Beef Tips

Tag: KSUBeef.org

Evaluating Rules of Thumb for Grazing Management

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.   The following is a list of some common rules of thumb, along with an explanation of whether or not the rule of thumb has any merit or basis of support.  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.  Below is the first set in a series of three sets of rules of thumb that will be shared in upcoming newsletters. Continue reading “Evaluating Rules of Thumb for Grazing Management”

Consider the Value Of Genomics: Bull Buying Resolution For The New Year

by Bob Weaber, Cow-calf Extension Specialist

Bull buying is an activity on the horizon for many cow-calf producers. With the winter/spring sale season just around the corner it is a great time consider your bull buying strategy.  In addition to revisiting your breeding system (make sure you capture the value of maternal heterosis) and alignment of selection criteria to production/marketing constraints, producers should evaluate the opportunity to purchase bulls that have been genotyped. Many seedstock producers are genotyping their sale offering to support the purchase decisions of their commercial customers. Sometimes the genotyped bulls cost a little more, but the added value far exceeds the cost, in my opinion. Continue reading “Consider the Value Of Genomics: Bull Buying Resolution For The New Year”

Tally Time – Benchmarks of Western Canada Calving Management

By Sandy Johnson, Extension Beef Specialist, Colby

Benchmarking is a useful tool that allows businesses to compare their performance to others.  However, limited data is available to cow/calf producers for this purpose.  Management practices associated with calving can influence calf health and survival.  A recent publication reported data from western Canada and describes calving management practices used in 2016 and the relationship of herd demographics with various measures of calf health. Continue reading “Tally Time – Benchmarks of Western Canada Calving Management”

Preparing for the winter – focus on forage

by Jaymelynn Farney, Beef Systems Specialist, Parsons

Mother nature has been rather fickle for the past 365 days, in Kansas we have seen flooding, droughts, blizzards, extreme heat, extreme winds, and hail, to name some of the biggest events.  According to Kansas Mesonet data there was 15 inches of rainfall (October 1, 2018 to October 1, 2019) in Grant county (Southwest; average annual rainfall 12 inches) while Parsons (Southeast; average annual rainfall 42 inches) has seen 70 inches of rainfall in that same time period.  With all these extremes in weather, our forages have shown quite a bit of variability in quality. Continue reading “Preparing for the winter – focus on forage”

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”

Region of origin in the United States affects price premiums associated with value-added health protocols of beef calf lots sold through summer video auctions from 2010 through 2018

by Maggie Smith, Graduate Research Assistant

The benefits associated with the incorporation of preconditioning practices are thoroughly understood. Increased management in the form of vaccinating and weaning have proven to reduce the risk of bovine respiratory disease, while increasing immunity and minimizing stress. While extensive research shows that preconditioning programs provide price premiums on a national basis, the effect of management level throughout different regions of the United States has not been examined. Differences in climate, management and marketing strategies, and variation in trucking distance are all regional factors that may influence the health protocol calves receive. With these concerns in mind, it is important to consider that the relative value of a vaccination or health program may be dependent on where the calf is raised.

Continue reading “Region of origin in the United States affects price premiums associated with value-added health protocols of beef calf lots sold through summer video auctions from 2010 through 2018”