BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

To read articles prior to September 2017, please visit the article archive on UNL Announce.

Manure Application Following Silage

With silage harvest coming up quickly, manure application will soon follow. Because silage is often the first crop to come off the field, it allows for earlier manure application and thus an earlier cleanout of pens before winter. As that manure application plan develops, include best stewardship practices for optimum rates and preferred application methods in final decisions. But, wait, what do those things mean?

Flexible Leases, Price Risk Management Can Offer Relief Amid Poor, Expensive Pasture Conditions

May marked the beginning that pasture and range conditions are released by USDA-AMS in their weekly crop progress reports by state. This gives the industry its first barometer of how bad the drought could be this year across the United States to the overall industry and to specific geographic areas. The USDA-AMS reports pasture and range conditions in five categories: very poor, poor, fair, good, and excellent.

When Drought-stressed Pastures Look Dormant in July

As the drought that has plagued the western U.S. since 2020 hangs on, much of Nebraska is currently experiencing moderate to severe drought. July tends to be a busy time for production cows, resulting in high nutrient demands, which further exacerbates the limitations of drought-stricken grass.

Drought-stressed Corn: A Feed Opportunity

Many areas of Nebraska and surrounding states are experiencing drought and lack of water for irrigation. What are the alternatives and considerations when grain harvest won’t be a viable option?

When harvesting drought-stressed corn to feed, consider: 

What to Expect from Alternatives to Corn Silage

Drought has limited pasture availability and forced many producers into feeding total mixed rations (TMR) to cows. Including silage in a TMR can reduce ration cost, improve the energy content of the diet, and add moisture, which can serve as a ration conditioner. However, high commodity prices have encouraged many grain farmers to plant corn for grain rather than silage. Silage can also be made from small grains such as rye, wheat, oats, triticale, or barley, or from summer annual forages such as forage sorghum, sorghum-sudan or pearl millet.

Adequate Nutrition for Breeding Season Success

We ask a lot from our cows come breeding season. We expect her to be providing adequate nutrients for calf growth (lactating), we expect her reproductive tract to repair and return to estrus prior to the start of breeding. All these expectations are within 90 days after calving to maintain a yearly calving interval.

Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory Open House

The 23rd annual University of Nebraska–Lincoln Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory (GSL) Open House will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. This year’s Open House will be a hybrid format with our traditional in-person event held at GSL along with being live streamed online webinar.

Supplementing Yearlings in the Summer Grazing Season: Is it Worth it?

Forage quality and yearling rate of gain decline throughout the summer, particularly in cool season grasses. Strategically supplementing yearlings with dry distillers grains in the second half of the summer as the grass quality declines will increase average daily gain (ADG), but will it increase returns?    

Impact of Production on the Final Product

Quality is a prediction of the expected palatability of a carcass. Quality grade is based off animal maturity and marbling. In addition to these factors, other characteristics such as color, texture and firmness of the final product are considered by those making purchasing decisions. Differences in these characteristics can be impacted by several different things and often tie back to the life of the animal. It is often noted that the combination of genetics and environment can impact the phenotype, or physical characteristics, of an animal.