BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Economics of Producing Forage on Cropland

Current corn prices coupled with reduced perennial pasture availability have producers asking questions about the economics of using cropland to produce forage for cow/calf production. This was the subject of a webinar offered by Nebraska Extension on the evening of February 13.

Estrus Synchronization Protocols

Estrus synchronization optimizes labor and time, and improves the ease of using artificial insemination (AI) (Lamb et al., 2009). Use of AI allows access to superior genetics, accelerates genetic change within a herd, and is frequently less expensive than natural service (Johnson and Jones, 2004). Synchronized females 1) exhibit estrus at a controlled time, 2) have increased calf uniformity, 3) calve earlier in the season, and 4) wean calves that are older and heavier (Perry, 2004).

Estrus Synchronization Products

Estrus synchronization can lead to an increased proportion of females conceiving earlier in the calving season and will wean older and larger calves at weaning.

Colostrum Helps Newborn Calves

Colostrum, or first milk produced by the mother after birth, is high in nutrients and antibodies. A newborn calf lacks disease protection because antibodies do not pass across the cow’s placenta to the fetus’ circulatory system. Antibodies in colostrum provide calves with their initial protection.

Using Early Season Forage Growth – Is There Enough for Growing, Calving Heifers?

As spring approaches most producers are anxious to get cows out of the lot and make use of early spring grazing. While there are certainly some advantages to sending pairs out into fresh air and wide open spaces, there are some forage availability and diet quality considerations producers need to evaluate.

Utilizing Annual Forages as part of a Diversified Production System – A Producer's Perspective

In this month's BeefWatch Producer Perspective Podcast, the Peterson family who own and operate Plum Thicket Farms near Gordon share how they utilize annual forages as part of their diversified crop and cattle operation. Some of the topics that the Peterson family discusses in the interview include:

Changes to National Cattle Evaluation Benefits Bulls Buyers in 2018

National Cattle Evaluation has never been static, and future changes are inevitable as science continues to advance.

Prepartum Nutrition

Recent research has shown maternal nutrition during late gestation can have lasting impacts on calf health, growth, and performance postnatally. These impacts can include improved weaning weights, yearling weights, and marbling scores of progeny.

Across-breed EPD Adjustment Factor Updates

Since 1993, the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) has produced a table of factors to adjust Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) so that the genetic merit of individual animals can be compared across breeds. These adjustment factors are needed because EPDs published by one breed are inherently not comparable to those published by another breed.

Ammonia Loss and Emission Reporting: Considerations for Cattle Operations

A resource reality of cattle production is that only 10-30% of the nitrogen (N) that is consumed (i.e. fed protein) is utilized by animals for growth, reproduction, milk production, and maintenance needs. Unused N is excreted, primarily in urine. Nitrogen is an essential, valuable plant nutrient, so recycling of N is highly desirable and occurs when urine and feces are applied directly onto soil in a pasture, range or other grazing scenario, or collected manure is applied to cropland.

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