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”
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”
by Justin Waggoner, Beef Systems Specialist, Garden City
Many of the challenge’s cattle producers face are essentially about managing variability. Our management decisions/practices are often dictated by changes in weather, markets, genetics, animal performance and many other factors. There are a variety of tools that have been created to help cattle producers manage different sources of variability and predict animal performance. Today we often think of complex tools like EPDs or genomic testing. However, simple tools such as body condition scoring and analytical testing of feeds are also tools that should be included in this list. Although it is often overlooked, the underlying reason we evaluate the chemical composition of feedstuffs is to gather data that can be used to more efficiently manage our feed resources and more accurately predict animal performance.
Continue reading “Testing feedstuffs, another tool in the management toolbox”
By: Justin Waggoner, Beef Systems Specialist, Garden City
The K-State Focus on Feedlots has many uses, foremost it provides many of us that are not directly connected with the cattle feeding industry a means of staying abreast of cattle performance and closeout data from commercial feeding operations. Additionally, the data generated may be used to build economic budgets for cattle producers considering retaining ownership or placing a group of cattle on feed as commodity and input prices change. One of the simplest ways to estimate placed cost of gain is to look at the relationship between reported corn price and reported projected cost of gain for steers and heifers. The data obtained from the Focus on Feedlots from 2015, 2016, and 2017 is shown in the graphs below. Continue reading “Estimated placed cost of gain using the Focus on Feedlots”