BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Value Added Fed and Feeder Cattle Practices: Are they Paying?

A lot of time is spent on analyzing trends and movements in the quality and yield grade of slaughtered cattle and for good reason. These premiums indicate whether the market is willing to pay for producing a higher quality product. As producers respond to these premiums or discounts the relative share of quality graded cattle changes. For example, as the Choice-Select spread widens there is a greater incentive to feed cattle longer.

Foreign Animal Disease: Implications for Traceability

Two statements commonly spoken by market analysts and producers are: 1) beef is a differentiated product and 2) global beef supply impacts domestic prices. These are so frequently quoted that we might forget how these two statements imply modifications in local risk management and production practices. So, how do these statements apply to a hypothetical Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) situation in the United States (US)?


FMD Implications for US Beef Supply

A Calf’s Most Important Meal: Colostrum

Colostrum is the "first milk" produced after calving. It has a different composition than milk as it has an important role in being the first meal a calf receives. Colostrum is more nutrient dense than milk and contains antibodies essential for calf health.

2020 Beef Feedlot Roundtables in Bridgeport, Lexington, West Point

Beef feedlot managers, owners, employees and allied industries will learn new information related to feedlot nutrition and health at Nebraska Extension's 2020 Beef Feedlot Roundtables Feb. 18-20 in Bridgeport, Lexington and West Point.

Sugar Beet Pulp Shortage and Alternative Energy Sources for Beef Cattle

The adverse weather conditions experienced by most agriculturalists in 2019 certainly impacted sugar beet production. The reduced volume of sugar beets available for sugar production has impacted the amount of the by-product, sugar beet pulp, available for beef cattle diets this winter.

Sugar beet pulp is often used in gestating cow diets in the winter to increase the energy density of a forage based diet. The highly digestible fiber in sugar beet pulp gives it a total digestible nutrient or TDN value of 85-90%. The crude protein value is approximately 10%.

Asking “Why?” with Systems Thinking: A Powerful Tool for Problem Solving

Beef production from conception to consumption is a complex, biological system where cause and effect are often distant in time and space.   For example, things that occurred to a calf while it was developing inside of a cow, can impact that animal throughout its life all the way to harvest. This can make it challenging to identify and address the actual source of a problem when it is observed.   To better understand and address the source of problems, consider asking the question “why?”  

Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference is Feb. 20-21

The annual Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference will celebrate 35 years Feb. 20 and 21 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney.

Workshops and presentations will offer tools and information to help women better manage risk, improve their farms and ranches and become more successful operators and business partners.

Beef Profit Tips for 2020

During the winter and spring of 2020, Nebraska Beef Extension Educators will host 7 beef profitability workshops in Eastern Nebraska to help beef producers evaluate their operations to make them more profitable through the latest research information. Topics will vary depending on the presenters at each location. These workshops have been held across Nebraska for the past sixteen years. The cost is $15.00 but may vary from location to location depending on local sponsorship. There will not be a meal unless otherwise stated.

2020 Locations are as follows: 

Sharing Animal Agriculture’s Sustainability Story

Animal agriculture often endures criticism from our neighbors and consumers relative to sustainability. But when it comes to management of carbon and nutrients, animal agriculture has a positive story to share.  Many environmental and sustainability organizations promote the importance of a “circular economy” for increasing sustainability.  Farmers should help our neighbors and consumers recognize agriculture’s long term practice of implementing this circular economy.

Manure: Waste or Valuable Agricultural Resource?

manure piled

Stories about manure often illustrate two opposing sentiments. Is manure a “Waste” that pollutes our water resources and creates undesirable nuisances for communities?  Or, is manure a “Resource” that reduces the demand inorganic fertilizers and improves the health of our soils? 

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