Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update

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

Following up from last month, the feeder cattle market has not pushed much higher, but has managed to hold its ground. At the time of this writing (September 8, 2017), most all CME© Feeder Cattle futures contracts were trading in the mid-$140’s. Fed cattle prices, which didn’t reach their annual lows last year until mid-October, still haven’t found a bottom for 2017. Slightly lower grain prices have Continue reading Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update

Latest USDA Supply and Demand Estimates Lower U.S. Beef Production

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

The USDA released its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) on Tuesday morning, which should prove to be neutral to slightly bullish. U.S. beef production for 2017 was lowered by 140 million pounds from 26.699 billion pounds to 26.559 billion pounds while 2018 production was lowered by 85 million pounds to 27.275 billion pounds. There are likely a few things driving this reduction in beef production. One driver is Continue reading Latest USDA Supply and Demand Estimates Lower U.S. Beef Production

Addition by Subtraction

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

Balloon teats are one example of an unsound udder. Udder problems affect milk production and consumption that in turn, impact weaning weights.

Weaning time is an excellent time to evaluate your cow herd and decide which cows get to remain in your herd as productive females. If they are not being productive for you, they need to be replaced by heifer calves retained from within the herd or by purchased bred females.

Cows and heifers leave operations for a variety of reasons. Ask a room full of cow-calf producers for the key reasons to cull a female from the herd. I would feel confident that the reasons would include any or all of the following factors: 1. Age or bad teeth; 2. Continue reading Addition by Subtraction

First-Calf Heifers Require Different Management

– Jason Smith, University of Tennessee

First-calf heifers. Let’s face it – we all struggle with them at least to some degree. And it’s an issue that we face not just here in Tennessee, but across the entire country. If one comes up open, we’re faced with one of two choices. The first (and recommended) is to sell her, which will generally result in an overall loss on that female. The second would be to keep her, and try again next year. Will she get pregnant after a year off? Maybe. But how many of us can operate a profitable bed and breakfast where our guests don’t pay? Most of us can’t – myself included. So if neither of these are viable options, what is? Being proactive at preventing the issue. But before we address ways of doing that, there are few fundamental concepts that are important to understand.

So why are they so dang hard to get bred back? Or, come preg-check time, why is it that the majority of the open cows are coming Continue reading First-Calf Heifers Require Different Management

Transitioning Calves from Receiving to a Feedlot Diet

Dr. Francis L. Fluharty, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University (Originally published in the Ohio Farmer on-line)

When starting calves pull feed to the center of the feed bunk every 4 to 6 hours for the first 48 hours. Do this slowly so the cattle are intrigued, but not scared.

Transitioning newly weaned calves from a forage diet to a grain and grain byproducts based diet is a critical time period in the feedlot. Since many farmer feeders only receive calves once a year and fall weaning is just around the corner, here’s a quick reminder of things to consider.

Corn has twice the energy density, and twice the digestibility of most forages, so a pound of corn yields four times the amount of digestible energy as a pound of grass. Allowing animals an adequate time to adjust to corn, metabolically, is critical as the Continue reading Transitioning Calves from Receiving to a Feedlot Diet

Why Antibiotics Fail

– Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL)

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) continues to be the most common cause of feedlot death loss, despite improved vaccines and expensive long-acting antibiotics formulated specifically against the bugs commonly found in a diseased bovine lung. Beyond death loss due to severe pneumonia, the costs of treatment (antibiotics) and prevention (vaccines), loss of production, and reduced carcass value in chronic cases must also be considered to understand the full economic loss to the industry. In the face of these challenges, consumers are increasingly demanding Continue reading Why Antibiotics Fail

Posted in Health

September Cattle Market Update

– Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

Feeder cattle prices in Oklahoma are currently about 10 percent higher than this time last year. Calf and feeder prices peaked in June, a later than usual seasonal peak for the calves and earlier than typical for the heavy feeders. Calf prices will likely decline a bit more to a seasonal low in October but are expected to remain higher year over year through the fourth quarter. Strong stocker demand for fall and winter grazing may limit Continue reading September Cattle Market Update

Summer Doldrums Continue As Expected

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

It looks likely that the cattle and beef markets will show typical seasonal weakness through much of the fall. There is some good news but much of what we observe have the potential to hold prices down. The Cattle on Feed report – as Katelyn reported – was rather bullish. Placements and on-feed numbers were surprisingly low relative to expectations and futures prices rallied the following trading day. But the underlying fundamentals that this report has revealed all spring and most of the summer clearly suggests Continue reading Summer Doldrums Continue As Expected

Year Round Grazing Project at Farm Science Review

Tim McDermott, OSU Extension Educator, Hocking County

A new demonstration area has been created at the Gwynne Conservation Area for Farm Science Review that exhibits forage species adapted for year around grazing.

Spring oats planted at the Gwynne Conservation Area of FSR in early August

This summer a 1.1 acre plot that had been planted previously in warm season bunch grasses was converted into a series of different forage varieties designed to help teach management intensive grazing principles so that producers can get closer to a year round grazing program. The acreage was divided into four roughly quarter acre plots and planted with Continue reading Year Round Grazing Project at Farm Science Review

Grazing Bites: Another Look at Tall Fescue

– Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I sometimes get in a hurry when I sit down to write. That sometimes causes me to have a bit of tunnel vision and I don’t get in enough detail due to lack of time or space in the article. That happened in August and I heard about it, and I still have some tire tracts from a couple buses. I guess I should have said more.

A lowly under-utilized endophyte infected fescue plant stands alone and untouched with more palatable overgrazed forages available around it.

I may have been a little hard on tall fescue last month, but Kentucky 31 endophyte infected tall fescue does have issues. Much of the tall fescue in Indiana is infected with the endophyte, a fungus that produces a toxic substance known as ergovaline. The endophyte and ergovaline are responsible for reduced palatability of tall fescue especially when it is under stress. Fescue toxicosis is responsible for elevated body temperatures, restricted blood flow to extremities and poor animal performance.

Most people think that Continue reading Grazing Bites: Another Look at Tall Fescue

Posted in Pasture