BeefWatch Articles from December 2022

BeefWatch Articles from December 2022

Helping Cows Cope with Cold Stress

Cold stress increases a cow’s energy requirement and can pull down her body condition.  Thin cows can result in weak calves being born in the spring and/or poor breed up. Winter storms have already swept across the Plains, giving indications this could be a long, cold winter for cows already thin due to summer drought stress.

Purchased Hay: The Extra Costs

Winter is finally here and for some, dry weather has resulted in a lower than desired hay inventory.  While we can reduce demand by adjusting rations or selling animals, purchasing hay may be the best option to fill in a feed gap. 

Most of the time, purchased hay is hauled in and fed without issue.  It’s a regular occurrence for many operations and should always be an option for consideration.  While the sticker cost is typically the first factor considered why buying hay, there are additional costs that purchased hay can bring to an operation. 

A Year in Review for Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance, 2022

Another year has come and gone for the Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance program, and while it was a year of successes for the program as a whole, there is still plenty of work to be done. As I sit here writing this thinking back on all the accomplishments we have achieved this year, I am happy to brag about where the program currently is and where it is going in the future.

Potential Impacts of a Long Hard Drought on the Subsequent Calving Season

Drought across the Great Plains has greatly reduced the supply of grass available this grazing season. While many cows went to market to save grass for a core herd, those cows that remain may have had access to limited, dry pastures. Grass in many areas appeared dormant as early as July. Therefore, not only was quantity limiting, but quality may have been limiting as well.

2023 – Year of the Stockman

It has been said, “Develop your communication skills because when you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.”  This is just another way of saying that we’re known by what we produce (words, actions, etc.).  Our reputation, in other words.  Said another way: “Develop your husbandry skills, because when you handle and care for animals, you tell the world who you are.”  Stockmen have long considered their work an art form, and take pride in honing their skills with a level of devotion seldom rivaled in other professions.  In a time where the agricultural work

Measure to Manage: Exploring management strategies to cut costs, increase performance, and capture value at the Three State Beef Conference

For 38 years, the Three-State Beef Conference has provided beef cattle producers in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska an annual update on current and critical cow-calf and stocker topics affecting producers in the three-state area.

Get Perspective Before Deciding

I run across situations where one party, or both parties have decided that their estate plan isn’t fair or equitable.  I have also had recent contact with landlords that think the tenant is taking advantage of the farm lease and are not paying an appropriate cash lease rate.  Either situation is a dispute, and everyone stops listening to each other.  The parties dig in their heals and have made up their mind that they are not being treated fairly or equitably.  When that happens, the relationship between the parties is usually permanently damaged at some level.

2022 Beef Update with Private Pesticide Recertification

Producers in central Nebraska will have an opportunity to learn from beef issues that impacted the area during the 2022 growing season. The Beef Update program will help producers make decisions for the 2023 growing season and they can renew their private pesticide applicator license. This year the program will be offered in two locations across central Nebraska in December in Taylor, NE and Valentine, NE.  

Monday December 12th at Taylor, NE – Loup County Fairgrounds; 1 pm – 4 pm

The Impact of Low Stocks-to-use Ratio and the Ukraine-Russia Conflict on the Distillers-to-Corn Price Ratio

Distillers’ grains play an important role in both maintaining ethanol plant profit margins and providing affordable, nutritious feed to livestock feeding operations. Distillers’ grains are produced as necessary by-products of the fuel ethanol production process and therefore rely on an input grain – most commonly corn in the United States – and fuel ethanol in their production (USDA ERS 2021).

Value of Gain on Winter Backgrounded Cattle

This article was first published by "In the Cattle Markets" on Oct. 31, 2022.

Cumulative national feeder and stocker cattle receipts are slightly lagging both 2021 and the 5-year average (2017-2021) at 12,098,700 head through Oct. 21. In 2022, more of the receipts are coming from cattle weighing less than 600 lbs. and heifers – both signals that the drought in various parts of the United States is affecting feeder and stocker cattle being sold.

Do You Have Mold and Mycotoxins in Your Silage?

We typically suggest getting forage tested to determine nutrient content such as energy and protein. But with silage, additional testing may be needed, especially when grown under stressed conditions and/or put up in less-than-ideal conditions. The presence of mold in silage can decrease the energy value, feed intake, and performance of cattle. Additionally, some molds produce harmful mycotoxins that can impact animal production and health.

Farm Program Disaster Assistance for 2022 Drought and Fire Losses

The 2022 production year presented several challenges to Nebraska producers. Widespread drought conditions and several large wildfires created loss situations with significant financial impact. This article is a quick reminder to producers of available assistance from USDA programs that may apply to their situation.