Beef Tips

Category: January 2020

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”