BeefWatch Articles from August 2022
Southeast Nebraska farmers can sharpen their management strategies for the third and fourth most grown crops at the second annual Southeast Nebraska Alfalfa and Wheat Expo. Hosts and southeast Nebraska Water & Integrating Cropping Systems Extension Educator, Nathan Mueller, and southeast Nebraska Beef Systems Extension Educators, Wayde Pickinpaugh and Connor Biehler advocate for more diverse crop rotations that are both underutilized and undervalued.
The United States produced 1.65 billion bushels of wheat in 2020, with wheat ranking as the third largest produced grain after corn and soybeans. As grain prices increase, dependent on availability, utilizing wheat may be an option for producers to implement in their feeding program.
Late August and September usually signal pasture fly season should be ending. However, over the last few years our fall seasons have remained warm, sometimes well into early November and flies persist at problematic levels longer than typical. This upcoming fall season may be no different based on several meteorology forecasts. If these predictions hold true, pasture fly control efforts may be required through late fall.
The US drought monitor is indicating that drought conditions for central states, including Nebraska, remain in 2022. Seasonal outlook for the remainder of summer in Nebraska and western states is characterized as drought tendent. Persistent drought pressured forage and grain prices and deteriorated pasture conditions. Concurrently, the January US beef cow inventory declined from a peak in 2017 of 31.2 million cows to 30.1 million cows in January of this year. Implications of lower beef cow inventory on supply of feeder calves are already evident in the marketplace: f
Many of us that work with farm families hear stories like this: the son is home from college to start his career on the farm. He visits with his parents on a change during action or management. The son identifies a field to be converted to “no-till,” and while he goes into town for parts, his father starts disking the field. In cases like this, the son will feel like he has not been trusted to make decisions. Lack of trust among family members can be a huge issue for any family moving forward, especially if they are working on farm/ranch succession plans.
The current map from the U.S. drought monitor (Current Map | U.S. Drought Monitor (unl.edu)) has all but a small corner of Nebraska listed as abnormally dry to extreme drought. This ongoing drought has been affecting parts of the state since 2020, forcing beef cattle producers to make drought related management decisions. One of the options often proposed to help reduce pressure on drought stricken pastures is early weaning.
With silage harvest coming up quickly, manure application will soon follow. Because silage is often the first crop to come off the field, it allows for earlier manure application and thus an earlier cleanout of pens before winter. As that manure application plan develops, include best stewardship practices for optimum rates and preferred application methods in final decisions. But, wait, what do those things mean?
May marked the beginning that pasture and range conditions are released by USDA-AMS in their weekly crop progress reports by state. This gives the industry its first barometer of how bad the drought could be this year across the United States to the overall industry and to specific geographic areas. The USDA-AMS reports pasture and range conditions in five categories: very poor, poor, fair, good, and excellent.