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”
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?”
By Sandy Johnson, Extension Beef Specialist, Colby, KS
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”
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”
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”
The beef cattle outlook, early stocking strategies for optimized marketing and a panel discussion on how cover crops have helped producers improve their operations are among topics planned for the 2017 Kansas State University Beef Stocker Field Day on Thursday, Sept. 21.
The day is designed to provide the latest practical information for producers to aid decision making in the current dynamic beef industry environment. “There will be applied information presented that attendees can apply to their operation,” says Dale Blasi, K-State Animal Sciences and Industry professor and extension specialist.
Continue reading “K-State Beef Stocker Field Day scheduled for September 21”
Dr. Terry Houser has recently acquired the role of Extension Meat Specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University. Terry joined Kansas State in 2007 and is currently an Associate Professor.
Terry was born and raised on an irrigated farming/ranching/feedlot operation near Cambridge, Nebraska. He received his B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Meat Science from Iowa State University.
Continue reading “Houser Named Extension Meat Specialist”
By A.J. Tarpoff, DVM, MS, extension veterinarian
Horn flies are blood feeding flies that impact production on cattle operations. Populations of these flies tend to peak in June. The hot dry days of summer tend to decrease the overall population. However, in late August to September as the temperatures begins to decrease and humidity increases, the horn fly population tends to peak again. Continue reading “Late Season Fly Control”
by Joel DeRouchey, Extension Livestock Specialist
With fall season approaching, many livestock producers will be applying solid manure to fields post-harvest. Manure from livestock producers, both large and small, is recognized as a valuable fertilizer source. However, it certainly involves needed equipment and labor often above that needed to apply commercial sources when considering the scraping, hauling, spreading and potential tillage incorporation into the soil. All sharp penciled livestock producers understand with the dramatic shift in fertilizer prices for nitrogen and phosphorus, the value of manure has never been higher and more economical to use as fertilizer. With overall input costs soaring, livestock producers must utilize their manure effectively in their cropping operations and or in merchandising the manure as a potential revenue stream.
Continue reading “Manure Utilization – Capture the value”
by Justin W. Waggoner, beef systems specialist
Most cattle operators view open cows, with some degree of disappointment. However, you might be surprised at the amount of revenue that can be realized from cull cow sales. Continue reading “Cull Cows; a disappointing failure or marketing opportunity”