BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Changing Supplementation Frequency May Impact Cow Weight and Body Condition Score

This article is a summary of the 2016 Kansas Agricultural Experimentation Station Research Reports: Vol. 2: Iss.1. “Effects of Altering Supplementation Frequency During the Pre-Partum Period of Beef Cows Grazing Dormant Native Range.”  C.J. McMullen, J.R. Jaeger, J.W. Waggoner, K.R. Harmoney and K.C. Olsen were collaborators on this research study and report.  The report is summarized by Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension Beef Educator.

Crop Residue Exchange Connects Cattle Producer with Available Forage

About half of the available corn residue in Nebraska is grazed by cattle. In addition to providing a winter feed resource, this practice can be used as a management option to increase the amount and rate of corn residue breakdown.  University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) research has shown that when corn residue was grazed at proper stocking rates (15% residue removal), crop production after grazing was not reduced. In fact, small, positive impacts on subsequent soybean yield has occurred.

Reviewing Cow-calf Share and Cash Lease Agreements

The fall of the year is often a convenient time for those involved in cow-calf share and cash leases of spring calving cows to revisit the terms of the agreement.  Market values of cattle, interest rates, pasture rental rates and feed costs can change significantly from year to year.  Discussing how the share or lease is working and if adjustments need to be made is a good way to ensure the agreement is fair.

Limit Feeding Cows Corn as an Alternative to Hay

Feed costs make up the largest expense in a cow-calf operation. While hay is often used to feed cows through the winter, current prices make corn a competitive option to feeding hay. Considering corn has a higher energy content than hay, the cost of feeding hay is often higher than corn on a price per pound of energy basis. For example, corn priced at $3.30/bushel ($118/ton) equates to approximately $0.08 per pound of total digestible nutrients (TDN) while hay priced at $100/ton is nearly $0.11 per pound of TDN. 

Ammoniated Corn Residue Equal to Medium Quality Grass Hay?

Ammoniation can be used to make low quality forages, like corn residue, have digestibility and protein content that is the equivalent of, or slightly better than, grass hay. 

The Process of Ammoniation

Ammoniation of corn residue is relatively easy (although working with anhydrous ammonia can be dangerous and proper safety precautions must be taken).  To ammoniate residue, the bales will be stacked together and the outside covered with plastic.

New Resource for Hispanics in the Cattle Industry: BeefWatch Articles Translated into Spanish

BeefWatch, an electronic monthly newsletter that provides beef producers with timely, research-based information on beef production issues as well as current issues and timely topics for consumers, is expanding to reach Hispanics working in the cattle industry. One to two articles will be translated each month into Spanish, appearing both on the beef.unl.edu website and the Podcast version of BeefWatch.

Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Program

In this webinar, Rob Eirich discusses the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program including why and how to become BQA certified.

Grazing Spring Calving Cow-calf Pairs on Cornstalks – A Producer’s Perspective

In this month’s BeefWatch Producer Perspective Podcast, John Maddux who is part of a diversified cattle operation near Imperial, shares how his family grazes cornstalks through the fall and winter with spring calving cow-calf pairs.

Effects of a Freeze on Forages

If you haven’t experienced a freeze yet this fall, you soon will. And remember, a freeze can cause hazards for using some forages. When plants freeze, changes occur in their metabolism and composition that can poison livestock. But you can prevent problems. Sorghum-related plants, like cane, sudangrass, shattercane, and milo can be highly toxic for a few days after frost. Freezing breaks plant cell membranes. This breakage allows the chemicals that form prussic acid, which is also called cyanide, to mix together and release this poisonous compound rapidly.

Estimating Nitrogen Credit from Manure

Manure is a valuable source of nutrients offering agronomic and soil health value. Most manure nutrients (e.g. phosphorus) can be managed successfully with traditional soil analysis.  However, nitrogen in manure requires some simple advance planning to insure that it is given proper credit for offsetting commercial fertilizer inputs.

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