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The Cattle Connection

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

Resource for understanding Unit Cost of Production

Posted by Travis Meteer - Economics
Cow/calf producers will forever remember the record profits of 2014. They may also vividly remember the "fall of the 2015 fall." Prices have quickly fallen off the last two weeks, this following a continual inching down during the months of July and August. This collapse in prices leaves many heading back to the balance sheet to do some figuring. One of the most valuable keys for a cow/...

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Cornstalks to get the call-up

When a player gets injured and goes on the DL, the manager calls up a player from the minors. This year your hay crop likely got injured. So as the manager, you need to call-up the reserves… cornstalks. As an analyst (nutritionist), cornstalks will serve as a worthy replacement. But, don't expect cornstalks to make the all-star team. Cornstalks, when used in a balanced ration, will work well. H...

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Research Update: RyzUpSmartGrass

Posted by Travis Meteer - Grazing Hay
For the last 5 years Ed Ballard, retired Extension, and Gary Letterly, Extension Educator, have been looking at the yield impacts of applying RyzUpSmartGrass to forages in the spring. The product works similar to a nitrogen application, however this product is primarily gibberellic acid, a natural occurring plant growth hormone. The improvements in yield and data summary is available i...

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Designing a Bud Box

It is often said "If you can work cattle together, you can do anything together." We have all had a stressful chuteside experience, but have you investigated ways to better handle your cattle? As you prepare to wean calves, preg-check cows, and give fall booster vaccinations, you should consider looking into the "Bud Box." The Bud Box is named after Bud Williams, who created the design....

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Is Early Weaning the Right Decision for You?

Early weaning (EW) is a management strategy that can alleviate grazing pressure on pastures. EW can be a management decision to keep from feeding cows to maintain body condition. Young, growing calves will more efficiently convert feed to pounds. Thus, money budgeted for feed may be more wisely spent on a calf ration instead of feeding cows trying to support lactation demands. Maddox (1...

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Feeding damaged wheat to livestock

Wet growing conditions in the Midwest have opened the door for several challenges in the 2015 wheat crop. As a result, farmers are seeing price docks and discounts at the elevator, mainly due to increased disease, low test weight, and sprout-damaged wheat. Depending on the dock and infection level this wheat may be best utilized as livestock feed, said a University of Illinois Extension beef ed...

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Pastures are posing many challenges this year

I have had many discussions with cattle producers over the last couple of weeks about how to manage pastures in these wet conditions. We have also discussed the effect we are seeing on the cattle grazing these areas. It is hard to complain about too much rain, especially after a beautiful growing season last year and not so distant memories of drought. However, too much rain can be a difficult...

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