BeefWatch Articles from November 2021
The USDA Risk Management Agency recently announced that it has moved the sign up deadline back to December 1 from the historic date of November 15 for Pasture Rangeland Forage (PRF) Insurance. Producers now have an additional two weeks to work with their crop insurance agents to make insurance plans for the 2022 year. The PRF Insurance program uses a rainfall index model based on weather data (precipitation) collected and maintained by the NOAA's Climate Prediction Center to determine losses and trigger indemnities.
Nebraska beef producers and corn growers can enhance both entities of their operation through attending the inaugural 2021 Cover Crop Grazing Conference scheduled for November 16th, 2021. This conference will take place at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead. Registration and the first trade show session will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last for one hour.
Yucca plants, which are also called soapweed, can be quite common on rangeland in western and central Nebraska. In some areas, they can be quite thick and significantly reduce grass production. There are ways, though, to reclaim those grazing lands.
Once established, yucca plants can increase on drier rangeland sites. They produce a deep taproot that competes aggressively for the limited water in these soils. With sharp leaves protecting the plant, cattle rarely eat it during summer.
After calving and going to spring grass this year the word drought was used quite often. With other States to the west of Nebraska liquidating cows from the herd it sounded like it could hit Nebraska. Different portions of Nebraska were in different severity of drought this year and questions were raised about the tax implications to consider when liquidating cows.
Managing cow-calf pairs with limited perennial acres will be the topic of discussion in Alma, Nebraska on December 6 and Wayne, Nebraska on December 8, 2021. Drought is a reoccurring plight that frequently reduces perennial forages available for grazing while conversion of pasture ground to crop ground continues to reduce available pasturelands. Increasing costs of production and high taxes make diversifying income and increasing the use of land necessary to get the most out of every acre.
Part of the winter feed expense equation is deciding whether standing forage can be grazed, or hay must be fed. In dry years, winter grazing may be reduced or unavailable, and the value of what is available can increase. Winter feed not usually considered may offer an alternative, affordable option. UNL’s Feed Cost Cow-Q-Lator (available at cap.unl.edu/livestock/tools) offers a way to compare feed options.