BeefWatch Articles from April 2021
In a previous article, I left you with a quick overview of the history of the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program and the importance of the program today. In this article, I want to continue the discussion on BQA and discuss what exactly the BQA program has done to benefit the industry, and why it is important for producers to implement its guidelines on their operations.
The breeding season will soon be underway for spring calving herds. Understanding the factors that contribute to a successful breeding season in heifers and cows can help cow-calf producers effectively manage for this event. Whether producers are utilizing natural service or estrus synchronization programs with artificial insemination, the beefrepro.org website offers numerous resources that will benefit planning and management.
Decisions in livestock production are never simple, but rather complex. Each decision or change in management results in multiple changes or outcomes downstream of the resulting change. One example of this would be changing breeding season length. The duration of breeding season is often discussed with two production goals in mind, 1) creating a consistent calf crop and 2) increasing pounds of weaned calf. Both of which can be done by having a shorter breeding season and then shortened calving period, which is a positive and beneficial goal and change.
The Nebraska Range Short Course is scheduled for June 21 to 24, 2021 on the campus of Chadron State College. The short course is sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Chadron State College, and the Nebraska Section of the Society for Range Management. It is designed to provide individuals who have a background in ranch, natural resource, or wildlife management an opportunity to increase their knowledge in many topics associated with the field of range management.
Managing cows in a drylot can be a way to maintain the herd when forage production is reduced due to drought or as a part of a system when pasture is unavailable for other reasons. When cattle are managed in a drylot over an extended period of time, minerals and vitamins that need to be supplied can vary significantly from those needed when cows are grazing. The most common vitamins and minerals to be impacted by deficiencies or antagonisms when feeding production cows in confinement are Vitamin A, Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), and Zinc (Zn).
Absinth wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is a Nebraska Invasive Plants Watch List priority that is spreading rapidly and making a big impact to Nebraska grasslands. Infestations of absinth wormwood have been traced back to contaminated hay brought in from out of state following the 2012 drought. In some other areas, gravel containing seed was imported from infested areas. States including North Dakota, South Dakota, and Colorado have listed absinth wormwood as a noxious weed.
Just purchased a new bull? Keep in mind the longevity of a bull in the herd has a lot to do with the management and care he receives year-round. Learn more on maintaining body condition, nutritional needs, evaluating fertility, managing social dominance, providing proper female:bull ratios, caring for the bull in the “off season”, and more in this newly released NebGuide G2332 Breeding Bull Management, It's a Year-Round Commitment.