Managing Feed Intake in Calves

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

The most common problem that I see in feeding calves is simply feed bunk management. It sounds simple but it can be a real problem…one that can easily be solved by paying attention to details.

Let’s start with managing self-feeders. Just dump the feed in and the calves take care of the rest. Right? Wrong. First, we have to consider Continue reading

Over 115 Consignments in OCA’s Replacement Female Sale

Several members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will sell over 115 consignments in the OCA Replacement Female Sale on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, at 6 p.m. at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company facility in Zanesville, Ohio. Consignments include approximately 30 mature cows, less than five years of age, and approximately 85 bred heifers.

Breeds represented will include Continue reading

Posted in Events

Prospects for Winter Backgrounding in 2015

– Dr. Kenny Burdine and Dr. Greg Halich, University of Kentucky

After enjoying a phenomenal cattle market during 2014 and much of 2015, prices dropped considerably from summer to winter this year. The rapid market drop seemed to delay feedlot marketings of fed cattle, pushing weights upward. At the same time, reduced exports and growing pork and poultry supplies also pressured cattle markets. Last year, winter backgrounders were hesitant to place calves into winter programs due to the high price of calves. This year, hesitancy seems to stem from uncertainty about sale prices for feeders in the spring given the recent market drop. The purpose of this article is to examine potential returns to backgrounding programs this winter.

At the time of this writing (mid-October, 2015), spring 2016 feeder cattle futures were Continue reading

Cattle Marketing and Price Risk Management

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

In the last few weeks there has been much discussion regarding the direction of cattle prices. Many analysts have explained that although short-term price forecasts are mixed, the long-term price outlook is bearish due to an increasing cattle herd. Whether you are bearish or bullish on this coming week’s short-term cattle price outlook, price volatility will be high and discussions on feedlot profitability will be commonplace.

Every cattle producer wants to sell their cattle at the highest price but feedlot profitability is dependent on Continue reading

Ohio Beef Feedlot School On-line

On four consecutive Thursday evenings during January of 2015, Dr. Francis Fluharty, OSU research professor in animal sciences, presented his Ohio Beef Feedlot School to cattlemen in Darke and nearby counties. The school focused on beef feedlot nutrition, maximizing profits by increasing feed efficiency and using byproducts to reduce feed costs. Sponsors of the school included OSU Extension in Darke County, the Darke County Cattlemen’s Association, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Keller Grain & Feed, Inc., and Versailles Feed Mill, Inc.

The series was recorded live and is now available Continue reading

Feeding Poor Quality Hay

– Travis Meteer, University of Illinois Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture, Orr Agricultural R&D Center

Remember what a miserable year it was trying to get dry hay put up? In west-central Illinois, the rainy weather made it near impossible. In the month of May, we recorded rainfall on 15 of 31 days. In June, rainfall was recorded on 19 of 30 days. Here at the Orr Research Center in Perry rainfall totaled 26.5 inches for the months of May, June, and July. That is 68% of the normal annual rainfall in just 3 months.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude there are copious amounts of poor quality hay about to be fed this winter. So what should you Continue reading

BEEF 509 Dates Set

The BEEF 509 dates have been set for Saturday, February 20 and Saturday, February 27, 2016. The program is designed to raise the awareness level about the food we produce, BEEF, and the reasons why it sometimes misses its mark with consumers’ palates and producers’ pocketbooks. It will take place on two consecutive Saturdays in February at the OSU Animal Sciences Building in Columbus. All the same information and activities from Continue reading

Cattle Producers, Your Help is Needed

The College of Veterinary Medicine and the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University are seeking cattle producers to watch a video about strategies they can use to control E. coli contamination on their operation and complete a follow-up survey. Once you complete the survey, you can enter your name for a chance to win a $25 VISA gift card.

Completing the survey will Continue reading

Posted in Health

The Cattle Cycle Revisited

– Tim Petry, Extension Livestock Economist, NDSU Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department

Unexpected and unpredictable events have plagued the beef industry for the last 15 years.

For many years, cattle producers experienced a somewhat predictable cattle cycle approximately 10 years in length. However, during the last 15 years, an abnormal number of outside events have caused the cycle to be less predictable and left producers wondering if the cattle cycle is relevant for planning purposes. The likely answer to that is yes, with particular emphasis on the next several years.

There are actually three components of the cycle: Continue reading

Cattle and Calf Markets

– Stephen R. Koontz, Professor, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, Colorado State University

For the past two months, anticipating what cattle and calf markets will do next been an exercise in frustration and humility. The markets dropped sharply in September and rallied back the last half of October. The main question posed to me has been, “Is the bottom in?” I think so, but it doesn’t have to be. And it also depends on your planning horizon.

From a long-term perspective, the bottom is not in and I think we can be in for more of the same over the next three years. It has been a long time since industry members and market watchers have had to think through how all the cattle and beef markets will react under Continue reading