News & Releases

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August

The latest Drought Monitor indicates continuing drought in Northwest Iowa. Corn fields are beginning to dry down, but appearance can be misleading when making corn silage, according to Beth Doran, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and she reminds producers that the rules for good corn silage still apply.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in cooperation with the Iowa Beef Industry Council will host a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training program on Sept. 8 at the Monroe County ISU Extension Office in Albia. The program will cover numerous best management practices and will qualify producers for BQA certification. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark said Iowa beef producers, veterinarians, feed industry personnel and anyone interested in beef cattle production are invited to participate.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host three drought meetings to discuss the effects of the current drought on crops and livestock on Aug. 20 and Aug. 23. Meeting topics and discussion include crop growth and development under drought conditions, forage and pasture management, utilizing droughty corn silage, potential for nitrate toxicity in drought-affected corn silage, livestock management, and farm management considerations including crop insurance and other government programs.

Several counties in Iowa have been released for emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres. While utilizing this additional forage resource provides producers with opportunities, there are challenges and considerations to think through when deciding how to best utilize the forage.

Learning and applying appropriate low stress cattle handling methods can benefit both the cattle and those who work with them. Those who understand cattle behavior can use that knowledge for easier animal movement whether gathering from the pasture or processing through corrals. Cattle producers are invited to attend one of three workshops in east and northeast Iowa later this month where they'll learn from stockmanship and handling expert Dr. Tom Noffsinger of Nebraska, according to Iowa State University extension beef specialist Denise Schwab.

 

July

Incorporating a summer annual into the crop rotation provides much needed summer slump grazing while utilizing minimal row crop acres. A winter annual/summer annual forage rotation disrupts the standard corn-soybean rotation, which provides several benefits, according to Iowa State University extension beef specialist Denise Schwab. Several free forage field days are planned that will demonstrate annual forage rotations and share the results of ISU research plots.

Iowa State University is hosting a field day on Aug. 3 at the McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm near Chariton. The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. and will include a grilled burger dinner served by the Lucas County Cattlemen. There will be several presentations about ongoing research projects including both classroom and in-field discussion. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Chris Clark is coordinating the event and said it should be of interest to anyone interested in agriculture and beef cattle production.

Most of northwest Iowa is under moderate or severe drought that is beginning to take a toll on pasture carrying capacity, according to Beth Doran, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She reminds producers that changes in management can help extend pasture forage, and offers several suggestions.

 

June

The Update for Veterinarians program provides area cattle veterinarians with quality continuing education and offers them an opportunity to become acquainted with ISU Extension and Outreach and Iowa Beef Center staff. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark coordinates the program and invites practitioners who work with cattle to make plans now to attend the 2021 event which will be held Wednesday, July 14, at the Iowa State McNay Research Farm near Chariton.

The fifth annual Beef Feedlot Short Course, organized and hosted by Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, is set for Aug. 3-5 at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames. Iowa State Extension beef specialist Erika Lundy-Woolfolk said the goal of the event is to optimize participant learning through exposure to new technology, research and best management practices.

Pasture walks provide real time looks at plant growth, weed control and water management tools, all of which are important to beef operations using pasture grazing. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Chris Clark has organized two of these walks, one each in Story and Monroe counties, and said they're for anyone interested in learning more about pasture management, pasture watering systems and cattle grazing.

Cutting edge technology in cattle operations takes center stage during the second general session of the 2021 Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Convention. The theme of this morning session is Precision Livestock Technology and features two speakers and a producer panel.

THIS SERIES HAS BEEN CANCELED. Livestock producers who want to learn about optimizing forage and livestock production while conserving natural resources are invited to attend the Pasture and Grazing Management series at the Iowa State University Marshall County Extension Office this summer and fall. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark is leading the series.

Summer temperatures have arrived with 90+ temperature expected across Iowa this weekend. Cattle may still be acclimating to summer temperatures and may experience some heat stress issues. Breeding cows and bulls may have decreased breeding activity and fertility which can severely impact the early breeding season.

The afternoon breakout sessions at the 2021 Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Convention will provide attendees with the latest looks at technological advancements and research results. Held during the afternoons of June 23 and 24, both sessions have three tracks with four presentations. Beth Reynolds says these technical breakouts provide thought-provoking afternoons with individual sessions tailored to specific interests of producers or researchers.

 

May

The two optional tours of the 2021 Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Convention will provide attendees a firsthand look at unique aspects of Iowa's beef industry. Set for Friday, June 25, both the West and East tours will leave at 7:30 a.m. from the Iowa Events Center and return at 6 p.m.

Lingering drought-stricken pastures and high grain markets have limited forage productivity and land access for many southwest and west central Iowa cattlemen. To help improve forage and grazing capacity, a new summer grazing series has been developed for the area. Iowa State Extension beef specialist Erika Lundy-Woolfolk said the four-part series will offer information and resources for producers to improve management practices and capitalize on alternative forage resources to extend the grazing season.

