Beef Tips

Category: November 2016

Feeding Corn to Cows this Winter

by Chris Reinhardt, feedlot specialist

Although some areas received abundant rain this summer and have ample hay supplies, other regions received only marginal rains, resulting in a marginal hay crop. On the other hand, most of the corn-growing regions of the Midwest and High Plains had excellent growing conditions which have contributed to abundant grain supplies, resulting in relatively low corn prices this fall.

This combination of coinciding circumstances has raised the question, “Can I feed corn to cows instead of hay?” Well, the answer is an emphatic, “Yes”, but with caveats. Continue reading “Feeding Corn to Cows this Winter”

Studies evaluate feeder cattle basis and factors impacting calf prices in a video auction

by Glynn Tonsor, Livestock & Meat Marketing


Effect of Location on Feeder Cattle Basis

Summary: Researchers at Oklahoma State University recently published a study providing results of a hedonic model designed to estimate the impact various location-specific characteristics have on feeder cattle basis (cash-futures). This analysis utilized over 6,000 unique lots of cattle sold between 2010 and 2013 at eight locations across Oklahoma. While controlling for several traditional impacts such as lot size, weight, etc. the authors found basis to increase $0.64/cwt for each additional 100,000 acres of wheat within 100 miles of the sale location and basis decreases $0.07/mile each sales site is from four-lane roads.

Implications: Regardless of the current market environment, cattle producers can make better managerial decisions with enhanced understanding of factors influencing the price of feeder cattle they are interested in buying or selling. While many have long suspected feeder cattle prices vary across locations for sound economic reasons, few studies have quantified these effects. The finding of local wheat acreage supporting feeder cattle basis is consistent with local buyers internalizing wheat grazing prospects into what they are willing to pay. Likewise, proximity to four-lane roads is identified to enhance feeder cattle prices as the easier it is to move cattle to subsequent steps in the production process the more a buyer can and will pay.

Continue reading “Studies evaluate feeder cattle basis and factors impacting calf prices in a video auction”

Check out for antibiotic information

by Mike Tokach, University Regents Distinguished Professor

The website was created as a launching point to find information about antibiotics. There is a major section on antibiotic resistance, including new K-State fact sheets about how antibiotic resistance occurs and why livestock producers should care about antibiotic resistance. There are also web links to sites that provide an overview of antibiotic resistance, mechanisms, the current knowledge about resistance in livestock production, the USDA and FDA action plans concerning resistance, and news feeds where you can find the latest information on the topic. Each of the subpages contains the major agency (ex. WHO, FAO, CDC), producer group (National Pork Board), and Journal publications on the topics. Continue reading “Check out for antibiotic information”

Tally Time – Timely measurements to aid management

by Sandy Johnson, livestock specialist

Body condition scoring is a numerical system to assess nutrient reserves of livestock. The system used in the U.S. beef industry is a scale of 1 (extremely thin) to 9 (obese). At weaning and before cold weather sets in, body condition scores can help determine what management is needed to ensure cows have sufficient nutrients to produce high quality colostrum and have adequate reserves to rebreed in a timely fashion post-calving.  Notice nutrition during this time point influences TWO calf crops, doubly important.

Don’t fall prey to the busyness of life and put off this key measurement. K-State Research and Extension has developed two tools to help you remember to take this measurement and record it.

Continue reading “Tally Time – Timely measurements to aid management”

Be vigilant about farm and ranch safety

by Sandy Johnson, livestock specialist


silageIn general, the agriculture community recognizes that it ranks among the most hazardous industries.  Modern equipment has seat belts and rollover protection, shields around power take-off shafts and other moving parts.  Safety equipment is available to help protect workers when handling pesticides, anhydrous ammonia or other chemicals.

The Colby Fire Department is now equipped with a grain cofferdam that can be used to save people engulfed in grain. Despite these improvements, accidents can and will occur so it is important to learn about potential hazards rather than gaining first-hand experience.

Continue reading “Be vigilant about farm and ranch safety”