By Bob Weaber, extension cow-calf specialist
For many producers in Kansas, the last couple of weeks have brought much needed rain to our rangeland and helped fill ponds on which we depend for watering livestock. Much of central and northeast Kansas received 2 – 10 inches of rain over the Labor Day weekend. Undoubtably, the rain was welcomed by many and does much to relieve the short surface water supplies. The spring and summer of 2018 will be remembered by many cattle producers due to the hot and dry conditions that persisted. The lack of rain resulted in subpar forage production for both cool and warm season grasslands. As a result, cattle producers will face a wide range of lingering effects of the drought over the coming months and perhaps years.
The lingering effects of a drought can be broadly classified into cow nutritional effects, cow reproductive effects, calf performance effects and rangeland/forage effects. All will take time for recovery but in each case, careful management can hasten the progression of recovery. Continue reading “Drought challenges linger despite welcome rains”
By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist
Each of us have special dates we celebrate on an annual basis — birthdays, anniversaries and other special holidays. For the cow herd, notable dates might include the start of calving or breeding season and weaning. An undervalued date in cow-calf production is the start of the third trimester.
Off the top of your head and without calculating back from calving, do you know when the third trimester starts for your replacement heifers or cows? I’m guessing it’s not on many people’s radar. If you have a March 1 calving herd with replacements calving before cows, the third trimester starts for both in November.
Continue reading “The start of the third trimester, the most underappreciated day of the year”
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”