BeefWatch Articles from October 2022

BeefWatch Articles from October 2022

Do Your Herd and Your Bank Account a Favor - Test Your Hay!

Every year I get calls for help with balancing rations and most don’t have a hay analysis. All hay of the same species is NOT created equal.  For instance, smooth bromegrass hay can range from 48 to 58% total digestible nutrients (TDN) with crude protein (CP) ranging from 6 to 11% CP. This can be the difference between a growing heifer losing 0.25 lb/d or gaining 0.37 lb/d. If you were targeting the heifer gaining 1 lb/d you would need to supplement between 1.5 and 3 lb/d of dried distillers to reach this goal.

Beef Quality Assurance During the Fall Run

It seems the year is just flying by with fall already upon us, which means it is about time for the “Fall Run”. Millions of cattle are being transported across the U.S. over many miles. A past Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) survey indicated that feeder calves traveling to Texas or Nebraska feedyards traveled 468 ± 415 miles.

Pasture Recovery from Drought

There are three critical time periods that occur during drought. These are immediately before, during, and following drought. These phases appear to be separate and are usually described as such. However, there is overlap between them that may encompass a period of six to nine months. The goal of drought planning before a drought occurs should focus on reducing the negative impacts that occur during the drought. The goal of drought planning during the drought should focus on short-term and long-term pasture recovery.

Science Guide Outlines New Approach for Reducing Eastern Redcedar

Nebraska rangelands lost over 419,000 tons of plant biomass production in 2019 due to woody plant encroachment1. This was determined using new monitoring technology that tracks production losses as a result of increasing tree cover since 1990. Encroachment by species like eastern redcedar can reduce forage production by up to 75% in heavily invaded locations and is among the greatest threat to Great Plains grasslands.

Nebraska Extension to Host Beefwatch Webinar Series

Nebraska Extension will host a Fall 2022 BeefWatch Webinar Series. This free webinar series is targeted to help cow/calf producers make management and feeding decisions this winter. Each session will feature industry experts and plenty of opportunity to interact to get your questions answered. More information about the BeefWatch Webinar Series can be found on our webpage:

Each webinar will begin at 8:00 PM Central Time.  

Nebraska Extension Provides New Cover Crop Grazing Conference November 1, 2022

Nebraska beef producers and corn growers can enhance their operations by attending the 2022 Cover Crop Grazing Conference. Scheduled for November 1, the conference will take place at the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center near Mead.

The conference kicks off with registration, refreshments, and a trade show at the August N. Christenson Building at 9:00 a.m.  Educational programs are from 10 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. and include a producer panel session and live field demonstrations.   

Preventing Baler Fires

Corn harvest is just starting and with the shortage of forages this year, several corn fields will have corn stalks baled up.  With the majority of the state being in some variation of drought, the potential of a fire occurring and spreading rapidly is a topic of concern.  Here are a few tips and reminders to prevent fires from occurring.

Tensions Surrounding US Beef Exports to China

This article was originally published by "In the Cattle Markets" in August 2022.

Flexible Stocking Rate Options for Drought Management

It is often recommended that ranchers stock at a moderate stocking rate to avoid overgrazing and to manage for dry conditions. However, during severe multiyear droughts, even moderately stocked rangelands become overstocked, and managers are forced to sell breeding stock to adapt. Depending on market conditions during and after drought, liquidating breeding stock can have significant financial impacts on the operation. Developing plans that provide for interannual variability can give producers the opportunity to take advantage of above average years and prompt action in poor years.

Cautions for Cattle Grazing Frosted Forages

When some forages are frosted, the potential for bloat, toxicity, and nitrates may increase for grazing cattle.

Minimizing Storage Losses of Round Bale Hay

Storing big round hay bales by lining them up along the fence row may be easy, but it is not economical.  Baled forage probably constitutes the highest percentage of winter feed cost we have wrapped up in a cow. The production of hay uses immense resources, and the ration quality is affected by hay quality. Storing dry hay on the ground without cover causes greater amount of spoilage when compared to other methods of storage.