Many farmers and ranchers make inquiries to Nebraska Extension about prevailing rates paid for various kinds of custom farm services. In addition to the regular biennial custom rates survey, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability has launched a new survey designed to provide market rate information for the Nebraska livestock industry. Producers and operators that perform and provide custom services for others, or that utilize custom services and pay others, are invited to participate in the survey.
Drought conditions this last growing season, limited hay supply, and a wet winter have been very challenging to beef producers. This created a situation where many cows at this point were thinner than normal years. In addition, we couple that with limited hay and lower-quality hay with the potential of having a late green up or delayed turn out to grass. With that in mind, we have to think about how to increase energy in the diet to meet the lactational requirements while gaining BCS and doing that past our traditional turn out to grass.
Calving is just underway across the country, which means calf processing and branding (if applicable in your area) is just around the corner.
For those who may not be calving already or those looking for good calving reading material, it is good to revisit some calving best management practices. Previous articles listed in BeefWatch do a great job highlighting specifics related to calving.
In December, Carol Krutsinger made a $1 million gift to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) to develop the next generation of beef industry leaders.
A recent BeefWatch article highlighted the importance of timing for a Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) in our bull battery especially with the winter weather many of our producers have been experiencing. With that in mind, let us dive in a little deeper to how this harsh winter weather can impact bull fertility and how to address management for this next breeding season.
A successful breeding season requires planning. Estrus synchronization is one tool that can benefit cattle producers if used correctly. Estrus synchronization can allow more females to be bred earlier in the breeding season and can shorten the postpartum interval in late-calving females, allowing them to become pregnant earlier in the calving season.
Neonatal calf diarrhea, or scours, is a common concern among cow-calf producers. Understanding why scours occurs is the first step in preventing the problem. Calf scours outbreaks are the result of a contaminated calving and nursing environment. This environmental contamination develops following a period of pathogen (germ) buildup, or amplification.
As spring nears and grass begins to turn green, producers are anxious to get cows out to grass. However, cool season predominate areas tend to have lush spring growth which can lead to grass tetany in cows. While there are treatments for cows caught quick enough, prevention is always the best policy.
When grazed from early April to early May, forage quality of cereal rye, winter triticale, and winter wheat is similar. All three species can be very high quality. When managed correctly, growing calves can gain 3 to 4 lbs/day. Cereal rye can have greater growth during cooler conditions compared to wheat or triticale. This is the reason it can often provide earlier spring grazing. On the other hand, triticale retains its feed value better into late spring since it does not mature as quickly. This makes it well-suited for hay and silage, or for grazing well into June.