Beef Tips

Author: Sandy Johnson

Determine value of gain with BeefBasis.com tool to aid marketing decisions

by Dale Blasi, stocker, forages, nutrition and management specialist

Cow/calf producers who may be considering the retention of their calf crop and adding weight (and additional value) for a short period of time rather than marketing calves directly off the cow are encouraged to consider using Beefbasis.com to assist in their decision making process. Beefbasis.com is the result of a partnership with the Department of Agricultural Economics, USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Custom Ag Solutions, Inc and was developed because of the recognized volatility of basis of the futures markets to lighter weight calves. Continue reading “Determine value of gain with BeefBasis.com tool to aid marketing decisions”

An Itchy Situation, Managing Lice in our Cattle Herds

By A.J. Tarpoff, DVM, MS, extension veterinarian

Cattle lice infections can affect the health and performance of our cows, stockers, and feedlot cattle during the winter months. These months generally range from December through March. The USDA has estimated that livestock producers lose up to $125 million per year due to effects of lice infestations. Not only can they be the cause of direct animal performance losses, but also increases wear and tear on our facilities and fences. The direct losses to cattle come in forms of decreased average daily gains (documented 0.25 lbs/day reduction in growing calves), skin infections, and potentially blood loss and anemia. Continue reading “An Itchy Situation, Managing Lice in our Cattle Herds”

Using Data to Identify Management Practice Impact on Profitability

By Kevin Herbel, Executive Director – KFMA Program

The Kansas Farm Management Association (KFMA) has worked together with cow-calf producers keeping records of the cow-calf enterprise for many years. This has allowed for analysis and assessment of the cow-calf enterprise on individual operations.  The data available through this process has provided the opportunity for benchmarking to be completed against the averages and against the data based on profitability levels.  Reports have included looking at differences between high-, medium-, and low-profit producers, with the most recent report covering cow-calf enterprises in the KFMA database from 2014-2018 (http://agmanager.info/livestock-meat/production-economics/differences-between-high-medium-and-low-profit-cow-calf-1). Continue reading “Using Data to Identify Management Practice Impact on Profitability”

Tally Time: Adjusting assumptions on calving distribution benchmarks

Sandy Johnson, Beef Specialist, Colby

Over the years I have strongly encouraged producers to spend time each year to assess calving distribution.  It provides an excellent score card for how well a given operation matches the genetics and management system with the environment.  However, I have learned that I need to clarify some details for you on calculating calving distribution. Continue reading “Tally Time: Adjusting assumptions on calving distribution benchmarks”

Updates for Livestock Risk Protection, a price insurance tool for feeder cattle

by Monte Vandeveer, extension agricultural economist, Garden City

One price risk management tool available to feeder cattle producers (and other types of livestock producers) is Livestock Risk Protection, or LRP.  The LRP program from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is a price insurance program where insurance policies are sold through local insurance agencies but still backed up by RMA, just like traditional crop insurance.  Also like multi-peril crop insurance, LRP premiums receive a subsidy through RMA. Continue reading “Updates for Livestock Risk Protection, a price insurance tool for feeder cattle”

Response of vegetation to flooding

By Walt Fick, extension rangeland management specialist

Excessive rainfall in much of Kansas in 2019 has caused flooding.  Vegetation response to flooding depends primarily on duration and frequency. Flooding impacts the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature, and light available for photosynthesis.  Impeded gas exchange results in a depletion of carbohydrate reserves, reduced energy available to the plant, disrupts cells, and impairs nutrient uptake, resulting in plant death.  Loss of vegetation is also temperature dependent.  It takes fewer days of submergence to cause stand loss as soil temperatures increase. Continue reading “Response of vegetation to flooding”

Use BeefBasis.com to evaluate alternative weaning dates

By Glynn Tonsor, livestock and meat marketing specialist

Calendar year 2019 is sure to go down as a memorable on many fronts for Kansas cattle producers.  The abnormal weather conditions may have cow-calf producers considering several adjustments in their operation.  As with any decision, it is prudent to gather information and assess the situation before proceeding.  While some producers may seek to wean later given additional forage availability, here some base information is shared for producers considering weaning calves earlier in the fall than normal.  Projected revenue is the focus; however, producers are encouraged to utilize personalized cost impacts to guide their final decision. Continue reading “Use BeefBasis.com to evaluate alternative weaning dates”

Helpful items from other K-State departments and USDA

Mosquitoes: How to avoid being “Bitten” by this “Sucking” insectJune 28, 2019 Extension Entomology Newsletter

Bluestem Pasture Release 2019 – The 2019 results on bluestem pasture leases utilize the responses from the 2019 Kansas Bluestem Pasture Survey conducted from January through April of 2019 over the 14 Bluestem counties. It is important to point out that the format of the 2019 survey is different from previous surveys. The 2019 survey changes were in response to the long-time request to change the questions to better reflect bluestem prairie leasing practices. The new survey format incorporated suggestions from a focus group of report users that included landowners, livestock owners, livestock care providers, and Flint Hills extension agents. Because of the format change, discussion on leasing rates are not directly comparable to prior years. Please refer to previous Bluestem releases for historical leasing rates.

