Beef Tips


Drought Preparedness for the Cow-Calf Producer Webinar To Be Hosted on Zoom July 9

Registration is now open for a webinar that will help Kansas beef cattle producers prepare to manage and reduce the impacts of drought and reduced forage availability on cow herds.

The webinar will be hosted by the Kansas State University (K-State) Animal Sciences and Industry Department and K-State Research and Extension via Zoom on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at noon CDT. Continue reading “Drought Preparedness for the Cow-Calf Producer Webinar To Be Hosted on Zoom July 9”

Differentiating Pasture Lameness in Beef Cattle

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

During the summer grazing 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 the key differences between the clinical signs. Continue reading “Differentiating Pasture Lameness in Beef Cattle”

Bucking the Trend of Insecticide Resistance

by Cassandra Olds, extension entomologist

As temperatures rise and we move into the throes of summer, many are evaluating their insect control options. Controlling insects and related arthropod pests has been a challenge since the dawn of human history. Descriptions of these early attempts exist as preserved archeological artifacts, some of which date as far as 4000 years ago! Continue reading “Bucking the Trend of Insecticide Resistance”

Tally Time – Opportunities and Options for Pregnancy Staging

By Sandy Johnson, Extension Beef Specialist, Colby

For any number of reasons from shortage of pasture to cattle marketing opportunities, knowledge of if and when a cow or heifer is pregnant is valuable.  That information can be used to identify early bred yearlings for replacements and late bred or open females to remove from pasture in order to extend the grazing season.  Heifers that are known to be pregnant to an AI sire bring premiums. A group of yearling heifers pregnant with heifer calves and consequently less expected calving difficulty may be worth more than those with male calves. Continue reading “Tally Time – Opportunities and Options for Pregnancy Staging”

Heat Stress Resources for Cattle Producers

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

The first weeks of June often bring summer-like temperatures to the southern Great Plains and with those first hot, humid days comes heat stress. Recent market conditions have created a scenario when there are greater inventories of heavier cattle on feed in many feedyards. The convergence of these two factors prompted our KSU Beef Extension Team to host a webinar highlighting the current weather outlook and how to prepare for heat stress events. The webinar was recorded and may be accessed Continue reading “Heat Stress Resources for Cattle Producers”

Tally Time – This year’s calving distribution

By Sandy Johnson, Extension Beef Specialist, Colby

How did the calving season go this year?  For western Kansas, milder, drier weather was easier on both cows and calves.  However, given the stresses of last winter, cycling and rebreeding may have been delayed in some cows with calves being born later than expected.  In other cases, abundant spring moisture making “washy” grass (result is lower nutrient intake) may have hindered resumption of normal estrous cycles. The calving distribution from this year’s calf crop is your score card of how well nutritional and environmental challenges were met.   How did you do? Continue reading “Tally Time – This year’s calving distribution”

Evaluating Rules of Thumb for Grazing Management – Part 3

by Keith Harmoney, Range Scientist, Hays

Over the years, I’ve heard rangeland managers develop rules of thumb, or short phrases, to try to help them simplify decisions that need to be made to manage their pastures.  Some of these rules of thumb have merit and scientific or economic data to support the rules of thumb; however, some rules of thumb may be unfounded and lack informational support.   In previous Beef Tips Newsletters, I listed some common rules of thumb, along with an explanation of whether or not the rule of thumb has any merit or basis of support.  You can go back and read Rules of Thumb 1-4 in the January Beef Tips, and Rules of Thumb 5-8 in the March Beef Tips.  This month, another four Rules of Thumb are listed, and a Thumbs Up means it’s a rule of thumb with merit, and a Thumbs Down indicates the rule of thumb lacks support and has room for improvement.  A Thumbs Up and a Thumbs Down means that arguments may be made for and against the rule of thumb. Continue reading “Evaluating Rules of Thumb for Grazing Management – Part 3”

Variability in Production in Summer Planted Annual Forages for Grazing

Cover crops can provide benefits for soil health and crop production systems but they use moisture which can be limiting in lower rainfall areas such as western Kansas.  Post-wheat planted cover crops offer a potentially longer and more flexible grazing period than spring planted cover crops within wheat-based dryland cropping systems.  However, low available soil moisture and variable weather patterns at this time of year can make cover crop establishment and productivity highly variable. In addition, concerns regarding diminishing good wheat stubble, managing volunteer wheat to reduce disease transmission, and controlling weeds need to be considered. Continue reading “Variability in Production in Summer Planted Annual Forages for Grazing”

An Efficient Stocking Strategy for Grazing Replacement Heifers

Even though Kansas native rangelands often have steep slopes or shallow soils not con­ducive to many other uses other than livestock grazing, native rangeland and perennial grassland acres in Kansas have been declining. Cropland acreage over this same time frame has increased, and rangelands have also become more fragmented by small ranch­ettes and urbanization. Producers may be looking to increase production efficiency on a shrinking forage land base. Continue reading “An Efficient Stocking Strategy for Grazing Replacement Heifers”

Livestock Field Day to be held in North Central Kansas

Make plans to attend the 2nd annual Stock Growers Field Day on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.  The event will be highlighted by beef reproduction economics and a market outlook along with an AI demonstration from industry and K-State Research and Extension experts in their field!  The field day, held in Beloit, KS, is a collaboration with K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Bull Test. Continue reading “Livestock Field Day to be held in North Central Kansas”