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The Cattle Connection

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

Corn silage too dry?

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition
I have had numerous reports of drier than normal corn silage this year. It is hard to post a blog that answers all the questions about corn silage. Nutrient analysis of corn silage, dry matter, nitrate levels, analysis of other feedstuffs, cow size, cow condition, environmental factors, and many more variables can impact the amount of corn silage you need to feed. I recommend you consult your n...

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Cornstalk Grazing Questions

Posted by Travis Meteer - Grazing
I have been having conversations with producers about grazing cornstalks. I wanted to share some frequently asked questions. Q: How long can I graze cornstalks? A: This depends on stocking rate and available dry matter to graze. The quick answer is "At 150 bushels an acre, approximately 1 acre of cornstalks are needed to feed the cow for 30 days. To feed the same cow on cornstal...

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Considerations for Heifer Selection and Development

Many producers are in the process of weaning spring-born calves or have this task accomplished. Coinciding with weaning calves, many cow/calf producers will select the next crop of replacement females. The keep/cull sort on heifers can be sometimes overthought. This factsheet offers some tips for heifer selection...

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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, News Writer: Leanne Lucas, 217-244-2862, · 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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