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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies

Utilizing Corn Residue for Cattle Feed

The best way to utilize cornstalks is to graze them. Cattle graze selectively, looking for the more palatable feedstuffs. The more palatable parts of the plant are also more nutritious. Cattle first eat the remaining corn grain, then husks, then leaves, and finally the stalk. Cattle will eat the more digestible and higher protein portions first. Therefore, a good mineral is probably the...

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bawling calf

Tips for Weaning Beef Calves

Weaning is arguably the most stressful event in a calf's life. Combining stressors at weaning can inhibit immune response triggering health problems and shut off gains. Fortunately, cattle producers can understand stressing events and manage against the freeway pile-up that can occur at weaning. Another potential hurdle is the loss of maternal antibodies that the calf receives through c...

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"Make manure safety a priority after harvest" - Rich Gates

Source: Richard Gates, 217-244-2791, rsgates@illinois.edu News Writer: Leanne Lucas, 217-244-2862, llucas@illinois.edu · Hydrogen sulfide and methane gasses from liquid/slurry stores can be lethal. · Remember key safety rules before agitating and emptying manure stores · M...

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cover crop

Cover Crops for Additional Forage

Posted by Travis Meteer - Grazing Hay
Illinois is blessed with very fertile farmland. Higher land prices, soil health benefits, and the ability to grow more feed are incentives to add cover crops to a diversified farming operation. Using cover crops following cash crop production for added forage is one of the best opportunities for IL cattlemen to lower production costs. A perfect spot for cover crops is following...

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making corn silage

Making Corn Silage for Beef Cattle

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition
The key to corn silage decisions is to keep the end in mind. At the end, corn silage should provide a high quality feed to livestock that properly ensiled. To achieve this goal, the harvest process is crucial. The ideal time to harvest corn silage is dependent on numerous factors, but the most important may be whole plant moisture/dry matter. Most farmers will target a whole corn plant...

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strip grazing

Stockpiling Fescue for Winter Grazing

Posted by Travis Meteer - Grazing
Cool season forages, especially fescue, are excellent candidates for stockpiling. While fescue may garner a bad reputation for endophyte issues and poor production in the summer months, fall is a time to shine for fescue. Cool temperatures in the fall negate complications with elevated body temperatures when cattle are consuming endophyte infected fescue. Re-growth in the fall is primarily gree...

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cows drinking water

Heading off Heat Stress

As the temperatures and humidity elevate, it is important to understand and manage to prevent heat stress in your cattle herd. Heat stress can lower performance and in severe cases cause death. Here are some recommendations to keep heat stress at a minimum. Management tips to reduce heat stress: Ensure that water is clean and plentiful . Cattle will dri...

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