BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Preventing Baler Fires

Corn harvest is just starting and with the shortage of forages this year, several corn fields will have corn stalks baled up.  With the majority of the state being in some variation of drought, the potential of a fire occurring and spreading rapidly is a topic of concern.  Here are a few tips and reminders to prevent fires from occurring.

Tensions Surrounding US Beef Exports to China

This article was originally published by "In the Cattle Markets" in August 2022.

Flexible Stocking Rate Options for Drought Management

It is often recommended that ranchers stock at a moderate stocking rate to avoid overgrazing and to manage for dry conditions. However, during severe multiyear droughts, even moderately stocked rangelands become overstocked, and managers are forced to sell breeding stock to adapt. Depending on market conditions during and after drought, liquidating breeding stock can have significant financial impacts on the operation. Developing plans that provide for interannual variability can give producers the opportunity to take advantage of above average years and prompt action in poor years.

Cautions for Cattle Grazing Frosted Forages

When some forages are frosted, the potential for bloat, toxicity, and nitrates may increase for grazing cattle.

Minimizing Storage Losses of Round Bale Hay

Storing big round hay bales by lining them up along the fence row may be easy, but it is not economical.  Baled forage probably constitutes the highest percentage of winter feed cost we have wrapped up in a cow. The production of hay uses immense resources, and the ration quality is affected by hay quality. Storing dry hay on the ground without cover causes greater amount of spoilage when compared to other methods of storage.

Feeding Cows While Coping with Drought and High Input Costs

Drought conditions influenced forage and grain production for nearly two years.  Forage and grain yields are expected to be somewhere between 1/3 and ½ of normal.  Pasture yield is also low or already out.  Feeding and managing cows while coping with these conditions is a challenge complicated further by costs associated with feed delivery.   Cow-calf producers must incorporate three considerations that greatly affect cow feeding costs under current economic conditions:  feeding group size, energy density of feed and fuel cost.

Can Early Pregnancy Detection Help You Make Culling and Replacement Decisions This Fall?

The long, hot days of summer are a stark contrast from the cold nights of calving season.  However, now is the time to start preparing for the arrival of the 2023 calf crop.  August or September is a prime month for ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis of your cow herd.

‘Herd That!’ Conference

The Nebraska Women in Agriculture program, along with the Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Program, are excited to announce the second annual Herd That! Conference on Sept. 21, 2022, in Broken Bow, Nebraska with a pre-conference Sept. 20. The cattle handling demonstration will be one of the highlights of the program, along with the keynote speakers Courtenay Dehoff, #fancyladycowgirl, and ShayLe Stewart, DTN Livestock Analyst.

Plan Now to Purchase Your Hay Supplies

Hay production has been reported to be 50% of average or less in many areas of Nebraska. The U.S. hay supply is at a 50-year low (Table 1). Couple this information with rising costs (Figure 1) and it becomes prudent to plan fall, winter, and next spring’s hay needs sooner rather than later. Inventory your feed and hay resources now to know what you need. Checking prices and availability now will go a long way to reducing the anxiety of what we will feed our cows this fall and winter.

2022 Southeast Nebraska Alfalfa and Wheat Expo – September 1

Southeast Nebraska farmers can sharpen their management strategies for the third and fourth most grown crops at the second annual Southeast Nebraska Alfalfa and Wheat Expo. Hosts and southeast Nebraska Water & Integrating Cropping Systems Extension Educator, Nathan Mueller, and southeast Nebraska Beef Systems Extension Educators, Wayde Pickinpaugh and Connor Biehler advocate for more diverse crop rotations that are both underutilized and undervalued.