Winter Weather Impacts Cattle Markets

By: Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension
Previously published by Drovers online

A major winter storm this past week extended in a belt across the middle of the country from Denver east to the mid-Atlantic coast. Heavy snow hit parts of feedlot country across eastern Colorado, Kansas, southeastern Nebraska, southern Iowa and the eastern Corn Belt. Much of Nebraska and the northern Plains along with the Texas panhandle were spared the worst of the snow but rain has created wet, sloppy conditions in many places that will impact cattle performance in feedlots and in the country. Continue reading

Is Your Livestock Barn At Risk For A Fire? Here’s A Safety Checklist

By: Sara Brown, previously published by Farm Journal’s Pork

It seems there have been more livestock barn fires in 2018 than years prior, according to coverage on Agweb.com and sister publications Farm Journal’s PORKDrovers and Dairy Herd Management.

While wildfires are nearly impossible to prepare for, stationary livestock barns can be modified to lower the risk of fire. During winter months, it’s even more important that farmers inspect livestock facilities before installing additional heaters and inspect electrical wiring for damage.

The National Fire Protection Association and Iowa State University offers these tips to lower fire hazards on the farm: Continue reading

What Did it Cost to Produce a Pound of Calf This Year?

By: Aaron Berger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

By early December, weaning of spring-born calves has wrapped up for most cow-calf producers.  This is a good time of year to close the books on 2018 and analyze the business to see what it cost to produce a pound of weaned calf. Unit cost of production (UCOP) is a value based on a relationship in production or manufacturing between costs and units of product made or produced.

Unit Cost of Production = Costs / Units Produced

Continue reading

Tips to Reduce Winter-Feeding Hay Costs for Beef Herd

By: Bill Halfman, University Of Wisconsin-Extension

With hay being in short supply in some areas I thought it might be beneficial to re-post this article that Dr. Radunz and I put together back in 2011.

Winter-feeding of the beef cows represents the greatest expense in most beef cow-calf enterprises.  Currently high feed prices, even for hay, should cause farmers to evaluate their winter-feeding strategies to identify ways to reduce feed costs through minimizing feed waste.

Ring Hay Feeder with hay saver panel Continue reading

U.S. Pork Industry Ends 2018 with Major Antibiotic Progress

By: Cindy Cunningham, National Pork Board

America’s 60,000 pig farmers and their veterinarians are ending 2018 with recognition of their diligence to use medically important antibiotics in a strictly responsible way. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s newly published Annual Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals cites 2017 data that shows a 33 percent decline in this most critical class of antibiotics intended for use in food animals. When added to the decline found in the 2016 data, it confirms a reduction of 43 percent in this class of antibiotics from the 2015 level. Continue reading

Basic Ventilation System Design for Producers

By Joe Darrington, South Dakota State University Extension

Within swine production barns, the management and mastery of ventilation systems can be viewed as both a science and an art. As the days change throughout the year, the ventilation requirements at barns also shift. The challenge lies in balancing the indoor environmental conditions with the varying needs of the pigs. Continue reading

BEEF 509 set for February 16 and 22, 2019

Dates have been set for the 2019 edition of BEEF 509.

The BEEF 509 program is held to raise the awareness level about the beef that is produced and what goes into producing a high-quality and consistent product. The program will take place on two consecutive Saturdays, February 16 and 23, 2019.

The part of the program held on February 16 will include a live animal evaluation session and grid pricing discussion. Carcass grading and fabrication are among the activities that will take place February 23. The program will take place at The Ohio State University Animal Sciences building in Columbus. It will be critical to attend both sessions as participants will be assigned to teams that will work together throughout the program. Continue reading

Can Show Pig Genetics Be Used in Commercial Production?

By: Mark Knauer, Dalton Obermier and Zack Peppmeier, North Carolina State University

The show pig sector of the swine industry is often thought to be quite different than modern commercial production. While show pig breeders tend to focus on the appearance of an animal, swine geneticists focus on selecting for traits of economic importance. Hence, in theory, modern commercial genetic lines should have superior economic value when compared to show pig genetics. Continue reading

Limit Feeding Cows Corn as an Alternative to Hay

Erin Laborie, University of Nebraska Extension

Feed costs make up the largest expense in a cow-calf operation. While hay is often used to feed cows through the winter, current prices make corn a competitive option to feeding hay. Considering corn has a higher energy content than hay, the cost of feeding hay is often higher than corn on a price per pound of energy basis. For example, corn priced at $3.30/bushel ($118/ton) equates to approximately $0.08 per pound of total digestible nutrients (TDN) while hay priced at $100/ton is nearly $0.11 per pound of TDN.  Continue reading