BeefWatch Articles from May 2022

BeefWatch Articles from May 2022

Protecting Farms & Ranches from Wildfires

Wildfires affect America’s farm and ranches, damaging and destroying homes, barns, agriculture production facilities, crops and livestock.  Recently we have dealt with a major fire in Furnas and Gosper counties.  Below are some tips to help avoid or minimize fire damage to your property.

Aminopyralids: Restrictions for Grazing, Compost and Manure

The prices of synthetic fertilizers have increased significantly over the last year, leaving growers and even homeowners facing the decision of finding alternative sources of nutrients.

Limit Feeding with a Bale Feeder, Bunk and a Bucket

Drought conditions are challenging producers to be creative as they think about options for maintaining the cowherd through the summer with limited summer pasture forage projected to be available.  Several research studies conducted at the University of Nebraska have shown that cows can be managed effectively utilizing a limit fed ration. In a limit fed ration, the nutrient requirements of cattle are met with a diet that is less than the actual amount of dry matter that the cattle would eat if they had full access to all they could eat.

What are my Options when I Am Out of Grass?

As the drought that has plagued the western Great Plains for over a year spreads across the Midwest, producers are making hard decisions about cowherd management. Drought is no stranger to most cow-calf producers so most have a plan for culling decisions related to about 20% of the cow herd. When drought threatens the grazing resources for the other 80%, difficult decisions have to be made. The first question that must be answered is should I feed them or sell them.

Selection Criteria for Home Raised Beef

Many rural consumers are switching from multiple trips to the grocery store or local butcher shop to bringing their own cattle in for custom processing. Provided the consumer has access to large areas of available freezer space as well as the ability to afford the upfront cost, this may be an economic way to supply a family with high-quality protein. Following is a guide to selecting the proper animal to feed out for harvesting freezer beef.

Nebraska Range Short Course June 20 - 23, 2022

The Nebraska Range Short Course is scheduled for June 20 to 23, 2022 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.

Feed Availability on Cost of Gain and Manure as a Source of Feedlot Revenue and Crop Fertilizer

This article was first published by "In the Cattle Markets" on April 5, 2022.

AI Season is Just Around the Corner

Some spring calving herds are starting to gear up for the breeding season by utilizing either natural service, artificial insemination (AI), or a combination of both.  According to a recent NAHMS survey, 84.85% of operations utilize natural service only and 10.3% utilizing AI and exposure to bulls. The implementation of estrous synchronization has the potential to shorten your calving window, concentrates labor, allows for more uniform management of cows, and can create a more uniform calf crop.

Protein is not Protein is not Protein

Protein is often the first limiting requirement when selecting diets and designing supplementation strategies for cows and growing cattle. Age and stage of production impact how much protein an animal requires. Understanding the different types of protein can help tailor supplements to meet protein requirements economically and effectively.               

Preparing for the Breeding Season

Calving season is wrapping up and transitioning into breeding season. Like any other segment of beef production, breeding protocols require decisions and preparation to ensure we meet the goals of the operation.  

Pushing the Boundary: New Collaboration Aims to Increase Ranch Resilience in the Great Plains

Today’s farms and ranches require decisions to be made throughout periods of elevated risk and uncertainty. Managing operational efficiency, grass banking, and destocking herds are all commonly used to stabilize returns during drought conditions and market extremes.

However, the compounding effects of extreme weather, market volatility, and rising input costs have re-focused attention on management alternatives that offer a broader set of resources to use when developing or implementing grazing management plans.