News & Releases

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May 2022

It’s time for a pasture walk in Lucas County and Andy Offenburger’s farm is the place. The event is set for Tuesday, June 21, beginning at 6 p.m., on the farm northeast of Chariton. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Chris Clark said the program will include information from ISU extension beef, agronomy and ag engineering specialists on a variety of topics.

Beef cattle transporters are receiving notice from major packers reminding them to renew their Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) certificate. To help them renew or obtain new certification, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer BQAT trainings across northwest Iowa this summer.  Extension beef specialist Beth Doran is organizing these trainings.

One of the first Iowa State University Extension and Outreach pasture walks of 2022 is set for June 8. ISU Extension Union County is hosting the event at 1815 240th St, Shannon City, beginning at 6 p.m. The walk is for anyone interested in learning more about pasture management and cattle grazing, and features ISU extension specialists Chris Clark, Aaron Sauegling and Tim Christensen.

With the cool and wet spring in 2022, there haven’t been many opportunities to seed forages. Is it getting too late to plant forages? The short answer is that there is still some time to seed forages this spring. While the typical planting window is late February (frost seeding) through late April, planting forages in May can still be successful. For areas south of I-80, agronomists suggest seeding by the middle of May, whereas north of I-80 could get by seeding even a little later in May. For spring seeding tips, see this article on the ICM website.

April 2022

It's time to start thinking about scouting for alfalfa weevil. Even with recent cool temperatures, overwintering alfalfa weevil adults have become active, made their way to alfalfa fields, and have likely begun laying eggs in stems. Alfalfa weevil is a cool-season pest and is able to survive less than ideal temperatures by moving under residue or near the crown. Adult alfalfa weevils become active and start laying eggs as soon as temperatures exceed 48°F. Alfalfa weevil egg hatching begins when 200-300 GDD (base 48°F) have accumulated since January 1. See more info and a GDD map in this ICM article.

Many Iowa producers are including winter annual forages as a cover crop to protect water quality and improve soil health. These forages also can help reduce feed costs and improve the health of spring calving cow herds. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Denise Schwab said three field days will be held this month in northeast Iowa as a part of the Forage Alternative Research Project demonstrating the use of winter annuals for spring grazing.


March 2022

Current retail values of diesel fuel can be used as an index to estimate current and near-future yardage charges in maintaining livestock. Iowa Beef Center associate scientist Garland Dahlke said it’s important for producers to know their costs, especially in light of higher fuel prices. He recently updated the Iowa Beef Center’s Yardage-Diesel Fuel Relationship calculator to help producers determine cost estimates.

Body Condition Scoring (BCS) at calving is an important predictor of numerous important outcomes such as dystocia, calf vigor, quantity and quality of colostrum, postpartum intervals, return to estrus, and subsequent pregnancy. Very simply, BCS of 5-6 at calving time should be the goal. Chris Clark, Iowa State University extension beef specialist, said it is important for producers to analyze BCS at calving and other key times of the year.


February 2022

The annual Iowa Forage and Grassland Council Conference returns to an in-person offering in 2022. Set for March 30, this year’s event will take place at the Iowa State University McNay Research and Demonstration Farm near Chariton, and features a full day of information.

The Eastern Iowa Hay Producers Association (EIHPA) Annual Meeting and Conference is back in 2022 for its 37th year. The meeting will be March 24 at Buzzy’s in Welton, and all hay producers in the region are invited to attend. This year’s featured speakers are Dave Lubben from Monticello discussing his experiences making and feeding baleage, and William Edwards, retired ISU economist, presenting info on the return on costs for hay shelters/buildings.

The Silage for Beef Conference returns for a fourth year as a one-day event with a full slate of topics and presenters on this vital part of beef cattle diets. New this year, the March 17 event focuses on small grain silage and will be available to attend in person or by livestreaming. Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach join University of Nebraska Extension and Lallemand Animal Nutrition in providing the conference each year.

Many dairy farms have adopted the practice of breeding a portion of their herd to beef bulls to produce calves for the beef production. As this practice has become more common, some dairy farms are interested in determining the practicality and profitability of retaining their beef x dairy calves to market as feeder or fed cattle versus marketing as baby calves. University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension will host a two-part webinar series in March focusing on practices that can help optimize the value of dairy-beef cross animals. Optimizing Value of Dairy Beef Cross Cattle from Birth to Harvest will be held on Tuesdays, March 8 and March 22.

The 6th International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare will be hosted as a series of webinars on the fourth Wednesday of each month from February through June 2022. The Symposium features research on a variety of beef production topics including development of new or enhanced methods/tools for animal welfare assessment, indoor production practices and cow-calf management. Iowa State faculty members Dan Loy and Terry Engelken are among the speakers for the first session on Feb. 23. Sessions run form 1 to 3 p.m. Central Time. No cost to attend. See more info and registration link.

The I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29 as part of the pre-educational events for the Central Plains Dairy Expo. It will be held in the Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, SD in rooms 8, 9, and 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Iowa State extension dairy specialist Fred Hall said the focus of this year's program is Surviving Today - Opportunities to Evaluate.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer "Boots in the Barn" this spring in southern Iowa. This unique educational opportunity for cattlewomen is a five-part meeting series that will be hosted by Monroe County Extension at the Monroe County Extension Office in Albia. The series is set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. on March 1, 15, 22, 29, and April 5. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Chris Clark said the program will include some interactive learning and hands-on activities.

The Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are offering a series of forums across the state that will focus on beef markets and economics. Four meetings around the state will be held from Feb. 24 through March 2


January 2022

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Beef Center and the University of Nebraska are teaming up to offer the 2022 Feedlot Roundtable session at the Tama County Extension office on Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 1 to 5 p.m. The sessions focus on different aspects of beef feedlot operations and are offered annually in Nebraska and Iowa for feedlot operators and interested agribusiness people.

Cattle producers are invited to attend a calving clinic early next month at the Afton Community Center. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Chris Clark said the Feb. 3 educational program will offer valuable information about analyzing body condition score, stages of labor, assisting with the birthing process and newborn calf care

The 2022 Driftless Region Beef Conference will focus on future aspects of the industry ranging from new beef products to alternative proteins, according to Denise Schwab, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The conference will be held Jan. 27-28 at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque.



News releases |2022|