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The Cattle Connection

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

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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Do you have a steak or a stake in the cattle business?

Posted by Travis Meteer -
All cattle producers classify as having a steak in the cattle business. They own, raise, care for, or market live cattle. Cattlemen are passionate about ranch life, their breed of cattle, the shape their cows are in, the health of newly-arrived feeder calves, and they are committed to producing a healthy, high-performing animal that will result in a great steak! But, how many have a...

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What’s in store for cattle markets in 2015?

Posted by Travis Meteer - Marketing
After experiencing the market trend upward seemingly every week of 2014, cattle producers should be prepared for a little more normal market pattern in 2015. With signs of expansion, it is likely the cowherd has stabilized numbers and will make an effort to climb the cow herd inventory. The climb will not be fast. A heifer retained in 2014 will not produce her first calf until the sprin...

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Feeding cows

First-Calf Cows: High nutrient demand can slow breed-back

First-calf cows (3 year olds) are traditionally the most challenging animal to get bred on the farm. As we approach breeding season, cattlemen need to be aware of this challenge and make sure they do not drop the ball on getting first-calf cows re-bred. First-calf cows are dealing with a large demand for nutrition. Nutrients are needed to support maintenance (normal bodily processes), l...

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