Beef Tips

Author: Angie Denton

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”

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”

Water: Questions and Answers

by Justin W. Waggoner, beef systems specialist, Garden City

Most cattle producers fully understand the importance of water. After all, providing an adequate supply of clean, fresh, water is the cornerstone of animal husbandry. There are very few things that compare to the feeling of finding thirsty cows grouped around a dry tank on hot day. Water is important, and in situations where the water supply is limited or we are forced to haul water, one of the first questions we find ourselves asking is “how much water do those cows need”? Continue reading “Water: Questions and Answers”

Forage analysis: What Numbers Do I Need

By Justin Waggoner, Beef Systems Specialist

One the more common questions I receive with regard to analytical testing of forages and other feedstuffs is, “I have the sample, now what do I test for or what analysis package should I select?”

The basic components that nutritionists need to evaluate a feedstuff or develop a ration are dry matter or moisture, crude protein, an estimate of the energy content of the feedstuff — Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN), Net Energy for Maintenance (NEm), Net Energy for gain (NEg), and the macro minerals, Calcium and Phosphorous. These are the most basic numbers that are required but including some additional analyses in the report can give us additional insight into the quality of the feedstuff or improve our ability to predict animal performance, which is the primary reason we analyze feedstuffs.

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A System Approach to Cattle Handling Facility Design

 

By A.J. Tarpoff, Beef Extension Veterinarian

Cattle handling facilities are an excellent investment for the future of an operation. A well designed handling facility allows the operator to work more efficiently saving time and reducing animal (and handler) stress. Design planning must incorporate an operation’s needs, available space, and budget to create a functional system.

Many designs available from purchased books or the internet focus on a single portion of the facility system. An example of this would be either a tub design or a Bud box design.

Continue reading “A System Approach to Cattle Handling Facility Design”

The start of the third trimester, the most underappreciated day of the year

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist

Each of us have special dates we celebrate on an annual basis — birthdays, anniversaries and other special holidays. For the cow herd, notable dates might include the start of calving or breeding season and weaning. An undervalued date in cow-calf production is the start of the third trimester.

Off the top of your head and without calculating back from calving, do you know when the third trimester starts for your replacement heifers or cows? I’m guessing it’s not on many people’s radar. If you have a March 1 calving herd with replacements calving before cows, the third trimester starts for both in November.

Continue reading “The start of the third trimester, the most underappreciated day of the year”

Tally Time: Management Minder outlines your production year

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist

Technology has been developed that makes many things in our lives much easier. Some of you may remember when you were the “remote control” when your Dad was watching TV. Now, new homes have heating, alarm and lighting systems throughout that can be controlled remotely with a smart phone. Cattle producers use electronic IDs to automate many data collection activities. Computer applications seem to only be limited by our imagination.

Our beef extension educational efforts have often pointed out timely management topics. For example, now is the time to sample harvested forages and get an analysis of the quality. Some of those items would relate to time of year, while others would depend on the individual operation’s calving and breeding dates. So, while those suggestions are timely for most (we hope), they certainly do not fit everyone.

Continue reading “Tally Time: Management Minder outlines your production year”

September 2017 Feedlot Facts

“Silage Harvest is Underway; Be Safe”

by Justin W. Waggoner, beef systems specialist

 

One of the busiest, most fast paced operations that occur this time of year is silage harvest. Cutters and choppers in the fields, trucks racing from the field to the pile or bunker, multiple tractors pushing and packing silage. The speed at which we can harvest silage today is amazing, but we should never allow the speed at which one can accomplish a task to compromise safety. Below are a few things to think about during this year’s silage harvest.

  • Don’t become complacent. Stay aware of the surroundings. Let’s face it there are a lot of highly repetitive operations in putting up silage. One of the No. 1 factors that lead up to an accident is almost always complacency or lack of situational awareness.
  • Truck drivers should always slow down when approaching houses and intersections on all roads, every time. Those houses along the road belong to our neighbors and friends, some of which have children. The increased traffic on gravel roads creates dust, and the crops are tall, both of which reduce visibility at intersections. Our neighbors should not fear going to their mailbox due to our silage trucks.
  • People (especially children) should never be allowed near a drive over pile or bunker silo during fill ing. If people have to approach the area, get on the radio  to inform the drivers/operators. Those on the ground in the area should always wear a bright-colored-orange safety vest.
  • Never fill higher than the top of the bunker wall. This happens more than it should and creates a dangerous situation from the day the silage is packed until it is removed. The pack tractor cannot see the edge of the bunker well if at all. The silage does not get packed well (which leads to poor silage) and the edge of the silage is unstable and more likely to collapse. Don’t do it.
  • Be aware of steep slopes. To reduce the risk of tractor roll-over, a minimum slope of 1 in 3 on the sides and end of piles should be maintained.
  • Never inspect or make repairs to equipment near the bunker or pile. Equipment should be removed from the area as soon as possible. Repairs almost always involve people on foot and potentially people who may not be familiar with silage activities and the associated risks.

 

Limit-feeding high-energy diets based on fermentable fiber for weaned and newly arrived calves offers numerous advantages

by Dale Blasi, Extension Livestock Specialist, and T.J. Spore

 

Many producers have used limit- or programmed-feeding in the past with success, especially during periods of drought when forage is not adequate. In a nutshell, limit- or program-feeding refers to the practice of limiting calves to two-thirds to three-quarters of the dry matter that they can normally consume. This feeding strategy varies greatly with traditional management where calves generally have free-choice access to forage.  Traditionally, limit-fed diets have consisted of 80 to 85% whole shelled corn and the remaining balance as a protein supplement. The total amount of the ration delivered is increased every two weeks or so to account for increased body weight gain based upon the desired level of gain.

Continue reading “Limit-feeding high-energy diets based on fermentable fiber for weaned and newly arrived calves offers numerous advantages”