BeefWatch Articles from July 2021
Stocker-Yearling cattle can complement cow-calf operations by providing flexibility in utilizing grazing resources. In this month’s BeefWatch Producer Perspective Podcast, John Ravenscroft from Cherry County, Nebraska discusses how the Three Bar Cattle Company utilizes home raised and purchased calves to grow as stocker-yearlings to complement their cow-calf operation.
Topics discussed include:
Hot, dry weather is impacting part of the state which in turn is impacting the water quality for grazing cattle. In some pastures, the only water source available are ponds and dugouts which can contain hidden dangers to the cattle.
Blue-green algae also known as cyanobacteria blooms are caused by excess levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients are commonly introduced from runoff or soil erosion from fertilizer and manure.
The 22nd annual University of Nebraska–Lincoln Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory (GSL) Open House will be held on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. This year’s Open House will be a hybrid format with our traditional in-person event held at GSL along with being live streamed online webinar. The online webinar will only cover the morning sustainability topics.
As we progress into summer, forage quality can rapidly change depending on factors like rainfall, temperature, etc. A good example of the dynamic interaction of rainfall and forage quality is shown in Table 1. In the Sandhills, 2002 and 2018 were drastically different in total precipitation; however, forage quality driven by forage growth and maturity in terms of crude protein were very similar in a drought or wet rainfall year. Understanding these relationships is important in making proactive management decisions.
This article was first published in the June 2021 issue of The Nebraska Cattleman magazine.
Annual forages are a useful tool to help manage risk. From a crop management standpoint, they can be used to manage erosion risk and build more resilient soil profiles. From a livestock management standpoint, annual forages can provide a valuable source of additional feed resources. They can serve an important role in a cattle producer’s drought management plan and overall strategy for controlling feed costs.
While generally not as problematic in Nebraska compared to other western states, poisonous plants can exact their toll on livestock enterprises, and many times the losses are unrecognized.
Precipitation and temperature play major roles in pasture productivity, and knowing how to adjust grazing to match current conditions is key. Are you shifting your management to meet recent weather?
Are you getting enough rain? What management decisions do you have in place if it stops raining? Below are some past BeefWatch articles and BeefWatch webinars that may help you with management decisions related to drought.