BeefWatch Articles from June 2023

BeefWatch Articles from June 2023

How much water do cattle need and what water problems should cattle producers watch for?

Water quantity and quality is critical to cattle health and performance.  Hot weather and drought conditions can impact both water quality and quantity for cattle.  

2023 Nebraska Stocker/Yearling Tour Features Skavdahl Ranch Near Harrison

Click here for video from the 2023 Stocker-Yearling tour at the Skavdahl Ranch, near Harrison, Nebraska. 


Sell cows or buy feed? That’s the question most ranchers face when drought hits. The best time to plan for drought is in a wet year, and one of the best ways to plan for drought is to build flexibility into a cattle operation.

Mapping is a Key Part of Spring Leafy Spurge Control Strategy

The bright yellow-green of leafy spurge can put a damper on the joy of spring green-up. The noxious weed is especially noticeable in early June. That’s also one of the best times to invest the time and money into controlling leafy spurge.

Unfortunately, a single treatment will not control leafy spurge once established, so continued monitoring and retreatment is needed. An effective strategy is pairing spring applications that prevent seed production with a fall treatment to control new growth.

Do Heifers Have More Potential Value Than Steers?

When going out to tag calves, most cow-calf producers would prefer to find a new bull calf rather than a heifer. This is logical given that the bull calf, which in most cases will become a steer, will weigh more, and bring more money per pound when selling at weaning than his heifer herd mates born at the same time. In the feedyard, steer calves grow faster, are more efficient and finish at heavier weights, providing greater pounds to sell at harvest. Steer performance justifies the premiums paid for steers over heifers.

The University of Nebraska and USDA – AMS Cattle & Carcass Training Center Event

Join us on June 15-16, 2023, for a free two-day training event on Emerging Technology in the Livestock and Meat industries and CME Live Cattle and Carcass Specifications and Deliveries. We encourage stakeholders (cattle producers, feeders, processors, and allied industries) to join who are interested in the official quality grading of feeder cattle, fed cattle, and beef carcasses in the United States.  This training event is collaborative with USDA – AMS and the Animal Science Department at the University of Nebraska.

Will the Proposed Cattle Implant Labeling Changes Impact Feedlot Performance?

This article is a follow-up to “Highlights of Feedlot Implant Labeling Changes Coming June 2023” published in the May 2023 UNL BeefWatch newsletter by Alfredo DiCostanzo.

Face Flies on Pastured Cattle

Face flies can carry pinkeye and eyeworms, and cause millions of dollars of economic damage every year.

One to five face flies per eye per day can cause serious ocular lesions that mimic the symptoms of bovine pinkeye. Mechanical damage, whether sustained by face fly mouth parts, dust, weed, pollen, or excessive sunlight, predisposes the eye for infection and increases epithelial discharges.

Stable Flies on Pastured Cattle

Stable flies aren’t just an annoyance. They cause reduced average daily gain, and it may take as few as four flies per leg to cause economic injury. Animals bunching to fight stable flies damage forage, and on fragile soils, may create blow outs.

How do you know when you’re dealing with stable flies?

Animals fighting stable flies may display a variety of behaviors, including

Pasture Grasshoppers

Much of Nebraska has had several years of below normal precipitation, which may allow grasshoppers to become a problem.