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Cattle Production and livestock production articles will include information on production costs and those issues we face that influence our supply and demand.

Cattle handling and bruises

published: September 26th 2019 by: Steve Boyles source: The Ohio State University Extension

Utilization of proper cattle handling is key. It can eliminate carcass bruising and the presence of dark cutters. Although the industry has observed a decrease in the presence of carcass bruising according to the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit results, the “2016 Lost Opportunities in Beef Production” publication indicated that carcass bruising cost the industry approximately $62....

Backgrounding; A Phase of Growing Calves in Preparation for the Feedlot

published: September 10th 2019 by: Steve Boyles source: The Ohio State University Extension

Backgrounding is a term used to describe a phase of growing calves being prepared for feedlot placement. As compared to wintering programs, backgrounding emphasizes a faster rate of gain, with relatively more grain and less roughage....

Management considerations for backgrounding calves

published: September 10th 2019 by: Steve Boyles source: The Ohio State University Extension

  Backgrounding is the growing of steers and heifers from weaning until they enter the feedlot for finishing.  Backgrounding and Stocker cattle are similar although backgrounding is sometimes associated with a drylot, and stockering cattle is thought of as pasture-based system....

Adding value to your feeder calves this fall

published: September 6th 2019 by: Garth Ruff, OhioState University Extensi

A recent CattleFax survey indicates that calves weaned for 45 days return almost $100/head more. As summer slips past us yet again and with fall rapidly approaching it is time to discuss how to maximize the value of feeder calves that will be hitting the market in late September and October....

Body Condition Scoring Your Beef Cow Herd

published: September 5th 2019 by: Dr. Rick Rasby source: University of Nebraska Extention

  Body condition scores (BCS) describe the relative fatness or body condition of a cow herd through the use of a nine-point scale. A body condition score five (BCS 5) cow is in average flesh and represents a logical target for most cow herds....

Udder quality in beef cows--does it matter?

published: August 26th 2019 by: Dr. Michelle Arnold, DVM, R Dr. Darrh Bu source: University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Clinic

Udder and teat quality are two of the most important functional traits for a beef cow. Although much of the focus in selection of female replacements is on milk production, the milk delivery system (udder and teats) is equally important....

Weaner cattle need their own trainer

published: July 19th 2019 by: Kirsten Nickles and Anthony Parker source: The Ohio State University Department of Animal Science

  The most common weaning method in the United States beef industry is the abrupt removal of calves from cows at 5-8 months of age (Enríquez et al., 2011). Natural weaning in beef cattle however, occurs later in life for a calf at 7-14 months of age (Reinhardt and Reinhardt, 1981)....

The elephant in the room

published: July 15th 2019 by: Kindra Gordon source: Southern Livestock Special Edition

It’s a difficult time in agriculture right now. Challenging weather, uncertain trade policies and low commodity prices have created a perfect storm across the ag sector. Banks are seeing more farm borrowers fall behind on their payments, and reports of bankruptcies are rising....

Ways to stretch cash flow

published: July 15th 2019 by: Robert Tigner and Austin Duerfeldt source: University of Nebraska Extention

Over time, negative cash flows will put farm and ranch businesses, and the lifestyle of the owners, at serious risk. The following suggestions for additions to cash flow are adapted from Iowa State Extension AgDecsionmaker C3-58, Farm Financial Management: 16 Ways to Stretch Cash Flow, written by William Edwards, retired extension ag economist....

Bruising in cattle

published: June 7th 2019 by: Steve Boyles source: The Ohio State University Extension

Cattle bruising is an animal well-being concern as well a loss in economic value. When loaded, 60% of cattle are in the middle portion of a trailer, 30% in the rear compartments and 10% in the nose. Cattle rarely change position while a trailer is in motion, and the cattle typically position themselves at right angles to the direction of travel to try to compensate for the trailer movement and focus energies on keeping their balance....

Not all cows are equal – some eat more

published: June 4th 2019 by: Jack Arterburn source: Nebraska Extension

On most ranches, average cow size has increased significantly over the last three decades as a result of genetic selection. These changes do not come without consequences to forage intake. If the per-head counting method has been used to plan and track grazing, stocking rates may have unknowingly increase over time caused by increased forage intake of larger cows....

Mud and how it leads to lameness

published: April 11th 2019 by: Alvaro Garcia source: Igrow

Melting snow and spring rains produce conditions that can increase lameness in beef cattle. Mud is among the predisposing causes for cattle lameness. Wetness decreases hoof hardness and increases the incidence of claw lesions....

Now is time for some "defensive driving"

published: April 9th 2019 by: John F. Grimes source: The Ohio State University Extension

The term “defensive driving” may seem like an odd choice of words to start an article about beef cattle. Stay with me on this one. When I think about defensive driving, I think about watching out for factors such as the surrounding traffic, weather conditions, time of day, driver fatigue, etc....

Ways to stretch cash flow

published: March 21st 2019 by: Robert Tigner and Austin Duerfeldt source: Nebraska Extension Educator

Over time, negative cash flows will put farm and ranch businesses, and the lifestyle of the owners, at serious risk. The following suggestions for additions to cash flow are adapted from Iowa State Extension AgDecsionmaker C3-58, Farm Financial Management: 16 Ways to Stretch Cash Flow, written by William Edwards, retired extension ag economist....

Using the DuPont System to increase profitablity

published: February 21st 2019 by: Robert Tigner source: Nebraska Extension Educator

One challenge farm/ranch operators have is to accurately find where to make changes to an operation to increase profits. Many have the records and numbers but don’t know where to start. A system of financial analysis developed nearly 100 years ago by an explosive salesman for DuPont Explosives Company is a useful tool for farm/ranch managers analyzing financial performance....

Resolve to get a personal assistant for your operation in 2019

published: January 7th 2019 by: Sandy Johnson source: K State Beef Tips

Most of our farming and ranching enterprises would welcome a little more help from time to time.  That additional help can be hard to find or find with the skills desired.  In other cases, hiring help may put too much strain on the budget....

Changes in carcass grade over time

published: November 5th 2018 by: Dr Andrew Griffith source: University of Tennessee

The beef industry, similar to other industries, is constantly attempting to be more efficient and create more value in the product produced. Most cow-calf producers concern themselves with reproductive efficiencies and pounds of weaned calf per acre of land....

Make weaning and preconditioning a worthwhile investment

published: November 2nd 2018 by: Jason Smith source: University of Tennessee Extension

Time and time again, the data tells us that properly weaned and preconditioned calves are more valuable than calves that were “weaned on diesel fuel.”  And it is beyond the shadow of a doubt that weaning and preconditioning is the right thing for our industry....

Winning weaning time

published: September 21st 2018 by: Taylor Grussing/Warren Rusche source: Igrow

Weaning time is here which can be a stressfull event for calves, cows and families alike. While preconditioning prepares the immune system to better handle the stress of weaning, there are some other areas of the ranch that can be modified to aid calf adjustment to life without mom....

Performance of early weaned calves

published: July 31st 2018 by: Justin Waggoner source: K State Beef Tips

Under normal production circumstances calves are typically weaned at 180-220 days of age, however under circumstances where forage supply is limited or cow body condition is lacking weaning calves at 180 days of age or less may be one of the easiest ways to reduce cow nutrient requirements and improve cow body condition....

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