Using Cover Crops with Fall Manure Applications

Glen Arnold, CCA, Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management

Cover crops can recapture nutrients in livestock manure and keep these nutrients from escaping. (oats and rapeseed in this photo)

Fall manure application is underway across the state. Livestock producers and commercial manure applicators are applying manure to fields following corn silage harvest and will soon be applying to harvested soybean and corn fields.

To best capture the nutrients in manure, livestock producers should incorporate fall applied manure and also consider using cover crops. Pen pack beef manure will contain approximately 7.9 pounds of nitrogen per ton (mostly in the organic form), while liquid beef manure from a slatted barn can contain 30 pounds of ammonium nitrogen and an additional Continue reading

Watch for Buckeye Poisoning

Chris Penrose,OSU Extension Educator, Morgan County

Buckeyes possess the toxin aesculin and possibly alkaloids.

Last week when I was checking my cows, one was resting peacefully down in a ravine and for some reason I decided to get her to move. That’s when I realized something was really wrong.

She got up but had no balance, like she was really drunk and after twenty minutes of trying to help her, I finally got her up and out of the ravine. She seemed really weak on the legs, especially the back ones. When she laid down, she went Continue reading

Reducing Shipping Fever in Beef Calves

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

Kentucky is a major feeder calf producing state but our calves are generally shipped to other parts of the country where they are “finished”. Feedlots are generally about a 1,000 miles from our farms and calves are sometimes “weaned” on trucks and might even be commingled from several sources. These procedures may represent stress, exposure to disease pathogens and, consequently, economic losses to the beef industry and our cattle producers.

Shipping Fever, or Bovine Respiratory Disease, is the major health problem encountered by beef calves upon arrival at cattle feeding operations. There are many management practices, in addition to vaccinations, that can aid in reducing the occurrence of Continue reading

Bypassing Technology Has a Cost

Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, Associate Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

Discussions on the potential to expand exports to China are continuing. The optimists will see this as a means to add value to feeders sold to feedyards in response to increase beef demand. The actual impact of this foreign market on the cow-calf operator is yet to be determined, but increasing demand is generally always favorable. Yet nothing is free in this world, and the current proposed guidelines for beef to be exported to China will likely increase production costs.

As I write this, the most recent guidelines for the beef to be exported as reported by USDA AMS are Continue reading

Fall Pasture and Grazing Management

– Jessica A. Williamson, Ph.D., Extension Forage Specialist, Penn State University

Fall pasture growth often provides additional opportunity for grazing livestock; however, careful management of pastures is essential for the over-wintering of forages and improvement into the next growing season. A dry end to our summer has stunted fall pasture regrowth dramatically, but as rains begin to increase in frequency in most regions, fall grazing is beginning to look a little more promising, but could be detrimental to your forage stand if not managed carefully.

During the fall, perennial pasture forages are experiencing the development of Continue reading

Yes, Larger Placements, But Let’s Dig Deeper in the Report

– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University

Feedlot placements bucked seasonal trends in July by declining, but rebounded in August according to USDA’s Cattle on Feed Report. Placements were reported up 2.6 percent over a year ago. The 1.928 million head placed were the most for an August since 2012. While the average pre-report estimates were for placements to be below a year ago, a 2.6 percent increase was within the range of estimates. It’s also interesting to note that the range of pre-report placement estimates was large, about 16 percentage points, reflecting a lot of uncertainty prior to this report. That uncertainty reflected Continue reading

NAHMS Beef 2017 Study

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Next month the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) will launch Beef 2017, its fourth national study of U.S. beef cow-calf operations. Beef 2017 will take an in-depth look at U.S. beef cow-calf operations and provide the industry with new Continue reading

Capture Value Through Weaning

– Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, Associate Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

Seems like I am a broken record lately. I keep hearing myself say only worry about what you can control and don’t fret over those things you cannot. As fall comes, it occurs to me that these words seem to apply to our beef farms. Everyone wanders when the peak in the market will be. Several ask when is the market going to drop?

Often we worry so much about what the markets will do in the fall, we forgot to focus on what we can control. Many calves make it to the market unweaned, something we can control. Time and time again, the markets show us that weaned calves bring more money than unweaned calves. Let’s consider Continue reading

The Value of Preconditioning Calves

– Brenda Boetel, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Preconditioning is a generic term that means different things to different people and encompasses the different operating procedures that may be applied to a calf prior to shipping. Preconditioning activities may include weaning, vaccinations, dehorning, castration, and starting calves on a high energy diet. Several reasons exist for the cow/calf producer to precondition their calves, but the underlying goal is to increase the value of the calf being sold or the Continue reading

Perspective on the Cull Cow Market

– Livestock Market Information Center

The bulk of U.S. beef cattle operations wean calves in the fall months, and that is also when they select cows for culling and begin to sell them. Many cow-calf operations in the drought impacted northern High Plains states have already pregnancy checked their cows, which is earlier than normal. Most of those cows already have or will soon be sent to market.

Over a cattle inventory cycle (typically 10 to 11 years), seasonally cull cow prices typically are lowest in the fourth (fall) quarter of the calendar year (usually November and sometimes October or December). The long-term average decline in cull cow price is about Continue reading