BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Nutritional Management of Gestating Spring-calving Cows Grazing Dormant Upland Pastures

As we progress into the fall and winter months, forage quality in dormant upland pastures will be low while nutrient requirements of spring-calving range cows will increase.

Management of Non-Pregnant Cows

Traditional practice has been to cull an open beef female after pregnancy diagnosis to avoid additional feed and labor costs on a non-productive animal. Frequently, cull cows are sold into slaughter in the fall when cull cow inventory is highest and prices are lowest.

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.

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.

Manure Impact on Soil Aggregation

Manure increases formation of larger (macro) and more stable soil aggregates.  Several benefits result for fields fertilized by manure compared to commercial fertilizer including:

Cow-Calf Cost Breakdown – Feed Cost

An economic analysis of annual cow costs in Nebraska shows that feed cost represents approximately 40-70% of all costs when labor and depreciation are included. An economic analysis values owned pasture and raised feed at market value. The cows are asked to pay fair market value for both grazed and fed feed. When pasture, cornstalks and hay are calculated in at market value, feed costs for the cow herd can easily be north of $550 per cow.

Nebraska BQA: Preconditioning and Weaning Preparation

Cow-calf producers are nearing weaning time of their 2017 calf crop, with current market and industry trends, producers should be considering and preparing for preconditioning or weaning programs. It is important to consider the best programs for the health of calves during these stressful periods and into the feeding phases.

Make Informed Range and Pasture Management Decisions

Planning and monitoring are often underutilized tools in range and pasture management. Growing and harvesting forage with livestock is the foundation of a ranch business and development of a written plan increases your ability to effectively manage your resources. A written management plan details the steps needed to achieve specific goals and objectives you identify for your operation including the management of forage resources.

Silage Considerations

Silage time has arrived for many producers. Some producers have been forced to put up silage due to hail but many are considering silage over grain based on economical beef production when feeding silage. Here are some key considerations for beef producers to consider before and during use of silage in their operation.

Consistency is Key to Proper Feed Bunk Management

Proper bunk management is the art of matching feed deliveries to the amount of feed cattle need for optimal performance. Underfeeding cattle results in poor gains and feed efficiency, longer days on feed, and reduced carcass quality.

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