Beef Tips

Author: Sandy Johnson

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”

Improve cow condition with earlier than normal weaning

by Justin Waggoner, extension beef systems specialist, Garden City

Although it may seem a little too early to think about weaning. Early weaning may be one of the management tools that beef cattle producers may need to consider using this fall. The recent winter weather conditions have resulted in cows and replacement females that may be lacking body condition coming into the grazing and breeding season. Continue reading “Improve cow condition with earlier than normal weaning”

Spring cleaning of winter feeding sites important

by Joel DeRouchey, environmental management

The winter of 2018-2019 is one that producers will want to soon forget.  In many parts of Kansas, extended cold periods with excess moisture in the form of snow and rain caused significant surface and drainage “damage” to confined pen surfaces. Additionally, many producers utilized higher than normal amounts of bedding for calving areas and in pens for confined cattle to have a dry area to rest and reduce their environmental stress. However, this additional bedding material also now must be removed when cleaning pens or calving areas. Continue reading “Spring cleaning of winter feeding sites important”

Symposium on Bovine Anaplasmosis to be hosted by K-State College of Veterinary Medicine

K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine will host its second Symposium on Anaplasmosis May 20, 2019 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan, Kansas.

The producer-oriented workshop will highlight the current state of anaplasmosis in the U.S. with an emphasis on Kansas beef cattle. The workshop will feature presentations by national experts on the economic impact of anaplasmosis, prevalence of anaplasmosis, anaplasmosis diagnostic considerations, anaplasmosis treatment and prevention, and the Veterinary Feed Directive. Continue reading “Symposium on Bovine Anaplasmosis to be hosted by K-State College of Veterinary Medicine”

Rethinking Castration

by Miriam Martin, graduate student

Reducing pain at the time of castration is a topic that has received renewed interest in scientific meetings, in conversation with consumers, and is beginning to work its way into producer’s conversations with veterinarians. A lot of confusion surrounds extra-label drug use, what agents are available, the practicality of implementing preemptive analgesia, and whether or not it’s right for your operation. Continue reading “Rethinking Castration”

K-State’s Winter Ranch Management Series Set for February

The seminar series will focus on management and profit strategies for beef producers and allow producers to ask questions of their local, district and state extension specialists.

 MANHATTAN, Kan. – Strategies to mitigate environmental factors impacting reproduction is the theme of the 2019 Kansas State University Winter Ranch Management Seminar Series. Hosted at four sites across the state of Kansas the meetings will feature presentations and comments by extension educators on profit-enhancing strategies. Continue reading “K-State’s Winter Ranch Management Series Set for February”

Tally Time – Resolve to get a Personal Assistant for your Cow/Calf Operation in 2019

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby, KS

Most of our farming and ranching enterprises would welcome a little more help from time to time.  That additional help can be hard to find or find with the skills desired.  In other cases, hiring help may put too much strain on the budget.  One-way cow/calf producers can make the time they do have go a bit further is by using an electronic personal assistant called the Management Minder.  It keeps track of key dates and activities as they relate to managing the herd and shows them to you on an electronic calendar.  Reminders automatically pop-up on your smart phone based on your inputs. There is some investment of time initially to set it up, but from that point on, it’s on the job working for you.  You can find the Management Minder at www.KSUBeef.org/managementminder. Continue reading “Tally Time – Resolve to get a Personal Assistant for your Cow/Calf Operation in 2019”

Counting the Cost of Silage Losses in your Operation

By Mike Brouk, ruminant nutritionist

Silage is often the base forage for the diets of growing cattle and the cow herd.  This past year, due to the drought, thousands of acres of drought-stricken corn and sorghum were harvested as silage.  A hidden cost of silage is associated with the shrink due to fermentation, storage, and feedout.  Total shrink from harvest through feeding can result in the loss of 5 to 40% of the dry matter harvested.  This is generally a hidden cost on most operations due to the lack of accurate records to measure shrink.  However, a few basic principles can help reduce losses. Continue reading “Counting the Cost of Silage Losses in your Operation”

Management of Mold and Quality Issues of Late-Harvested Forages

By Sandy Johnson, Extension Beef Specialist, Colby, Steve Ensley, DVM, K-State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, and John Holman, Agronomy, Garden City

In some areas of Kansas, summer moisture produced good tonnage of forage sorghum and other forages intended for winter livestock feeding. Heavy windrows extended drying time and some forage that was on the ground for weeks received both rain and snow. As a result, much of that forage had evidence of mold. In heavy windrows, the mold may have only been on the top and bottom of the windrow with the center well preserved. In other cases, and especially in thin windrows, the hay may be moldy throughout and the leaves and stalks nearly black. In some reports, mold was bad enough to turn equipment black during baling. Continue reading “Management of Mold and Quality Issues of Late-Harvested Forages”

Tally Time – Troubleshooting Poor Pregnancy Rates

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby, KS

From time to time, you hear through the grapevine that someone’s herd had an unusually high number of open cows at fall preg check time.  That is when you wipe your brow and say “glad that didn’t happen to my herd”!   In some cases, the poor reproductive response is isolated to a particular pasture, bull or age/management group and the origin of the problem may be easier to find.  If not, the search for an answer will take longer and will be helped by accurate and complete records, and sometimes diagnostic testing. What follows highlights some of the starting points for troubleshooting. Continue reading “Tally Time – Troubleshooting Poor Pregnancy Rates”