Beef Tips

March 2019 Management Minute

“Leadership”

By: Justin Waggoner, Ph.D., Beef Systems Specialist

What is leadership? And what makes a leader effective? The term leadership is simply defined as “the action of leading a group of people or an organization” or the “ability to lead other people.” History has given us a number of examples of excellent leaders who have motivated groups or organizations to accomplish tremendous acts against overwhelming odds. Pick one. Any leader of your choice. What made this individual a great leader? Could we concisely come up with a list of traits or characteristics that made this individual an excellent leader? Now pick another. Do your two leaders have anything in common? What made these leaders effective? Although leadership has been the focus of tremendous study and numerous books, we still do not understand it. However, I would contend that the one thing all great leaders share is that they helped those they were leading get better and accomplish bigger things than those individuals thought was possible. As a leader, “What are you doing to help your people get better at what they do?”

For more information, contact Justin Waggoner at jwaggon@ksu.edu.

March 2019 Feedlot Facts

“The Basics of Mineral Nutrition”

By: Justin Waggoner, Ph.D., Beef Systems Specialist

Beef cattle producers recognize that mineral nutrition is important. However, a mineral program is only one component of an operation’s nutrition and management plan. An exceptional mineral program will not compensate for deficiencies in energy, protein or management. Additionally, the classic signs associated with clinical deficiency (wasting, hair loss, discoloration of hair coat, diarrhea, bone abnormalities, etc.) are not often or are rarely observed in production settings. The production and economic losses attributed to mineral nutrition in many situations are the result of sub-clinical deficiencies, toxicities and antagonisms between minerals which are often less obvious (reduced immune function, vaccine response, and sub-optimal fertility). The figure below, adapted from Wikse (1992), illustrates the effect of trace mineral deficiency on health and performance and the margin between adequate mineral status and clinical deficiency.

Seventeen minerals are required in the diets of beef cattle. However, no requirements have been established for several minerals that are considered essential (Chlorine, Chromium, Molybdenum, and Nickel). Minerals may be broken down into two categories. 1. The macrominerals whose requirements are expressed as a percent of the total diet (calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chlorine and sulfur). 2. The microminerals or trace minerals (required in trace amounts) whose requirements are expressed as parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per kilogram of dry matter consumed (chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium and zinc).

Mineral status of an animal is a function of the total diet (both water and feed) and stored mineral reserves within the body. Water may be a substantial source of minerals; however, the variation in water consumption makes estimating the contribution of mineral from water sources difficult. Mineral content of forages is influenced by several factors including plant species, soil, maturity, and growing conditions. These factors, and others not mentioned, makes estimating the dietary mineral content of grazing cattle challenging. Most commercial mineral supplements are formulated to meet or exceed the requirements for a given stage of production. This ensures that deficiencies are unlikely, but providing supra-optimal levels of minerals may be unnecessary unless specific production problems exist. A mineral program does not have to be complex or expensive to be successful.

For more information, contact Justin Waggoner at jwaggon@ksu.edu.

Syngenta Enogen Feed Corn Silage Containing an Alpha Amylase Expression Trait Improves Feed Efficiency in Growing Calf Diets

Objective: To determine the growing calf response when fed Enogen Feed corn silage containing an alpha amylase expression trait.

 Study Description: Crossbred steers of Tennessee origin (n = 352) were used to determine the effects on performance when fed Enogen Feed corn silage with either Enogen Feed corn or control corn at ad libitum intake. Continue reading “Syngenta Enogen Feed Corn Silage Containing an Alpha Amylase Expression Trait Improves Feed Efficiency in Growing Calf Diets”

Evaluation of Two Implants for Steers on Early-Intensively Grazed Tallgrass Native Range

Objective: To evaluate the effect of two implants that have different lengths of effec­tive use on stocker cattle gains within an intensive early double-stocked native tall­grass prairie grazing system

Study description: Stocker steers (n = 281) were implanted with Revalor-G (Merck Animal Health, Madison, NJ) or Synovex One Grass (Zoetis, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI) and grazed on tallgrass native range for 90 days during the summer. The steers were individually weighed, after an overnight shrink, on the day of implanting, at midpoint of grazing, and the end of the grazing period. Total gains and average daily gain were evaluated. Continue reading “Evaluation of Two Implants for Steers on Early-Intensively Grazed Tallgrass Native Range”

Visual Degree of Doneness Has an Impact on Palatability Ratings of Consumers Who Had Differing Degree of Doneness Preferences

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the impact of feeding con­sumers of varying degree of doneness preferences steaks cooked to multiple degrees of doneness on their perceptions of beef palatability.

