Beef Cow Basics - Plus
Cutting Edge Information on Nutrition, Forages, Supplements and Economics
What this course offers.
- Goals for the Cow/Calf Producer - Goals are a very personal aspect of life. While your family life goals and the goals for your ranching operation may be similar to those identified by others, they will be unique to you and your family.
- Basic Considerations for Cow Nutrition - Years of research have been devoted to determine beef cow nutritional requirements. The challenge for the manger is to match this information to the available resources.
- Metabolizable Protein System "The Concept of DIP and UIP" - Proteins from feeds are very important in ruminant nutrition.
- Minerals and Vitamins for Beef Cows - Researchers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln have been conducting research trials throughout the state for the past 20 years. These trials have led to a better understanding of mineral use, availability, content in forages and animal performance.
- Fat Supplementation for Beef Cows - An alternative to energy supplementation that does not contain starch is utilizing plant and animal fat, which are much higher in energy than grains such as corn or barley.
- Replacement Heifer Nutrition - As a producer, your goals should include getting heifers bred early in a defined breeding season, minimizing calving difficulties, weaning acceptable calves, and having her stay in the herd for a long, productive life.
- Basic Ration Formulation - One of the real opportunities in controlling costs in a beef cattle operation is carefully planning feed needs. While controlling costs is important, long-term profitability can only be maintained by feeding a ration carefully balanced to match the nutritional needs of the herd.
- Forage Analysis and Inventory - The quality of forage, as defined by the nutrient content, and its usefulness as a food source is a critical part of a livestock program. It is important to have reliable information when formulating a ration due to the differences in the value of feed sources.
- Perennial Forage Production - perennial forages (plants that live more than one growing season) can be classified as cool-season grasses, warm-season grasses, or legumes. Each type of forage has its own special characteristics. These characteristics can be used by livestock producers to maximize both quality and quantity of forage produced.
- Co-products - Unless traditional feeds such as hay, silage, or grain are cheap, producers need to consider some alternative feed or feeds that will replace the more expensive traditional feeds. Co-product feedstuffs are the residues that remain after the native products, normally grain, have been processed.
- Annual Forage Crops - A better understanding of the benefit of annual forages will result in their increased use and more economic production for some producers.
- Alfalfa Production, Opportunities for Improvement - Alfalfa is a major crop for forage production in Nebraska and many areas of the U.S. It is not a native plant, but one of many that were introduced and thrived. In 2000, Nebraska ranked 7th in alfalfa production behind California, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Idaho.
- Grazing Strategy - Grazing is a natural component of well-designed agroecosystems. Managed or planned grazing can increase profits, improve diets and welfare of cattle, contribute toward our quality of life, and contribute to a healthy and improved rural environment.
- Managed Grazing - managed grazing implies flexibility and knowledge-based decision making with a process of planned rotational grazing which affords optimum satisfaction to the requirements of both forage and animal.
- Feed Ration Economics - In an effort to minimize feed costs, producers and researchers are continually developing and evaluating different production systems. As a general rule, feed costs make up 55-60% of the annual beef production costs. It becomes one of the obvious places where expenses can be managed.