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The Cattle Connection

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

"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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Fly Control

Fly control

Flies irritate cows. They cause cows to stomp and swat which takes energy away from gain and performance. This performance loss can be quite significant if some method of fly control is not deployed. Research has tagged over $800 Million dollars of lost revenue annually due to flies. These losses are mostly in reduced performance, lower ADG, Pinkeye, and lower milk production. There are...

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CRP hay

Be Careful Baling Pastures

Posted by Travis Meteer - Grazing Hay
While I think everyone should have some hay on hand for emergency feeding, baling pastures may not be the best option. Forecasted dry weather makes it easier in some minds to cut hay and bale it up… because it won't get rained on. However, that weather pattern is not favorable to pasture regrowth. Hot, dry weather does not favor good regrowth of cool season grasses, which make up the ma...

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