Beef Tips

Considerations for use of drought-stressed corn for cattle

by Jaymelynn Farney, beef systems specialist, Parsons, KS

Throughout Kansas, there are areas of extreme drought and even in areas that show adequate moisture on the drought monitor, rain has been very “spotty” so some corn is beginning to look tough.  Luckily, cattle are one potential option to salvage some value if the corn crop does not look like it will yield.  Continue reading “Considerations for use of drought-stressed corn for cattle”

ARSBC Symposium Will Be Aug. 29-30

New Mexico and Texas will host beef cattle reproduction workshop in Ruidoso, N.M.; registration is open now.

Registration is open for the 2018 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle symposium to be hosted at the Ruidoso Convention Center, Ruidoso, N.M., Aug. 29-30.  More detailed program information and online registration is available at www.appliedreprostrategies.com.

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Tally Time – BIF meeting provides more evidence: you can’t manage what you don’t measure

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby, KS

The recent Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Conference marked the organization’s 50th meeting, and this landmark provided a good opportunity for reflection.  Over the years, BIF has sought industry cooperation in applying science to improve beef cattle genetics.   When the first performance data was collected, a hot topic was if anything other than visual phenotypic selection was appropriate for the industry.  While phenotypic evaluations for traits not easily measured are still part of selection, collection of data and development of EPDs have allowed the industry to make significant changes in animal performance. A key role that BIF has played is the standardization of performance records and procedures to do so. Continue reading “Tally Time – BIF meeting provides more evidence: you can’t manage what you don’t measure”

Performance of Early-Weaned Calves

By Justin Waggoner, beef systems specialist, Garden City, KS

Under normal production circumstances calves are typically weaned at 180-220 days of age, however under circumstances where forage supply is limited or cow body condition is lacking weaning calves at 180 days of age or less may be one of the easiest ways to reduce cow nutrient requirements and improve cow body condition. Many cattle producers express concerns over the thought of weaning 350-450 lb calves during the heat of the summer and believe that early-weaned calves will not perform well in a dry lot environment. In a recent study (Bailey et al. 2013) conducted at the K-State Agriculture Research Center-Hays, 243 spring-born calves were weaned at 113 ± 17 days of age and were limit-fed a common diet to achieve target average daily gains of 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 lbs per day during an 84 day receiving period.

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Early weaning calf health considerations

by A.J. Tarpoff, DVM, MS; extension veterinarian

Early weaning of calves during a drought can have many benefits to the cow herd such as improved body condition of the cows, improved rebreeding rates, increased forage availability, and possibly improved calf performance. However, increased management is essential for the young calves, and several factors should be considered before this decision is made.

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Monitor Ponds for Blue Green Algae

by A.J. Tarpoff, DVM, MS; extension veterinarian

Blue green algae blooms are an issue that usually gets discussed this time of year. Calm, sunny, dry, and hot days of summer create ideal conditions for blue green algae to thrive in our livestock ponds. Blue green algae occurrence is sporadic making its threat unpredictable. Despite its name, these blooms are not algae, but a cyanobacteria. Some of these cyanobacteria produce and release dangerous toxins that are of major concern for our livestock.

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Save the Date: K-State Ranching Summit August 15

Manhattan, Kan. –The K-State Beef Team is pleased to invite you to the 2018 K-State Ranching Summit, Aug. 15, 2018 at the KSU Alumni Center in Manhattan, KS.  The Ranching Summit event is designed to equip managers with the skills to address the challenges of ranching in the business climate of today and tomorrow. The theme of the program is “Beef 2030 – Pursuing technology, transparency and profitability.” Continue reading “Save the Date: K-State Ranching Summit August 15”

Anaplasmosis has been found in all Kansas agricultural districts

By Gregg A. Hanzlicek, DVM, PAS, PhD

In 2017, the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine initiated a state-wide Kansas cow-calf anaplasmosis prevalence study.

One hundred and sixty four licensed veterinarians collected blood samples from herds in their practice area.  In total, 925 herds (9,250 animals) were sampled.  Veterinarians, herds, and animals within each herd were randomly selected for this study.  Diagnostic testing was completed on each blood sample to estimate the percentage of positive Anaplasmosis herds residing in each Kansas Agricultural District.  This study did NOT determine what percentage of animals within each herd were positive. Continue reading “Anaplasmosis has been found in all Kansas agricultural districts”

Tally Time: Keeping on schedule

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby, KS

A year ago at this time, wet weather had delayed planting of many spring crops.  This year, cool soil temperatures are doing the same.  Grass growth has also been delayed, and in many cases winter feed supplies are running short.  The challenge for many operators is to give the grass as much time as possible given the current weather conditions, balanced with how long winter-feed supplies can be stretched. Continue reading “Tally Time: Keeping on schedule”

Predicting Forage Growth

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby, KS

The current drought monitor has much of the southern part of KS in severe or extreme drought, with exceptional drought along the western Oklahoma boarder. It is hard to know how this will change in the coming months but preparation and planning can help us adapt and minimize the impact if dry conditions continue. Continue reading “Predicting Forage Growth”