Beef Tips

Author: Sandy Johnson

Dealing with Anaplasmosis

by Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby and A.J. Tarpoff, DVM, beef extension veterinarian

A 2017 survey of herds across Kansas found Anaplasmosis positive herds in all reporting districts.  See the May 2018 Beef Tips for a summary.  It has been a more common problem in the eastern third of the state where prevalence is still higher, but increasingly noted across the state.  The disease is caused by the Anaplama marginale bacterium which lives in the red blood cells of infected animals.  Once an animal becomes infected, the body’s own immune system recognizes the abnormal red blood cells and removes the infected cells from the body. When the normal creation of new red bloods cells can’t keep up with the loss of the infected ones, the animal becomes anemic.  The loss of red blood cells leads to a decrease oxygen carrying ability which results in clinical signs of disease. It usually takes about a month from time of infection to clinical disease but the range is 6-70 days. Although this disease can be spread during any time of year, clinical cases are most common during the late summer and early fall when transmission threats increase.  Continue reading “Dealing with Anaplasmosis”

Role of the Bull in Poor Pregnancy Outcomes

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby and Gregg Hanzlicek, DVM, Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

When the number of cows pregnant is far below expectations, poor reproductive performance by both cows and bulls must be considered.  Keep in mind that in some cases multiple issues may contribute. The focus of this piece will be on the bull. Continue reading “Role of the Bull in Poor Pregnancy Outcomes”

Spices Fed to Growing Heifers on Bromegrass Result in Increased Gains with Some Effects on Tick Populations

Alternative methods to antibiotics/chemical usage in cattle production have been of interest in recent years and essential oils/spices have been promoted to fill this niche. The purpose of this research was to evaluate effect of feeding spices on heifer gains and as a control method for ticks. Continue reading “Spices Fed to Growing Heifers on Bromegrass Result in Increased Gains with Some Effects on Tick Populations”

2019 Kansas Summer Annual Forage Hay and Silage Variety Trial

Data is now available from the 2019 summer annual forage variety trials conducted across Kansas near Garden City, Hays, and Scandia. All sites evaluated hay and silage entries. Companies were able to enter varieties into any possible combinations of research sites, so not all sites had all varieties. Across the sites, a total of 95 hay varieties, 99 sorghum silage varieties, and 12 corn silage varieties were evaluated.  The report ( includes yield and forage quality data.

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”

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”