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The Cattle Connection

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

CRP Hay: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Many cattle producers are still looking for economical forage to use as winter feed for beef cows. Cornstalks, bean-stubble, wheat straw, and CRP hay are a few of the low-quality forages that are being considered by farmers. Some areas that experienced drought conditions this summer had CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) acres released for haying. Thus, questions are coming in about CRP hay. CR...

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Orr Beef Research Center’s 2018 Field Day scheduled for September 5th

Posted by Travis Meteer -

BAYLIS, Ill. – The annual Orr Beef Research Center Field Day will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The meeting will be held at the John Wood Ag Center located on State Highway 104 in Baylis. Speakers from the University of Illinois will lead discussions that will address research, current topics, and situations producers are facing on-farm. A meal will be provided to those who take p...

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cover crop

Still Time to Grow Forage

Posted by Travis Meteer - Grazing Hay

Limited hay supplies have cattle producers looking at opportunities to grow more forage yet this fall. An early maturing crop is going to open the door for use of row crop acres to grow more forage. Many producers have already identified the opportunity to put Oats, Cereal Rye, Turnips, or other forage crops in this fall. As a result, expect to see shortages in seed supplies, higher pri...

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commodity bay storage

Inventory Stored Feeds

Posted by Travis Meteer - Economics

Currently, low hay supplies and overstocked pastures are commonplace in the Midwest. Limited forage availability is still a challenge for cattlemen. As a result, it is vital for cattle producers to inventory feeds. An inventory of what is on-farm will help producers budget purchased feeds. Simply counting round bales, feet of silage bags, and carefully estimating remaining grazing days...

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Fly Control

Fly Control

Authored by Ashley Cooney, Intern, University of Illinois Orr Beef Research Farm. It's the middle of fly season and a good time to put a fly control program into place or to evaluate how effective your current fly control program is. Flies can cause up to $1 billion in revenue loss, so it is vital to have a good fly control program. The loss in revenue is caused when flies found on catt...

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Comparing Spring vs. Fall Calving

Authored by Ashley Cooney, Intern, University of Illinois Orr Beef Research Farm. At the Illinois Beef Association's Summer Conference, I had the chance to talk to producers and learn about how they operate their farms. One conversation with a producer stuck out to me and got me thinking. The producer's cow-calf operation had two calving seasons: fall and spring. My conve...

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104 0491

The Power of Observation

Beep! Ding! Buzz! The noises and alerts that come from a cell phone can absolutely dominate your day. Answering calls, emails, texts, social media alerts, and on and on… the happenings around you can come and go while you are still staring at your phone. While taking pasture samples a few weeks ago, I challenged myself to observe. I turned my phone to silent and left it in my pocket. I...

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