From Across the Field – New Year, New Changes

As with every changing of the calendar, come changes as to how farmers are asked (or required) to implement certain production practices. This year, 2019 is no different. One of those major changes will affect producers who are planning to use dicamba based herbicides this growing season. The revised label for those products no longer allows for the applicator to be a trained person under direct supervision of a pesticide license holder, rather the person making the application must now be a licensed applicator themselves. For those needing to obt Continue reading

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

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

Select Beef Will Be Phased Out

By: Greg Henderson, for Drovers online

Select grade beef will soon become a small niche product. That’s the conclusion of a new White Paper “Phasing Out Select Grade Beef,” published by the Red Angus Association of America with sponsorship from Anipro/Xtraformance Feeds.

The authors noted that as recently as 2006-2007, Select grade beef accounted for 40% of carcasses, but was reduced to 17% to 18% by 2018. Extending the current downward trend into the future, the authors suggest Select beef tonnage would be reduced to 10% by 2022, and to 5% by 2025. 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

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

In The Cattle Markets: Low Cull Cow Prices & Complex Culling Decisions

By: Josh Maples, Mississippi State University, previously published by Drovers online

Cattle markets overall have shown impressive strength despite larger supplies during 2018. Feeder steer market averages have been near level or slightly stronger than 2017 levels in many markets over the past few months even in the face of larger calf supplies. USDA-AMS reported national feeder and stocker receipts were around 15 percent higher during August-October 2018 as compared to the same three months during 2017. Moving more calves at level or higher prices is a testament to the current demand-driven environment. Continue reading

Get Your BQA Certification Now—Some Packers To Require It in 2019

By: Sara Brown, previously published by Drovers online

Earlier this year, several beef packers announced they would require Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification from fed cattle suppliers, starting Jan. 1, 2019. Leaders from Tyson and Cargill say this effort is driven by beef retailers and consumers, who are asking for more information about how cattle are raised.

Cargill is on schedule to meet its commitment for 90% of its suppliers being compliant by the end of 2018. “We support both BQA and the BQA Transportation because we believe it is the right thing to do for caring for, and handling, cattle,” says Lacey Alexander, Cargill’s animal welfare lead for beef. Continue reading