2018 Kansas Summer Annual Forage Hay and Silage Variety Trial Summary.  In 2018, summer annual forage variety trials were conducted across Kansas near Garden City, Hays, and Scandia. All sites evaluated hay and silage entries. Companies were able to enter varieties into any possible combinations of research sites, so not all sites had all varieties. Across the sites, a total of 77 hay varieties and 87 silage varieties were evaluated.

Kansas weather outlook: Late summer and early fall 2019
Wet conditions continue to dominate the state.  May 2019 was the wettest month on record, leaving saturated soils and full streams, ponds, and reservoirs. The outlook for July calls for a continuation of that pattern with an increased chance of wetter-than-normal conditions across Kansas. The temperature outlook favors a cooler-than-normal pattern across the entire Central Plains. A normal or slightly below normal precipitation pattern for July would be favorable in the eastern divisions, where saturated soils continue to be problematic. Cool temperatures would slow the normal drying pattern. While slightly cooler temperatures could reduce heat stress, it would also increase disease pressure. In addition, with low evaporation rates, flooding could also be an issue due to the fact that streams, ponds, and reservoirs are full.  The complete article and other topics can be found in the Agronomy Department June 28, 2109 E-Update

KSU Corn Market Outlook on June 22, 2019: “A ‘Short’ U.S. Corn Crop Market Scenario in “New Crop” MY 2019/20”

An analysis of Corn Market Outlook on June 24, 2019 for “new crop” 2019/20 marketing year is provided in the following article from Kansas State University Department of Agricultural Economics.  This information follows the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and other USDA reports through mid-day on Monday, June 24, 2019, with info from the USDA NASS Crop Progress reports on June 17, 2019.  Note that the USDA Acreage Report to be released on Friday, June 28th will provide more solid numbers on U.S. corn planted acreage in 2019 – from which more accurate supply-demand and price projections can then be made. More at Focused on Grains Blog– Grain & Bioenergy Markets Plus Crop Risk Management by Daniel O’Brien, Colby and Monte Vandeveer, Garden City; extension agricultural economists.

Prevented Plant website

– USDA Risk Management Agency

  • Prevented Planting Insurance Provisions – Flood (revised June 2019) – notable excerpts :You may-
    • Plant a cover crop during the late planting period and receive a full prevented planting payment, but for the 2019 crop year do not hay, graze or cut for silage (haylage or baleage) this cover crop before September 1, or otherwise harvest it at any time. If you hay, graze or cut for silage (haylage or baleage) it before September 1, you will not receive a prevented planting payment for your first crop. If the cover crop is harvested at any time, you will not receive a prevented planting payment (Note: Cutting a cover crop for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying or grazing.);
    • Plant a cover crop after the late planting period and for the 2019 crop year hay, graze or cut for silage (haylage or baleage) it before September 1 and receive 35 percent of a prevented planting payment for your first crop or wait to hay, graze or cut for silage (haylage or baleage) it on or after September 1 and receive a full prevented planting payment for your first crop; or
    • Plant a second crop after the late planting period (if you are also prevented from planting through the late planting period). You can also plant after the final planting date if no late planting period is available. You may receive a prevented planting payment equal to 35 percent of the prevented planting guarantee.

(These changes were made for 2019 only and producers should not plan that the policy will remain the same for subsequent years)

Prevented or Delayed Planting -Farmers.gov US Department of Agriculture
Did heavy rainfall, flooding, or other weather event prevent or delay planting on your farm? USDA is here to help farmers navigate challenges when it comes to prevented planting. USDA offers:

  • Prevented planting coverage through USDA-administered crop insurance policies;
  • Technical and financial assistance in planting cover crops, a practice common on lands unable to be planted to an insured crop.

Avoid a winter hangover this breeding season

by Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby

Winter has been long and difficult.  Cold and wet weather increased energy demands. Cows could be thinner than normal after calving and winter conditions could have negatively influenced bull fertility as well.  Hopefully, weather will support good forage growth this spring but that remains an unknown for now.  Monitoring breeding activity and use of timely pregnancy detection are risk management tools that should be used routinely but are especially important given the recent weather challenges. Continue reading “Avoid a winter hangover this breeding season”