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Beef Production in western Nebraska
Information, resources and links to help cow-calf producers, feedlots and other segments of the beef industry in western Nebraska
Extension Educator stresses including a drought clause in your grazing lease:
The two most important components of a grazing lease agreement are stocking rate and lease rate, according to Jay Jenkins, UNL Extension Educator in Cherry County. Jenkins recommends that grazing leases should include a clause that covers how grazing pressure will be reduced in response to drought or other natural disaster.
For ranchers, trigger dates and stocking rates are drought mitigation cornerstones:
As the area enters its second year of below average moisture, having and using a written drought management plan to mitigate the impact on grazing lands is key for 2013 and also for long-term forage production.
Grazing and forage management in drought-affected 2013:
Ranchers in drought-stricken parts of Nebraska are facing tough decisions in 2013, including how many livestock their depleted pastures will be able to support and whether to supplement pastures by planting forage crops to be grazed or harvested.
Additional resources on these drought mitigation strategies:
- Crop Residues or Low Quality Hay Combined with Byproducts as a Forage Substitute
- Management, Health, and Nutritional Considerations for Weaning Cows
- Creep Feeding Beef Calves
- Management of Early Weaned Calves
- Body Condition Scoring Beef Cows
- Grazing Crop Residues with Beef Cattle
- Skilful Grazing Management on Semi Arid Rangelands
- Planning Ahead to Save AUMs and the Cow Herd in Times of Forage Shortage (by Jerry Volesky and Don Adams of UNL West Central Research and Extension center)
As producers get ready to take cattle to summer pasture, questions often arise about the relationship between range management and stocking rate. Clearly, if the range resource is underutilized, then profitability will be decreased as more animals could have been using the range. Conversely, and more commonly, the tendency is to overgraze the range and put the sustainability of the range in jeopardy. Developing a grazing plan to utilize pastures can help producers effectively manage their forage resources.
As calving moves into full swing, many producers are thinking about vaccination programs they want to implement at branding. However, only a few are also considering how growth implants could be used as a management tool for the nursing calf. Implants have been proven to improve gains by 4 to 5 percent, according to research from Oklahoma State University. This could translate to an additional 18-20 pounds of weaning weight. Put another way, it means every $1 spent on implants will result in approximately a $15 to $20 return for producers selling calves at weaning. Implants can be quickly administered at branding along with calfhood vaccinations.
Probably the most pivotal time for a beef cow to maintain a position in the beef herd is the first three months after her first calf is born. This young cow is barely 2 years old and still has nutrient requirements for growth, in addition to those related to taking care of her calf and recovering in time to rebreed for the next year. If a cow cannot meet all these demands, resumption of the estrous cycle will be the first to be compromised. Many producers in the Panhandle have integrated crops and livestock operations, and by the time the intense activity of calving is over, they are busy preparing for spring planting. When so many other pressing issues are at hand, it is easy to overlook the body condition of the young cow.
UNL beef and forage management webinars continue
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension’s series of webinars on cattle and forage production in this region will continue with the next program set for June 5.
The webinars take place from 11:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. MDT. To participate, go to the following website and enter as a guest. https://connect.unl.edu/extension/. Audio will come through the computer. Participants can ask questions throughout the presentation by typing into the on-line interaction box. There will be 15 minutes at the end of the presentation for participant questions.
June dates and topics will include:
- June 5: Storage and Use of Wet Distillers Grains on the Ranch
- June 19: Treatment of Crop Residues with Calcium Oxide to Replace Corn in Feedlot Diets.
All presentations will be archived after the presentation and will be available at the UNL Beef website under Beef Webinars.
Any questions should be directed to Aaron Berger at 308-235-3122, email firstname.lastname@example.org.