BeefWatch Articles from February 2021
Beef feedlot managers, owners, employees and allied industries will learn new information related to feedlot management at Nebraska Extension’s 2021 Beef Feedlot Roundtables via webinar in February and March.
“We are hoping feedyard employees and managers find useful information here to use in their own operations and can find a flexible time one of these two weeks to join us,” said Galen Erickson, beef feedlot nutrition specialist. “These will replace our in-person meetings we normally provide across the state annually in February.”
Winter is a good time of year to begin making grazing and forage plans for the upcoming season. Of course, there can be a tremendous amount of uncertainty on what type of growing conditions we will see in the spring and summer. This is especially true if we had droughty conditions the previous summer or little fall and winter precipitation.
The 2020 drought across the Great Plains has made hay scarce for many producers. Additionally, the pandemic has affected oil prices which in turn has impacted ethanol production and subsequently reduced the supply of distillers grains, a supplementation staple for many beef producers in the region. This tight feed supply may have resulted in pregnant cows entering the calving season with little to no extra body condition reserves.
From a forage perspective, winter is typically a time for using the resources we have on hand and planning ahead to next year’s growing season. However, there may be some opportunity to take this time to improve your pasture with some alternative legume seeding options.
After remaining relatively unchanged since inception in 2002, several enhancements and improvements to the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance program have taken place over the last 18 months. Several changes that affect the cattle industry took effect on January 20, 2021.
The SRMC is a collaborative project between UNL Extension, USDA-NRCS, and cattle producers in the Sandhills of Nebraska. The SRMC conducts and evaluates monitoring data on a growing number of ranches in the Nebraska Sandhills, connecting ranchers, range managers, scientists, and the public in a network of knowledge exchange relating to rangeland health and management.
The Nebraska Sandhills is one of the most intact grasslands in the Great Plains of North America. The topography and soil substrate of the Sandhills has limited farming development and allowed for this region to be one of the prime native working landscapes for cattle production in the United States. While range managers use the Sandhill’s nutrient rich forage for grazing to support livestock, pride is also taken in the abundant wildlife and plant habitat this ecosystem provides.
The spring bull sale season is underway. Catalogs are being studied, EPDs and individual animal performance numbers are being compared, and choices are being made as to which bulls will be the next herd sires. One of the primary drivers in the choice of which bull will be bought is the bull’s price. The perceived breeding value and the expected value of a bull’s offspring are evaluated by the potential purchaser and compared to the bull’s price. As long as the perceived value the bull is expected to bring to the operation exceeds the bull’s cost then the bidding continues.
Factors Causing Calving Difficulty
This article was first published by In the Cattle Markets
Trade occurs when price differences between the two locations are large enough after accounting for transportation cost, exchange rates, tariffs, etc. Exports vary throughout the year since prices reflect current and future supply and demand situations. Seasonality in cattle production, meat demand, and market disruptions are some examples of why wholesale beef prices increase and decrease within a year.