Fungicide application significantly reduced the presence of rust.
Oats is traditionally planted as the first crop in early April as a grain crop or an early season forage. One of the beauties of oats is its versatility in planting date. Oats can also be planted in the summer as an early fall forage for harvest or grazing.
Summer oats has a wide planting window but performs much better with an application of nitrogen and may benefit from a fungicide application to improve quality. During the summer of 2019 we conducted a study to examine the planting of oats from July 15th through early September to examine tonnage and forage quality. Through this trial we examined planting date, yield, forage quality and an application of foliar fungicide to control oats crown rust.
Usually the best scenario for growing oats for forage is to plant them into wheat stubble, which is normally available by mid-July at the latest. However, the typical recommendation is to plant oats between August 1st and 10th to maximize tonnage and quality, since the shorter day length triggers oats to grow more leaf instead of Continue reading →
Increased Hay Production per Cow: The increased use of the round baler and other hay production technologies since the early and mid-1970s (Van Keuren, OARDC – The History of the Development of the Large Round Bale) has lowered the labor requirement and increased the convenience of hay production. Hay production per cow in the southeastern United States has increased by 136% (USDA NASS, 2016) since 1976. Reliance on stored forages by cow-calf producers is can be challenge to sustainable production.
Cow Size: There has been a 30% increase in cow mature size over the last 30 years. From 1975 to 2015, cow numbers have decreased by 35%, but beef production has been maintained at a level similar to 1975 (Beck, Gadberry, Gunter, Kegley, Jennings, 2017). Correspondingly, market steer and heifer weights have increased. This also due to selecting bulls for increased yearling weights.
Forage Management: The larger the cow, the more forage is needed per cow. Forage management strategies have been developed to reduce reliance on stored forages for wintering beef cows. Beck et al. (2017) lists rotational grazing increases Continue reading →
– K. M. Cammack M. G. Thomas and R. M. Enns, published in The Professional Animal Scientist 25 ( 2009 ):517–528, and condensed from the original manuscript by Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist
Female Reproductive Measures Biological and economical efficiencies of cow-calf production are largely dependent on successful reproduction. Improvements in reproductive performance can be up to 4-fold more important than improvements in end-product traits in a conventional cow-calf operation selling market calves at weaning. Whereas estimates of heritability for many reproductive traits are low, some exist that have moderate heritabilities, and there are important genetic correlations between reproductive traits and other production traits that are moderately to highly heritable.
Beef female fertility has been recorded and measured in a multitude of ways, including age at first calving, calving date, first insemination conception (nonreturn rate), days to first breeding (days open), pregnancy rate, calving interval, longevity, and stayability.
Age at Puberty
Age at puberty is used as a measure of heifer fertility and may influence subsequent reproductive trait performance. Reproductively efficient heifers reach puberty earlier, and therefore can potentially conceive earlier in the breeding season. Cumulatively, it should be noted that age of puberty had a Continue reading →
– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee
I had to lean on the knowledge and expertise of Dr. Justin Rhinehart this week with a beef cattle reproduction question. My question to Dr. Rhinehart related to the most economical route to abort heifers because the neighbors bull visited this week.
The key to his response was mainly timing based on when the bull was removed and when I planned on marketing these heifers. For the sake of brevity, my alternatives were to determine pregnancy status of all the heifers exposed and then provide a prostaglandin shot to those found to be bred or to give all of the heifers a prostaglandin shot.
In simple terms, the prostaglandin shot needs to be administered between 10 days after the bull was removed and 30 days after his removal for the best results. The reason this is important is because pregnant heifers in the feedlot is bad for the feedlot and bad for the person who sold the animals. A bunch of bred heifers could tarnish a person’s reputation as a feeder cattle producer and it would all be for something that would cost about $5 per head.
– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
The cattle feeding part of the industry has been in the midst of dramatic adjustments over the last couple of months, just like the rest of the industry. USDA released its June Cattle on Feed report on Friday, June 19th and it showed some more adjustments, but this time back in the direction of normal.
After 2 months of 20 percent or more year-over-year declines in placements, May placements were down about 1.3 percent from the year before. May is typically a larger month for placements due to cattle coming off wheat pasture and other small winter grains. Its worth remembering the USDA’s Cattle inventory report in January indicated 290,000 fewer cattle on small grain pastures this year, compared to last year. Fewer wheat pasture cattle likely contributed to the ability to adjust. Feeder cattle sales did start to pick up as May went on, as cattle previously held back had to move, some drought conditions likely moved some feeders, and some opportunities to favorable place occurred.
Placement weights are also part of continued adjustments. Slightly more placements, 5,000 head, were Continue reading →
Wheat provides many additional opportunities for your operation. These options include drainage improvements, weed-control timing, double-crop soybeans, double-crop forages, compaction mitigation, and soil building through cover crops. From the time wheat is harvested, there is about nine months for weeds to grow and soil to erode. If double-crop soybeans are not planted, the use of cover crops will protect the soil and assist with weed control. High populations of cover crops provide competition and soil cover to control weeds.
While wheat residue does a decent job of controlling erosion, cover crops can provide increased erosion control. The canopy protects soil from the impact of raindrops, and the roots hold it in place, leading to decreased surface erosion and retention of valuable nutrients. The cover crop acts as a trap to hold nutrients from soil and applications of manure or commercial fertilizer. They do an excellent job of absorbing nitrogen and holding it in plant residue.
The type of crop you choose will determine what benefits you receive. If an operation uses tillage, annual cover crops can still have a benefit for the operation. The best time to till is the following spring, just before planting. The cover crop opens soil and allows it to dry out better in the spring for tillage or no-till planting.
One of the greatest economic benefits of cover crops can be found by using them as a forage. Growers receive the Continue reading →
Most southern Ohio pastures are located squarely in the “Tall fescue belt”. As these grasses go dormant in the fall, they become a very palatable to cattle and can be intensively grazed. Often-times producers will strip graze these grasses beginning in December, moving portable fence back 50 feet at a time across the field. Cattle will struggle to get to the next available strip of brown fescue rather than eat hay that may be set behind the cattle. After dormancy, the fescue can be eaten down lower to the ground than you would typically leave after fall grazing where you need to leave at least 4-6 inches of growth. This “Stockpiling” of forage is a good alternative for late fall and winter grazing. This practice further reduces the need for hay and can provide grazable acres into January or February.
All the techniques discussed above work even better when cattle are grazed in smaller rotated paddocks. This is not because planners want to make more work for the Producer. The reason behind rotational grazing is four-fold: Continue reading →
In this 4 minute video, Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at the University of Kentucky, shares information and video on bale grazing during a recent follow-up with a producer participating for a second year in the demonstration.
– Dr. Les Anderson, Extension Beef Specialist, University of Kentucky
Maintaining a controlled breeding and calving season can be one of the most important management tools for cow-calf producers. A uniform, heavier, and more valuable calf crop is one key reason for keeping the breeding season short. Plus, more efficient cow supplementation and cow herd health programs are products of a short breeding season. However, converting from a year-long breeding season to a shortened 2 to 3 month breeding season should not be done haphazardly.
A system for converting from year-round to a 75-day controlled calving season over a period of two years would present less loss and fewer problems than to try to convert in one year. The following steps are suggested for getting on a controlled breeding Continue reading →