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 Monte Vandeveer, extension agricultural economist, Garden City
One price risk management tool available to feeder cattle producers (and other types of livestock producers) is Livestock Risk Protection, or LRP. The LRP program from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is a price insurance program where insurance policies are sold through local insurance agencies but still backed up by RMA, just like traditional crop insurance. Also like multi-peril crop insurance, LRP premiums receive a subsidy through RMA. Continue reading “Updates for Livestock Risk Protection, a price insurance tool for feeder cattle”
By Walt Fick, extension rangeland management specialist
Excessive rainfall in much of Kansas in 2019 has caused flooding. Vegetation response to flooding depends primarily on duration and frequency. Flooding impacts the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature, and light available for photosynthesis. Impeded gas exchange results in a depletion of carbohydrate reserves, reduced energy available to the plant, disrupts cells, and impairs nutrient uptake, resulting in plant death. Loss of vegetation is also temperature dependent. It takes fewer days of submergence to cause stand loss as soil temperatures increase. Continue reading “Response of vegetation to flooding”
By Glynn Tonsor, livestock and meat marketing specialist
Calendar year 2019 is sure to go down as a memorable on many fronts for Kansas cattle producers. The abnormal weather conditions may have cow-calf producers considering several adjustments in their operation. As with any decision, it is prudent to gather information and assess the situation before proceeding. While some producers may seek to wean later given additional forage availability, here some base information is shared for producers considering weaning calves earlier in the fall than normal. Projected revenue is the focus; however, producers are encouraged to utilize personalized cost impacts to guide their final decision. Continue reading “Use BeefBasis.com to evaluate alternative weaning dates”
Mosquitoes: How to avoid being “Bitten” by this “Sucking” insect – June 28, 2019 Extension Entomology Newsletter
Bluestem Pasture Release 2019 – The 2019 results on bluestem pasture leases utilize the responses from the 2019 Kansas Bluestem Pasture Survey conducted from January through April of 2019 over the 14 Bluestem counties. It is important to point out that the format of the 2019 survey is different from previous surveys. The 2019 survey changes were in response to the long-time request to change the questions to better reflect bluestem prairie leasing practices. The new survey format incorporated suggestions from a focus group of report users that included landowners, livestock owners, livestock care providers, and Flint Hills extension agents. Because of the format change, discussion on leasing rates are not directly comparable to prior years. Please refer to previous Bluestem releases for historical leasing rates.
2018 Kansas Summer Annual Forage Hay and Silage Variety Trial Summary. In 2018, summer annual forage variety trials were 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 77 hay varieties and 87 silage varieties were evaluated.
Kansas weather outlook: Late summer and early fall 2019
Wet conditions continue to dominate the state. May 2019 was the wettest month on record, leaving saturated soils and full streams, ponds, and reservoirs. The outlook for July calls for a continuation of that pattern with an increased chance of wetter-than-normal conditions across Kansas. The temperature outlook favors a cooler-than-normal pattern across the entire Central Plains. A normal or slightly below normal precipitation pattern for July would be favorable in the eastern divisions, where saturated soils continue to be problematic. Cool temperatures would slow the normal drying pattern. While slightly cooler temperatures could reduce heat stress, it would also increase disease pressure. In addition, with low evaporation rates, flooding could also be an issue due to the fact that streams, ponds, and reservoirs are full. The complete article and other topics can be found in the Agronomy Department June 28, 2109 E-Update
KSU Corn Market Outlook on June 22, 2019: “A ‘Short’ U.S. Corn Crop Market Scenario in “New Crop” MY 2019/20”
Did heavy rainfall, flooding, or other weather event prevent or delay planting on your farm? USDA is here to help farmers navigate challenges when it comes to prevented planting. USDA offers:
- Prevented planting coverage through USDA-administered crop insurance policies;
- Technical and financial assistance in planting cover crops, a practice common on lands unable to be planted to an insured crop.
by Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist, Colby
Winter has been long and difficult. Cold and wet weather increased energy demands. Cows could be thinner than normal after calving and winter conditions could have negatively influenced bull fertility as well. Hopefully, weather will support good forage growth this spring but that remains an unknown for now. Monitoring breeding activity and use of timely pregnancy detection are risk management tools that should be used routinely but are especially important given the recent weather challenges. Continue reading “Avoid a winter hangover this breeding season”
by Justin Waggoner, extension beef systems specialist, Garden City
Although it may seem a little too early to think about weaning. Early weaning may be one of the management tools that beef cattle producers may need to consider using this fall. The recent winter weather conditions have resulted in cows and replacement females that may be lacking body condition coming into the grazing and breeding season. Continue reading “Improve cow condition with earlier than normal weaning”
by Joel DeRouchey, environmental management
The winter of 2018-2019 is one that producers will want to soon forget. In many parts of Kansas, extended cold periods with excess moisture in the form of snow and rain caused significant surface and drainage “damage” to confined pen surfaces. Additionally, many producers utilized higher than normal amounts of bedding for calving areas and in pens for confined cattle to have a dry area to rest and reduce their environmental stress. However, this additional bedding material also now must be removed when cleaning pens or calving areas. Continue reading “Spring cleaning of winter feeding sites important”