BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Mineral Supplementation Changes When Feeding Distillers Grains

Providing the right type of mineral with diets containing distillers can alleviate potential health problems and often times be more cost effective as well.

Where’s Optimum?

The use of genetic selection tools by cattle breeders has resulted in significant changes within the majority of major breeds over the last 30 years. With a few exceptions, the overwhelming genetic trend for milk, weaning weight, and mature weight over that time has been for more. Without question, the use of Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) has enabled this change. The question at hand, however, is “have we selected towards that which is optimal?”

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.

Interpreting Forage Quality of Grass Hay

Have you ever tested the quality of your grass hay and been disappointed at the low relative feed value? Well, maybe your worry is unnecessary. Farmers and ranchers often tell me their prairie hay or cane hay or other grass hay looks really good but when a lab tested it the relative feed value, also called RFV, was surprisingly low, maybe in the 70s or 80s. So what’s wrong with the hay?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Manure Impact on Erosion and Runoff

Can manure be part of the solution for the erosion in this photo?

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