Consider Temperament When Making Culling Decisions

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Wayne County

Over the years, as I have worked with beef cattle owners I have asked them where temperament ranks as they make culling decisions and decide which animals and genetics to keep in the herd. I have heard replies ranging from “It’s a factor, something I keep in mind” to “It’s one of the top 3 factors in my decision”. I recently read an article in Drovers Cattlenetwork on-line by Glenn Selk, Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University, in which he presented the results of a couple of studies showing that wild and/or excitable cattle negatively affect profit in the cattle operation. Here are excerpts from that article: Continue reading

Why Have a Calving Season?

– Dr. Glenn Selk, Beef Extension Specialist, Oklahoma State University

One of the most asked questions in the cattle industry in the Southern United States: If I “pull” the bulls out for part of the year, won’t I lose an opportunity to get a few calves? Should I leave the bull out with cows year-round?

Here is the answer: A research analysis of Continue reading

Grazing Bites, October 2015

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

According to the calendar, fall is here, but it sure doesn’t seem feel like it much yet except for the cooler mornings. I like the fall season, but it just never seems to last long enough for me before turning into winter. I think that is increasingly true for each year that you notch out. It is also best if we don’t think too much about the weather that is in front of us except to perhaps have some kind of contingency plan of how we will handle livestock during the foulest of it.

Some of Indiana is quite dry. It seems like once the monsoon rains stopped, the hydrant was just left off. This has greatly slowed forage regrowth and Continue reading

October Cattle on Feed

– Brian R. Williams, Assistant Extension Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA, NASS) released their monthly Cattle on Feed report Friday afternoon (October 23, 2015). The latest numbers released by the USDA revealed few surprises. Marketings of fed cattle during the month of September were down 2.44% from September 2014, while placements were down 4.12% from September 2014.

The trend of heavier placements continued this month, with a 7.8% increase in placements of cattle larger than 800 pounds, while all other Continue reading

Corn Stalks Can Stretch Feed Supplies

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Wayne County

There were a lot of corn acres harvested around the state this past week. Those acres represent an underutilized feed source that could help stretch feed supplies. This corn residue feed source is best used within the first 30 to 60 days after harvest. According to an October 2014 article on grazing corn residues by Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska beef specialist, for every bushel of corn (56 lb. per bushel) there is about 45 pounds of residue on a dry matter (DM) basis. Research shows that for every bushel of corn there is about Continue reading

First Thing First

– Dr. Roy Burris, Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

How do you get the most “bang for your buck” or the greatest return on your investment? It is quite simple, by doing the most important things first – before you spend a lot of money on other things.

Think of the “barrel stave theory”. That is a barrel will only hold water up to the level of Continue reading

The Effect of Growth-Promoting Implants on the Sale Price of Beef Calves

– Condensed by Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist (Source of Article: The Professional Animal Scientist 31 ( 2015 ):443–447)

Dr. Tom Wittum of the OSU Veterinary Medicine School and other researchers from around the country collected data to quantify the effect of implant status on the sale price of lots of beef calves marketed through a livestock video auction service.

The data analyzed were collected from Continue reading

Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update, October 2015

– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky

As I was starting to write this month’s market update, I naturally went back and read what I wrote last month. The irony is that the October CME© feeder cattle futures contract is actually trading slightly lower than it was when I wrote last month’s article. However, in some ways, more optimism seems to be in the air now than back in Continue reading

Beef Demand: Q3 Update and Broader Understanding

– Glynn T. Tonsor, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University

The past couple months likely will go down as some of the most turbulent in memory for most cattle producers. At the heart of industry-wide price declines and rallies has been concern and uncertainty regarding both supply and demand fundamentals. Most of the near-term supply pressures related to extra heavy-weight fed cattle are well documented. What is less well understood and shrouded in uncertainty is the status of beef demand strength.

Accordingly it is useful to note the KSU All Fresh Beef Demand Index (AFBDI) increased 8.7% compared Continue reading

Managing our Pastures Will Improve Cattle Performance

Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, Morgan County

As we strive to improve the performance of our beef operation, there are some simple things we can do to improve how our cattle perform by managing our pastures. Many of us mow our pastures to remove weeds and make the pasture look better, but there are more benefits. When we mow the weeds early in the season, we also remove seed heads from the grass which will encourage new growth. Early in the season, the grass is in the reproductive stage, focusing more on seed development, but once this is accomplished and the seed heads are removed, the plant moves on to the vegetative stage, encouraging more leaf growth, improving quality and quantity. In addition Continue reading