BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Corn Silage Feed Out

Be safe, get the daily amount and leave a smooth face. These are the key factors when it comes to feeding out corn silage.

Silage is a conservation technique that relies on anaerobic fermentation to primarily convert plant carbs into acetic and lactic acid, and those acids will then preserve the rest of the material for future use. Because the ideal point of corn silage harvest is at black layer, by now (November) all silages would have almost sixty days since they were chopped and stored.

How to Meet your Cow’s Nutrient Needs when Feeding Hay this Winter

1.  Collect a representative sample of your hay with a probe.

Sampling is the largest source of error and doing it right is important to ensuring you get an accurate estimate of the feed value of your hay. Make sure to keep different “lots” of hay separate. Guidelines for sampling can be found here.

Will the next farm laborer please stand up?

This article was first published in Beef Magazine.

Virtual workshop series to cover tax basics, strategies for Midwestern women in ag

An upcoming virtual workshop series for Midwestern farm and ranch women will teach the basics of tax planning for agricultural operations. Hosted by women in agriculture extension programs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kansas State University, and Purdue University, the three-part series will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Central time on Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

Fall 2023 Nebraska Farm Income Update

Nebraska’s farm income is projected near $7.8 billion in 2023, according to a new report from the Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center (RaFF) at the University of Missouri, produced in conjunction with the Center for Agricultural Profitability at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

The report, “Fall 2023 Nebraska Farm Income Outlook,” indicates that Nebraska’s stronger 2023 farm income projection is driven largely by higher livestock prices and recovery in ending year inventories and values.

What to know about grazing frosted forages

The first frost may be welcome for its fly-killing ability, but for cattle producers running cattle on annual forages, a few management steps this time of year can make sure that first frost doesn't have the same effect on cattle grazing milo, sudangrass and sorghum varieties. 

Strip grazing annual forages in the fall: Is it worth the effort?

After about 5 years of fall cover crop grazing, one thing became apparent: the amount of grazing achieved when we gave cattle access to the whole field from the start did not appear to be determined by the amount of forage that was in the field. This was because the weather seemed to determine how much trampling loss occurred. In wet years, we harvested less than 15% of the forage, and on average, we captured about 30%.

More than 419,000 Tons of Rangeland Production are Lost Annually in Nebraska to Woody Encroachment

Did you know that Nebraska’s grasslands lose over 419,000 tons of forage production every year due to woody plant encroachment? When woody plants like eastern redcedar spread and take over grasslands, they displace grasses and broadleaf plants and reduce forage production by up to 75%1 (Fig.1). New rangeland monitoring data shows that tree cover increased by over 402,000 acres in Nebraska’s rangelands from 1990-2019 ( This means less forage for livestock and wildlife needs.

Reviewing Cow-Calf Share and Cash Lease Agreements

The trend in cattle prices over the last year has been dramatically toward the upside. Prices have risen higher and faster than many market analysts thought possible for 2023. These changes in market value are having an impact on beef cow share and cash lease agreements in determining what is “fair” to both cow owners and those who are leasing the cows.

For a cow owner, the following are the four major drivers that determine what is "fair" in terms of a cash lease or percentage of the calf crop the cow owner should receive. Those factors are: