the subsequent calving season has many benefits, including a calf crop will be more uniform in age and size which can lead to an advantage in the market place. Estrous synchronization is one management tool to use to shorten and manage the breeding and calving season. Learn more.
(March 2014) After nearly three years of formal debate, one extension, and two unmet deadlines, Congress passed the 2014 Farm Bill, officially called the "Agricultural Act of 2014" with the President signing the bill on February 7, 2014. The bill makes budget cuts and program reforms in many areas and sets federal farm and food policy through 2018. An overview and title-by-title discussion provides insight on the new farm bill and the program changes ahead for producers, landowners, and others. Learn more.
2013 Dr. Kenneth & Caroline McDonald Eng Foundation Symposium - Research and Methods to Improve Cow-calf Efficiency
(March 2014) The cow-calf industry is adjusting to a new era as agriculture has become a critical player in producing fuel in addition to food and fiber. The use of grain as a fuel source has placed increasing pressure on the cow-calf sector to improve efficiency in the use of feed resources. This environment has prompted new questions and innovative thinking in regards to how the cow-calf industry will produce calves in the future. Proceedings and presentations from the September 2013 symposium are archived and available for viewing.
(March 2014) Pasture leasing plays an important role in American agriculture. It is important that lease agreements are fair, and in writing. Agreements that treat both parties fairly have more staying power. They are more likely to be renewed, more likely to be followed, and are more enforceable. Learn more.
(March 2014) Cheatgrass, also known as downy brome, military grass, and downy chess, is a winter annual grass that was introduced from southwestern Asia in the late 1800's. It was first reported in British Columbia and has since spread throughout western North America. It is now moving into grasslands of the Midwest. Learn more.
(March 2014) Third party audits are not new to cattlemen but this topic has regained interest because consumers want to know how and where their beef is raised. In a presentation titled "Audits and Assessments" made at the 2014 Feedlot Roundtable, UNL Extension Educator Rob Eirich identifies what information is being requested and how this will help to improve product integrity and consumer confidence. Learn more.
Additional University of Nebraska Beef Cattle Resources
- Beef Basics Home Study
- Nebraska Ranch Practicum
- Animal Science Department Undergraduate Program
- Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars
- Feedlot Management Internship
- Animal Science Department Graduate Program
- Livestock Manure Management
- University of Nebraska Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center (GPVEC)
- UNL Extension Publications
- Market Journal
- Beef Quality Assurance
Additional Beef Cattle Resources
- Beef Cattle Reproduction
Content developed by the National Beef Reproduction Task Force. Content focuses on estrous synchronization and artificial insemination.
- Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium
Beef cattle leaders focused on genetic evaluation of beef cattle. Their mission is to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of the beef industry.
- Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle
National research project to address feed efficiency in beef cattle.
- Bovine Respiratory Complex
This group of researchers has a goal to reduce the prevalence of bovine respiratory disease complex in beef and dairy cattle.
- Beef Cattle eXtension website
A national website whose target audiences are producers, extension educators, and clientele with beef cattle interest.