BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Pushing the Boundary: New Collaboration Aims to Increase Ranch Resilience in the Great Plains

Today’s farms and ranches require decisions to be made throughout periods of elevated risk and uncertainty. Managing operational efficiency, grass banking, and destocking herds are all commonly used to stabilize returns during drought conditions and market extremes.

However, the compounding effects of extreme weather, market volatility, and rising input costs have re-focused attention on management alternatives that offer a broader set of resources to use when developing or implementing grazing management plans.

Farmer/Rancher Generational Transition Workshop April 21 in Whitman and April 22 in Ainsworth

Family-owned operations make up 98% of U. S. agriculture. Transitioning the ranch from one generation to the next, or even from one operator to another can be complicated. Research from Oklahoma State University1 evaluated the probability of success for various agricultural transition plans. Family-owned businesses successfully transferred from the first generation to the second generation 30% of the time. However, success rates declined in subsequent generations.

How Valu-Bull are Breeding Soundness Exams?

We may be finishing the calving season, but it is never too early to be thinking about the breeding season. With the breeding season comes getting those bulls scheduled for their breeding soundness exam (BSE) and ensuring your bull battery are satisfactory breeders.

What You Need to Know to be a Bottle Calf’s Mama

In the beef industry, the goal is to have each newborn calf paired up with a good cow who has adequate milk and plenty of maternal instincts. Unfortunately, there are times a calf ends up without a mother and becomes a bottle calf.

BQA Award-winning Producers Help Tackle Consumer Trust Objectives

Among its six committees, the Beef Checkoff’s “Consumer Trust Committee” supports programs that grow consumer trust in beef and beef production through greater adoption and understanding of industry best practices. The Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is the industry’s library of information on best practices and serves as a hub for disseminating this information to cattle producers.

Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options

The next session of “Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options,” Nebraska Extension’s four-part record-keeping course, will be held virtually from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. central time on April 18, 20, 25 and 27.

Participants should plan on attending each of the four workshop dates. The course requires participants to have an internet connection. 

Horn Flies: Impact and Control Options for Pastured Cattle

As temperatures warm, pasture fly season is just around the corner. The horn fly, has been and continues to be a major fly pest of pasture and rangeland cattle across the U. S. During a warm spring in Nebraska, horn flies can be seen on cattle as early as the third week of April. Historically, horn flies appearing during this period may perish from cold fronts arriving later in the month, or in early May. Even with challenging weather conditions, the horn fly can adapt to these conditions by shortening the number of days to complete its life cycle.

Drought Planning Trigger Dates

A dry year last year and little moisture so far this year has led to depleted soil moisture conditions for much of the state. With National Weather Service forecasts showing a likely warmer than normal summer for Nebraska, combined with current low soil moisture, we do need to think about planning for dry conditions through the growing season. (See Figures 1-3)


Pastures and Drought: Response and Impact

Few producers will complain about dry weather during calving.  Not having to worry about wet calves or fight the mud is definitely a blessing.  However, with a dry fall and open winter for much of Nebraska, the threat of drought going into the 2022 growing season may be cause to dust off and reevaluate our operation’s drought plan.

Relieving Stress around the Branding Pen

Spring calving brings the promise of working calves, and in some areas of the state, branding season. Following is the challenge of gathering enough help at the right times to ensure proper vaccination, castration, and the other complements to our herd health programs. Priorities during this event typically include people safety and minimization of cattle stress.