For most producers the spring breeding season is still a ways off, but now is a good time to review estrus synchronization protocols and develop a plan for this year. There are several Extension resources that can be helpful in preparing for the upcoming breeding season.
While Mother Nature has been giving us small tastes of spring, then pulling right back, the reminder that pasture green up is just around the corner shouldn’t be ignored. One of the earliest species we see greening up is cheatgrass (also called Downy brome, Bromus tectorum). This invasive species is found throughout Nebraska but is most prevalent on rangelands in the western portion of the state. Early spring is a good time to begin planning for cheatgrass management.
Although the breeding season for many herds is still a few months away, it is time to be evaluating bull body condition. Body condition is just as important in bulls as it is in cows. Research has shown that bulls in a body condition 5-6 have better semen quality than those in a 4 or 7.
Ranchers interested in learning about the latest cutting-edge research in range livestock production from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln are encouraged to register for the 2020 Nebraska Ranch Practicum offered by Nebraska Extension.
With many producers utilizing annual forage/cover crops and prevent plant acres, the amount of “non-traditional” forage options on the market have increased this past year. As long as we keep an eye out for potential nitrate issues, sorghum/sudangrass, milo, or small grains like oats, rye, and wheat can all make great forage options as hay or silage. Whether you are looking to buy or sell these products, answering the question, “Is the price right?” can often be a difficult undertaking.
“Local” and “Organic” are two forms of production that have received considerable public attention in the last 10 years. The label of “Local” and “Organic” are noticeably vague and at times can cause confusion among consumers. The USDA has no specific definition of the “Local” label but work to promote locally grown products.