Date: Feb 06 2019Calving & Cattle Feeding & On Target & Premium Potential & Stockmanship
While many of you are in sire buying mode this time of year, more are deciding whether this year’s bull calves retain the ability to become sires. Castration at birth is ideal, but catching them on day one can be a challenge in extensive operations. Castration at branding or turnout offers a balance between handling ease and minimizing calf stress.
Date: Jan 08 2019Calving & On Target & Premium Potential & Research & Stockmanship & Sustainability
Winter came early for much of cow-calf country, and now calving season is at the gate. Even those who call it “spring calving” often start in January, but if you’re not out checking a heifer, this is a good time of year to catch up on reading. Calving dates and “housing” options for the herd were explored in a 2019 Nebraska Beef Report article by Terry Klopfenstein and others, who evaluated March, June, or August calving dates on the range, or two July calving systems in year-round confinement or in semi-confinement with grazed corn stalks from fall to April weaning.
Date: Dec 12 2018EPDs & Gestational Nutrition & On Target
We sometimes associate cause and effect without knowing the real link, or as an academic buzz phrase has it, “correlation does not equal causation.” A quick search provides a humorous example. Did you know ice cream sales and shark attacks are highly correlated? While true in a broad sense, the actual reason for similar seasonal trends is that hot weather brings greater ice cream consumption as well as more swimming along beaches where sharks lurk.
Date: Oct 27 2018EPDs & On Target
One of the big challenges of livestock judging is explaining “balance” to a new evaluator. As we attend county fairs, state previews and junior nationals, we’ll hear the term used to describe cattle in nearly every class. After the judge remarks on the calf’s balance, they’ll follow up with a collection of terms that support their view of balance.
Date: Oct 27 2018On Target & Post Weaning & Research
Date: Oct 27 2018Cattle Markets & Feeder Calf Marketing & On Target & Post Weaning
Few producers strive for average—from cow productivity to cost reduction, we all want to be better than that. Yet half of every herd is below its own average, so the bar we compare against is important for context. As the summer video sale reports come in, we hear lots of comments wondering how some cattle trade at such exceptional prices.
Date: Oct 27 2018Implant & On Target & Post Weaning & Research
Date: Jun 01 2018On Target & Research
Beef cattle genetic power keeps moving up. Just look at the trend for pre- and post-weaning growth potential across breeds. Look at the continued improvement in quality grade across the industry. Some say that growth increase has come at the detriment of the cow herd, increasing feed and forage requirements beyond what the ranch can maintain. But steer carcass weights peaked at 930 lb. in fall 2015, not maintaining their historic 5-lb. annual increase as predicted. While carcass weights vary seasonally, they have declined annually since 2015 and trend lower in 2018.
Date: May 01 2018On Target & Research
Lately the news is overrun with features on how we humans plan to shift away from meat as we’ve always known it to plant protein alternatives. Personally, I refuse to call it meat; vegetables and legumes in a meat-like form perhaps, but meat it is not.
Date: Apr 01 2018On Target
You know the role health and nutrition play in feedlot performance, carcass quality grade and profitability. Yet many readers challenge the idea that these benefits can be realized at the ranch, unless they retain ownership beyond the farm or ranch gate.