Beef Tips

Category: January 2018

Differences Between High-, Medium-, and Low-Profit Cow-Calf Producers: An Analysis of 2012-2016 Kansas Farm Management Association Cow-Calf Enterprise

By Dustin L. Pendell and Kevin L. Herbel, Ag Economics

The economic returns to beef cow-calf producers vary considerably over time (Figure 1) due to a number of factors, including the cattle cycle. The record high average return in 2014 was a result of a drought and strengthening beef demand. Although beef demand has been relatively strong in 2015 and 2016, herd expansion has led to larger supplies, lower cattle prices and lower returns to the cow-calf enterprise. The 2012 to 2016 Kansas Farm Management Association summary of data from cow-calf enterprises has lessons for producers given the wide range of variability inherent to this industry. Continue reading “Differences Between High-, Medium-, and Low-Profit Cow-Calf Producers: An Analysis of 2012-2016 Kansas Farm Management Association Cow-Calf Enterprise”

Forage Analysis: How can we use the numbers?

By Justin Waggoner, Extension Beef Specialist, Garden City, KS

Analytical testing of forages is occasionally viewed by cattle producers as an exercise with limited practical application that generates numbers only a nutritionist with advanced study in analytical chemistry can discern.  However, practical application is the fundamental reason we evaluate forages and feedstuffs. The objective of analytical testing of forages and feedstuffs is to improve our ability to meet the animal’s nutrient requirements, and better estimate animal performance. One of the easiest ways we can utilize the numbers resulting from forage analysis is to strategically manage a hay inventory. Continue reading “Forage Analysis: How can we use the numbers?”

Tally Time: Preparing for Calving Season

By Sandy Johnson, Extension Beef Specialist, Colby, KS

Cow-calf pair

The checklist below is designed to help you plan and prepare to improve the success of your calving season and weaned calf crop.

 

• Balance cow rations for adequate protein and energy for increased third trimester and subsequent lactation requirements. Group and feed cows by body condition and age to the degree possible. Target body condition for first calf heifers at calving of 5.5 to 6 and 5 to 5.5 for mature cows.

• Develop sound vaccination program to prepare the cow to produce high quality colostrum.

• Control lice and internal parasites.

• Plan for recording calving data and consider ways to backup records.

• Make sure calving facilities are clean and in good repair

• Plan for ear tags, tattoos, scale or weight tape, banding or castration.

• Check flashlights and other quality portable light sources.

Continue reading “Tally Time: Preparing for Calving Season”

Managing the impact of cattle lice during the winter months

By A.J. Tarpoff DVM, MS; Beef Extension Veterinarian

Cattle lice infections can affect the health and performance of our cows and stocker cattle during the winter months. This time period generally ranges 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 they also increase wear and tear on our facilities and fences. The direct losses to cattle come in forms of decreased average daily gains (documented 0.25 pounds per day reduction in growing calves), skin infections, and potentially blood loss and anemia. Continue reading “Managing the impact of cattle lice during the winter months”

Calving Schools Planned

MANHATTAN, Kan. – With the new year, beef producers are anxious for the 2018 calf crop. 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 in January.

The program will outline the normal processes of calving. A.J. Tarpoff, K-State extension beef veterinarian, explains the goals of the event are to increase knowledge and practical skills, and to increase the number of live calves born if they need assistance.

The schools will also share tips on when and how to intervene to assist the cow and how those times may be different when dealing with young heifers. Presenters will also demonstrate proper use of calving equipment on life-size scale.

Continue reading “Calving Schools Planned”