Study Description: Paired Low Choice frozen steaks from the posterior half of the strip loin were randomly assigned a degree of doneness of rare (140°F), medium-rare (145°F), medium (160°F), medium-well (165°F), or well-done (170°F). Consumer panelists, prescreened to participate in panels based on their degree of doneness pref­erence, were served steak samples cooked to each of the five degrees of doneness under low-intensity red incandescent lighting to mask any degree of doneness differences among samples. Continue reading “Visual Degree of Doneness Has an Impact on Palatability Ratings of Consumers Who Had Differing Degree of Doneness Preferences”

Inaugural Livestock Field Day to be Hosted in North Central Kansas

Make plans to attend the first ever Stock Growers Field Day on Tuesday, March 26

The Stock Growers Field Day will be highlighted by a market outlook from CattleFax and by a presentation on increasing production efficiency from the well-known reproductive physiologist, Dr. Rick Funston.  The field day, held in Beloit, Kansas, will be a collaboration from K-State Research and Extension, the Kansas Livestock Association, and the Kansas Bull Test.

Continue reading “Inaugural Livestock Field Day to be Hosted in North Central Kansas”

Management tips to reduce the impact of calf scours

by A.J. Tarpoff DVM, MS. Beef Extension Veterinarian

Neonatal calf scours (diarrhea) is a multifactorial issue. The risk and occurrence can change year to year based on many different factors. Due to the cold, wet and windy weather of late, it sets up for some unique challenges in combating calf scours this year.

Causes

Scours can be initiated by infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, and even protozoan parasites. It is important to note that most of the pathogens of concern are shed at low levels through the feces by healthy members of the resident cowherd. Continue reading “Management tips to reduce the impact of calf scours”

Rethinking Castration

by Miriam Martin, graduate student

Reducing pain at the time of castration is a topic that has received renewed interest in scientific meetings, in conversation with consumers, and is beginning to work its way into producer’s conversations with veterinarians. A lot of confusion surrounds extra-label drug use, what agents are available, the practicality of implementing preemptive analgesia, and whether or not it’s right for your operation. Continue reading “Rethinking Castration”

February 2019 Management Minute

“Corporate Culture”

By: Justin Waggoner, Ph.D., Beef Systems Specialist

Corporate or organizational culture is one of “buzzwords” in today’s business community. Although it is not a new term by any means (originating in the 1960s), it has undoubtedly received more attention, as tech giants have created unconventional employee centered environments. So what does corporate or organizational culture mean, and what is the role of a leader or manager in an organization’s culture? Many different sources define corporate culture as the shared beliefs, values, standards, systems, policies and perceptions held by employees. Informally the culture of company may be characterized by asking the company’s employees a few questions. What words best describe the organization? What behaviors or efforts are rewarded? What is the company’s No. 1 priority? In some cases, two very different cultures may exist within an organization: a formal corporate culture, i.e. mission statements, core values statements and an informal corporate culture (views of the employees). Corporate culture is generally thought of as progressing from the top down, where leadership initiates and stewards the corporate culture by hiring and promoting individuals who represent/embrace the corporate culture. More importantly, managers and leaders must model the corporate culture in their interactions with both customers and employees. Corporate culture may be healthy or unhealthy. Is the culture of your organization positively contributing to the business? As a manager, does the corporate culture align with your values and beliefs? Are you incentivizing and rewarding employees for doing the right thing?

For more information, contact Justin Waggoner at jwaggon@ksu.edu

February 2019 Feedlot Facts

“Body Condition Scoring: A Herd Management Tool”

By: Justin Waggoner, Ph.D., Beef Systems Specialist

Body condition scoring is one of the most valuable management tools at the disposal of the cattle manager. This one number gives producers a direct indication of an individual cow’s previous plane of nutrition and future reproductive capability. Although the individual body condition scores are important, we don’t necessarily manage individual cows, we manage groups of cows. Thus, it is important for us to look beyond the individual scores and look at the distribution of body condition scores within the herd. If we have a herd (Herd 1) with an average body condition score of 5 that is essentially characterized by the classic bell curve, with a few thin cows (3.5’s), the bulk of cows in the middle (4’s and 5’s) and few over-conditioned cows (7’s) everything is good. Alternatively, we could have a herd (Herd 2) with an average body condition score of 5 that is essentially the result of a few thin cows (3’s) and some over conditioned cows (6’s and 7’s).

Body condition scoring also has more value when it is done on the same group of cows at multiple times during the production year. If Herd 2 was scored at calving and had been previously scored at weaning and had an essentially normal distribution (similar to Herd 1), we need to ask ourselves what happened. Did we change anything? Although these examples are somewhat extreme, they illustrate that we have to look beyond the individual body condition scores of cows at one point during the production year to get the most of body condition scoring.

K-State has several resources on body condition scoring available on the web that may be accessed at https://www.asi.k-state.edu/research-and-extension/beef/feedandwater.html, including the quick reference guide to body condition scoring shown below.

For more information, contact Justin Waggoner at jwaggon@ksu.edu.