Beef Tips

Author: Sandy Johnson

Tally Time – Troubleshooting Poor Pregnancy Rates

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby, KS

From time to time, you hear through the grapevine that someone’s herd had an unusually high number of open cows at fall preg check time.  That is when you wipe your brow and say “glad that didn’t happen to my herd”!   In some cases, the poor reproductive response is isolated to a particular pasture, bull or age/management group and the origin of the problem may be easier to find.  If not, the search for an answer will take longer and will be helped by accurate and complete records, and sometimes diagnostic testing. What follows highlights some of the starting points for troubleshooting. Continue reading “Tally Time – Troubleshooting Poor Pregnancy Rates”

KSRE Winter 2017-2018 Crop Residue Survey

by Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby, KS; and Dale Blasi, stocker, forages nutrition & management specialist

Kansas agriculture agents surveyed 180 producers from November 2017 through March of 2018 on their use of crop residue for grazing livestock.   Responses came from producers that raise crops and graze their own crop residue (51%), do not have crop ground but rent or lease crop residue to graze (22%), grow crops and do not let livestock graze residue (17%) and raise crops and sometimes rent crop residue for grazing (9%).  Crops raised included 56% corn, 60% soybeans, 35% milo and 34% alfalfa.  Corn was the most common crop available for grazing (55%) followed by hay regrowth (47%), milo (35%), alfalfa (30%) and soybeans (30%).  A majority of responses were from east central Kansas as shown in Figure 1.  Location of grazing was provide in 145 responses, 27 respondents reported grazing crop residue in 2 or more counties. Continue reading “KSRE Winter 2017-2018 Crop Residue Survey”

Survey Results of Recommended Practices Made by Veterinarians to Cow/calf Operators

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

As fall weather approaches, ranchers are planning to bring cattle in off of summer grazing pastures and prepare for weaning. This gives an opportunity to handle these cattle and administer animal health products as a part of a preventative herd health strategy. Product usage and management strategies that are implemented are often decided after a discussion with the local veterinarian. Continue reading “Survey Results of Recommended Practices Made by Veterinarians to Cow/calf Operators”

Calving Schools Planned

K-State to host seven events around Kansas.

 MANHATTAN, Kan. –In anticipation of calving season, Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry and K-State Research and Extension are planning a series of calving schools beginning in November and finishing up in January. Continue reading “Calving Schools Planned”

K-State Research and Extension Resources at your fingertips

Most operations have multiple enterprises to manage and all have to deal with business plans, taxes, and financial aspects.  So while KSUBeef.org and BeefTips might provide you useful information for your cattle operation, there a number of other great resources available through K-State Research and Extension to support the broader aspects of your business.   A few of those are highlighted below. Continue reading “K-State Research and Extension Resources at your fingertips”

Options for managing cows through the winter with limited forages

by Jaymelynn Farney, beef systems specialist, Parsons, KS

Drought-stressed pastureThe drought that plagued most of the state through the previous winter and this summer was a perfect storm that has some operations concerned about forages for this winter.  There are areas that have limited pasture growth and even with some of the recent rains, the rain may be too late or insufficient to change the pasture situation.  Through last winter, around the nation, there were producers that fed more hay than typical and that has used up a significant amount of hay reserves.  Given all these factors, cattle producers need to find alternative feedstuffs to maintain current cow numbers.  This article will address a few things to think about when trying to stretch forages. Continue reading “Options for managing cows through the winter with limited forages”

Drought challenges linger despite welcome rains

By Bob Weaber, extension cow-calf specialist

drought-stressed pasture after rainFor many producers in Kansas, the last couple of weeks have brought much needed rain to our rangeland and helped fill ponds on which we depend for watering livestock.  Much of central and northeast Kansas received 2 – 10 inches of rain over the Labor Day weekend.  Undoubtably, the rain was welcomed by many and does much to relieve the short surface water supplies. The spring and summer of 2018 will be remembered by many cattle producers due to the hot and dry conditions that persisted. The lack of rain resulted in subpar forage production for both cool and warm season grasslands. As a result, cattle producers will face a wide range of lingering effects of the drought over the coming months and perhaps years.

The lingering effects of a drought can be broadly classified into cow nutritional effects, cow reproductive effects, calf performance effects and rangeland/forage effects. All will take time for recovery but in each case, careful management can hasten the progression of recovery. Continue reading “Drought challenges linger despite welcome rains”

Tally Time- Use of parentage testing in commercial operations

by Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby, KS

One of the options now available to producers with multi-sire pastures is to identify offspring parentage.   Research using parentage tests have shown us the wide range in number of offspring sired by bulls in these setting.  Despite economic difference between offspring of sires, for most commercial producers determining parentage of all offspring it is not currently cost effective.  However, it may pay to determine parentage in certain situations. Continue reading “Tally Time- Use of parentage testing in commercial operations”

Access workshop materials from Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle meeting

Beef Reproduction Task Force LogoOver 200 cattlemen, industry representatives and academia interested in increasing the reproductive efficiency of beef cattle gathered at the Ruidoso Convention Center, Ruidoso, N.M., for the 2018 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle symposium Aug. 29-30.

The newsroom at the meeting website (appliedreprostrategies.com) provides summaries of the presentations, proceedings, audio and slides from the various speakers.  Each presentation was shared via Facebook live on the Beef Reproduction Task Force Facebook page and the Angus Journal’s Facebook page.  Take advantage of these great resources to sharpen your skills on your own time schedule.

Managing Footrot in Beef Cattle

by A.J. Tarpoff, DVM, MS, extension beef veterinarian
Red Angus Females

During the summer months many producers run into issues with lame cattle. The effects of lameness may show itself by decreased fertility, weight loss, decreased performance, and increased labor and medicine costs. It has been estimated that 88-92% of lameness in cattle stems from the foot. Several issues could be the culprit, but we will review some of the common causes and treatment considerations. Continue reading “Managing Footrot in Beef Cattle”