BeefWatch Articles from May 2024

BeefWatch Articles from May 2024

Barta Brothers Ranch starting to see results of prescribed burns

Lincoln, Neb. —With a third successful prescribed burn completed at Barta Brothers Ranch on April 21, researchers are seeing what fire can and cannot do about invasive redcedars.

Nebraska team identifies new genetic defect impacting cattle morbidity and meat quality

Cattle have long been a cornerstone of agriculture, providing us with milk, meat, and various other products that nourish and sustain our communities. Ensuring the cattle’s health and optimal muscle development is vital when producing high-quality beef. However, various genetic conditions can disrupt muscle metabolism, affecting animals’ well-being and the quality of the meat they produce.

Predicted hot, dry summer could impact forage production

In parts of the High Plains region, recent developing dry conditions are starting to raise concerns that we may see reduced forage production from pasture and rangelands as we move on into the rest of the spring and summer. The map shows many parts of the Sandhills and Panhandle regions receiving below average precipitation for the last 30 days.  This time frame is critical for precipitation that drives cool-season forage production on rangeland and pasture.

Nebraska Extension’s ‘Herd That!’ conference in North Platte to focus on beef cattle reproduction

The Nebraska Women in Agriculture program, along with the Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Program, will host the fourth annual Herd That! Conference on June 10-11, in North Platte. The event will be held at the West Central Research, Extension and Education Center, 402 W. State Farm Road.  

Time to start planning for heat in the feedlot

As we approach the end of May, it may be time to start thinking of the summer heat, particularly that first heat event that cattle and folks who manage may not be prepared for. The following is a list of some strategies cattle feedlot managers and their crews could begin thinking about as nice weather today turns into heat-stressing weather later.

How to know when a pasture is ready to be grazed in the spring

The time for turn out to our primary summer pastures is very near.  A couple of important questions are what date to turn out, and which pastures should be first?

Horn flies and Control Options

Nebraska’s spring weather conditions have made it more difficult to predict the emergence of horn flies. If the current weather pattern continues, we should start to see horn fly emergence in the southeast part of the state in early May, reaching northern Nebraska by late May. If we experience an abrupt and sustained warm-up, horn fly numbers could reach or exceed the Economic Injury Level (EIL) statewide by the end of May. The EIL represents a fly population of 200 flies per animal that negatively impacts cattle production enough to warrant paying for a fly control measure.

The Nebraska Range Short Course and Grazing School team up in 2024

Click here to register by June 1! 

The 2024 Nebraska Range Short Course is teaming up with the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) Grazing School on June 25 – 27, 2024 at the Spring Lake Ranch south of Gordon, Nebraska to host an event that will give individuals an opportunity to increase their skills with grazing, rangeland management, and livestock production.

Should I trich test my mature bulls?

We are nearing spring turnout and breeding season, and with that, many producers may be getting bulls tested right before turnout. So, what should producers be considering to maintain herd health within their mature bull battery?

Bovine trichomoniasis “trich” testing – what is it?

H5N1/Avian Influenza/Bird Flu in dairy cattle

A discussion of the situation involving H5N1 (avian influenza/bird flu) and dairy cattle with UNL’s BeefWatch Podcast host Aaron Berger, beef Extension educator and Dr. Matt Hille, an assistant professor and diagnostic pathologist at the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center based on the campus of the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.

Targeted grazing on cheatgrass in the western Great Plains

Targeted livestock grazing is the application of grazing animals at a defined time, intensity, and duration for vegetation or landscape management objectives. When planned right, targeted grazing management can accomplish those objectives without negatively affecting livestock production. Understanding plant growth and livestock grazing preference is important to the success of targeted grazing.

May 2024 Nebraska Rangeland and Pasture Update

As May is upon us, many will be turning cattle out to pasture shortly or have done so already.  Cool-season grasses across the state have started to grow. Current moisture conditions will be a strong driver of cool-season grass growth. The month of April began drier for much of the state outside the panhandle but has been wet—very wet in some cases—for most of the state in the last two weeks. As such, a majority of locations in Nebraska are above average on precipitation for the water year, with much of the panhandle, Sandhills, and northeast sections coming in well above average.

Understanding the Value of Grass in Nebraska

Nebraska has one of the highest summer pasture rental rates for cow-calf pairs or stocker/yearlings of anywhere in the United States. On a price per pair per month or price per head basis, Nebraska rental rates are at the top when compared to neighboring states and the nation. Nebraska Extension annually publishes the results of a survey, “Nebraska Farm Real Estate Report” that documents reported pasture rental rates.