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The Cattle Connection

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

Simple 2-part cow rations for this winter

Depending on your farm set-up, available equipment, and your willingness to purchase diesel fuel, your least-cost ration may look very different than your neighbors. Availability and proximity to co-product feeds, such as corn gluten feed (CGF) and dried distillers grains (DGS) may also shift your diet make-up. The traditional method of winter feeding is hay. Hay is variable in quality....

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hay waste old bale

Feeding Poor Quality Hay

Remember what a miserable year it was trying to get dry hay put up? In west-central Illinois, the rainy weather made it near impossible. In the month of May, we recorded rainfall on 15 of 31 days. In June, rainfall was recorded on 19 of 30 days. Here at the Orr Research Center in Perry rainfall totaled 26.5 inches for the months of May, June, and July. That is 68% of the normal annual rainfall...

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Inventory Stored Feeds Now

The dry fall weather has been optimal for farmers harvesting crops, however it has left pastures without needed moisture to grow fall forage. As a result, it is becoming glaringly evident that cattle producers need to inventory feeds and make sure they have the needed amounts of stored feed in case they are forced to start feeding cattle earlier than expected. Hay A cow...

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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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