BeefWatch Archive

Beefwatch Archive

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

Additional Calculating Annual Cow Costs Webinar Series to be Offered

Due to demand, a second webinar series on calculating annual cow costs will be offered starting in late February and running through early April. Being able to calculate and know total cow costs is foundational for evaluating and making management decisions that can improve profitability for a cow-calf enterprise. Significant increases in input costs are challenging producers to examine cost of production and identify where there may be opportunities to adjust the production system.

Limit Feeding Cows Corn as an Alternative to Hay

The lack of forage due to drought and current hay prices have producers considering alternative options for feeding cows this winter. One competitive option to consider is replacing some hay in the diet with corn. Since 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 $6.76/bushel ($241/ton) with a total digestible nutrients (TDN) value of 88% equates to approximately $0.16 per pound of TDN while hay priced at $205/ton with a TDN value of 52% is nearly $0.22 per pound of TDN.

Sire Selection FAQs

Given bull sale season is underway, addressing a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) might prove helpful as you begin to consider what bull(s) to buy this spring and the tools you use to select them.

1.       I keep my own replacement heifers but also retain ownership on cattle through the feedyard. How can I keep cow weight down but ensure that hot carcass weights do not go down?

Winter Tick

Winter has been much colder than last year. The colder temperatures enhance “Winter Tick” survival. Yes, we do have a tick species in Nebraska that is very active during winter, and it can impact livestock. Over the last 10 years I have received numerous tick specimens in January, February, and March. All specimens were removed from horses. Now is the time to carefully examine horses for the winter tick.

How Much Pasture do I Need and What are AUMs?

Determining how much pasture is needed for summer grazing can be difficult. There are many factors that affect pasture productivity including current year precipitation amounts and timing and previous year growing season’s conditions. The drought conditions that much of the U.S. experienced last year limited the amount of energy plants were able to store, especially if they were heavily grazed. It is important to consider this when developing a grazing plan for this year. This will aide in understanding how to set stocking rates and prevent further damage.

Cow Nutrition Considerations at Calving and Early Lactation

This article was originally featured in Progressive Cattle.

Extension to Host Risk Management Workshop for Cattle Producers in Ord

Nebraska Extension will host a price risk management workshop for cattle producers in Ord from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, at the Valley County Extension Office, 801 "S" Street, Suite 1, on the fairgrounds. Cattle producers will learn strategies designed to reduce risk exposure to achieve a profitable outcome in uncertain times.

Current issues facing the cattle industry will be discussed to help producers to make more informed decisions facing the industry.

2023 Cow-Calf College Beef Seminar

The 2023 Cow-Calf College Beef Seminar is set for January 19th at the Clay County Fairgrounds in the Activities Building. Registration starts at 9:00 am with programs scheduled from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm. This year’s program is focused on strategies to manage forage resources during drought, including eastern redcedar control and adjusting pasture stocking and rental rates. The hands-on format will allow participants to engage with specialists and peers throughout the day.

Cow-Calf Cost of Production Workshops to be held in the Sandhills in January and February

Two-day workshops will be held in January and February that will provide a hands-on learning experience for producers to learn how to calculate a unit cost of production for a cow-calf operation.

Having information to make effective business decisions is important for ranch success.  Enterprise analysis and unit cost of production (UCOP) are tools that can help ranchers identify where value is being created on the ranch, where costs are occurring, and what changes could be made to improve profit.

TDN Translation: Understanding Energy of Forages

Total digestible nutrients (TDN) are the common energy reference for both feed content and animal requirement, so how are the two connected and what can we know to better examine TDN of feedstuffs and use energy economically?

The initial measure of energy begins with gross energy (GE), which is the term for all energy contained within a feed and consumed by the animal. By subtracting all the energy that passes through to manure from GE, you get digestible energy (DE). Digestible energy is the measure of energy converted into TDN within feedstuffs.