BeefWatch Articles from May 2019
Rob Eirich and Brain Vander Ley discuss feedyard assessments and things owners and managers of feedyards should be aware of related to the assessment process.
Due to the recent severe weather, many cow-calf producers have a significant number of first-calf heifers or cows that have lost calves this spring.
Halden Clark and Brian Vander Ley discuss lameness exams in feedlot cattle.
Artificial insemination (AI) is the most powerful tool cow-calf producers have to improve beef cattle genetics. Still, they have been slow to adopt this technology due to the time and labor of heat checking and a market structure that until recently did not reward genetic improvement. However, markets are now rewarding improved genetics (e.g. premiums) and improved fixed time AI (FTAI) protocols make it easier for the cow-calf producer to use AI.
Where there is significant damage from flooding to pastures, hayland, or alfalfa, should the rental rate be adjusted for 2019? The answer lies in the characteristics of the individual situation. This article provides guidance on adjusting rental rates for flood-damaged forage and pastureland if needed.
Have you wanted to have more calves born earlier in your calving season, but did not want to deal with the increase in labor, cost and facilities to utilize estrus synchronization and artificial insemination? The protocol shown (Figure 1.) can increase the number of cows coming into estrus early in the breeding season, with one time through the chute, one injection, and breeding using only natural service.
Nebraska ranchers must make many decisions during a normal production year and now have even tougher decisions where they have experienced serious flooding in early 2019. Wide varieties of decision tools are available to help the rancher make the decisions. Some of the tools require a computer office suite, like Microsoft office, with a spreadsheet. Both of the below listed office suites, Libreoffice and OpenOffice, are free suites with spreadsheets. They also are available for PC or Mac operating systems.
The Crop Residue Exchange is an online engagement tool designed to increase accessibility to grazing resources. This online exchange was recently updated to now include the ability to list pasture for rent to livestock producers.
Scotch thistle is a non-native biennial forb but can behave as an annual or short-lived perennial.
Current market conditions for wheat along with the price and short availability of hay in some locations is setting up a scenario where the growing winter wheat crop may have more value for grazing or as a hay crop this spring than to harvest it for grain.
Maintaining beef cattle in a dry lot is an alternative management system to traditional pasture or range beef production initially developed to offset the lack of pasture during drought conditions. Dry lot management continues to be used in situations when grazing is unavailable. There is one production issue that remains constant for any livestock producer in any management system, and that is flies. They are the face fly, horn fly, house fly, and stable fly depending upon the dry lot system utilized.
Crop and cattle prices have dropped, could you extract more profit by adding a hunting lease to your operation?
Hunting leases allow access to hunters for a certain period of time by cost per acre or lump sum. These leases let you specify which game species can be hunted, hunting rights for yourself, your guests, and immediate family. In fact, depending on the interest of lessee and your willingness, these leases can be customized to the satisfaction of both you and the lessee, as well as the agreed-upon price paid for the privilege of leasing.
As temperatures finally warm up and we get close to turning animals out to pasture, keep an eye out for possible weed issues that may arise during the growing season. Surveying and keeping a record of weed locations over the course of the year is something every producer should keep in the back of their mind as they travel across pastures getting fence and water ready and checking cattle.
After this spring’s blizzards and flooding, fence rebuilding is a priority for many livestock producers. In setting new fences, questions may come up regarding opportunities for financial assistance as well as neighbor responsibilities as outlined in Nebraska fencing laws. This article discusses a USDA cost-share program, Nebraska fencing law, and considerations as you assess the damage.
Livestock producers will soon be sending cattle to summer pastures. Horn flies are a perennial pest of pastured cattle since their introduction from Europe in the 1880s. The horn fly spends most of its time on cattle, mainly on the animal’s backs, sides and when temperatures are very warm, on the belly region. Both sexes of horn fly feed on blood, averaging between 28 and 38 blood meals per day, with each blood meal lasting about 10 minutes. When horn fly numbers exceed 200 flies per animal, cattle will become more stressed due to fly biting.