BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Cow-Calf Cost Breakdown – Breeding Expense

A critical component of the cow-calf business is reproduction. Getting cows or heifers pregnant comes with the cost of breeding expense. The fourth largest expense for many cow-calf operations is breeding expense.

Remove Net Wrap and Twine

Is twine or net wrap good feed? Obviously not, but it can cause health problems if animals eat too much of it. Feeding hay is work. To lighten the work load feeding hay, we often take short cuts and leave some twine or net wrap on the bales. Whether we want them to or not, animals eat some of that twine.

Meeting the Nutrient Demands of Cows Grazing Cornstalks

As fall harvest comes to a close many cows will be turned out on cornstalks to graze the crop residue left after harvest for the winter. This can be an economical forage resource for many producers. Keeping feed costs low while maintaining production is an important part of profitability. Knowing the nutrient needs of cows is key to knowing what supplementation strategy is necessary.

Cow-Calf Cost Breakdown – Labor and Equipment

An economic analysis of annual cow costs in Nebraska shows labor together with owning and operating equipment is often the second or third largest expense to the cowherd.

Estimate Corn on the Ground Prior to Grazing Cornstalks

Prior to grazing cornstalks with cattle, an estimate should be made of the amount of corn that is present in the field. The UNL Extension Circular EC 287 Grazing Crop Residues with Beef Cattle provides information on a simple method for estimating the bushels of corn that are on the ground.

Pasture and Grass Hayland Grubs

There have been several inquiries from landowners in central Nebraska concerning damage to pasture and hay meadows from grubs. Affected areas have included subirrigated meadows in the Sandhills and Platte River valley and other pasture sites that are dominated by smooth bromegrass or Kentucky bluegrass.

Wintering Growing Calves Using Corn Residue: The Value of Bypass Protein

Corn residue is an outstanding forage resource for wintering cows, but is also an option for backgrounding calves or growing heifers. Given the typical rental rates for corn residue and the cost of distillers’ grains, these two feed resources together make one of the lowest cost growing rations. To understand why distillers’ grains are such a good supplement for growing calves, one must first understand a little about how protein is used in ruminant animals.

Effects of a Freeze on Forages

If you haven’t experienced a freeze yet this fall, you soon will. And remember, a freeze can cause hazards for using some forages. When plants freeze, changes occur in their metabolism and composition that can poison livestock. But you can prevent problems.

Pasture Grown After Rain

Today let’s play a little game of ‘what if’. As in ‘what if it rains enough this fall for your pastures and hay meadows to green up and grow’. Should you graze?

Managing Common Mullein

Common mullein is becoming an increasing concern to grassland managers as the aggressive forb spreads from old fields, abused areas, and rights-of-way to grasslands. Woolly leaves complicate control by discouraging grazers and obstructing herbicide contact. Although seeds are not produced until the second growing season (the first year’s growth is only a vegetative rosette and does not produce a stalk or seed head), this yellowed flowered biennial is a prolific seed producer with each plant producing over 175,000 seeds and each seed remaining viable for over 100 years.

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