The opening general session of the 2021 Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Convention gets right to the point: Where is the beef industry going? Speakers in the June 23 morning session will bring unique perspectives on topics that matter most for beef producers. Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director and a member of the planning committee, said that as the pandemic disrupted the beef supply, consumers changed their cooking and eating habits. Now as things move forward, it's not clear what the future of beef on the table will look like and what factors will influence consumer decisions. The first general session of 2021 BIF is designed to address these questions.

On June 8, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a field day in rural Marion County addressing several alternatives to traditional forage management. The meeting is open to the public, and a free steak sandwich dinner will be provided to all who preregister. There is no fee for this event, thanks to sponsorship from the Iowa Forage and Grassland Council.

The 2021 Beef Improvement Federation Symposium and Convention will kick off Tuesday afternoon, June 22, with the Young Producers Symposium. Developed by the planning committee, this event's theme is Profitability in Balance. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Patrick Wall is on the planning committee and said the group is excited to see this presented to open up the BIF 2021 events.

The popular program, Feedlot Forum 2021, will be at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center on June 29. Built grassroots up, it focuses on issues critical to beef feedlot producers and cutting-edge technology available from agri-business professionals. This year's theme is "Producing and Marketing in Today's Era" and registration is now open for the in-person event.

 

April

The Fencing and Grazing Clinic, organized and hosted by Iowa Beef Center, Department of Animal Science, and ISU Beef Teaching Farm at Iowa State University, is set for June 17 at the Beef Teaching Farm in Ames. Iowa State Extension beef specialist Erika Lundy said a variety of topics, speakers and learning opportunities make this clinic a “must-attend” for anyone who works with cattle, grazing and fencing in their operations.

Annual forages can provide flexibility when managing forage supply whether filling forage production gaps or serving as a primary forage source. Erika Lundy, ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist, said everyone is invited to learn more about annual forages and integrating them into a cropping rotation in an upcoming virtual field day set for June 3 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Save the Date! The 2021 version of Feedlot Forum returns to Sioux Center on June 29. This popular event has been built from the grassroots up and focuses on critical issues for beef feedlot producers and cutting-edge technology available from agribusiness professionals. This year’s theme is “Producing and Marketing in Today’s Era” and features nationally recognized speakers, including Wes Gentry from Midwest PMS and Iowa State University extension livestock economist Lee Schulz. Registration will open May 1.

For the first time in two years, the Beef Improvement Federation’s annual meeting and research symposium will be held in person. Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director and Iowa State University extension beef specialist, said ISU faculty and staff are excited to host this year’s event, set for June 22-25 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

A recent Iowa Beef Center evaluation of extension grazing programs showed that while 80% of respondents already incorporate cover crops (winter annuals) into their farming enterprise, there’s an overall interest in additional research on adding forage alternatives to existing cattle production systems. Those findings led to a two-year project on utilizing cool and warm season annual forages into the grazing or stored feed system in cattle operations. ISU extension beef specialist Denise Schwab is involved with the study led by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach staff, and said the project begins with three field days over the next few weeks

March

Those who use silage in their beef rations are invited to consider using the free Corn Silage to Beef Calculator from Iowa Beef Center. According to developer Garland Dahlke, the tool provides a means to rank the potential value of corn silage varieties used in beef rations and can evaluate a variety of factors.

Our Calving Management online manual is here for you. Info you need for correctly managing calving in your herd: general prep, facilities, supplies and more, all at your fingertips on your device.

Feed spoilage and waste obviously costs money, but it may have bigger impacts on cattle health as well. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Denise Schwab offers these reminders of feed loss types, causes and effects, and how to address possible challenges.

 

February

Industry professionals and beef producers who are finishing and marketing dairy beef are invited to virtually attend the I-29 Dairy Beef Short Course. The webinar, set for March 23, features a morning session from 10 a.m. to noon and an afternoon session from 1 to 3 p.m. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Beth Doran said participants may choose to attend one or both sessions.

While cold stress cannot be completely eliminated for cattle housed in typical outdoor facilities in the Midwest, a new publication from Iowa Beef Center describes management practices to reduce the impact of cold stress on your herd. Iowa State University extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell is one of the authors and said being prepared and knowing how to deal with extreme cold situations is vital.

Colostrum, or first milk, is extremely important for newborn calves. Ingestion of colostrum imparts passive immunity which is necessary to protect calves from infectious disease. This is particularly important in cattle because bovine antibodies are not readily transferred across the placenta, which means that calves are born almost completely unprotected from environmental pathogens and infectious diseases. And Chris Clark, Iowa State University extension beef specialist, said these antibodies are just one in a long list of beneficial components colostrum provides.

 

January

ISU extension beef specialist Patrick Wall said the new Cattle in the Green series was developed to meet the needs of beef operations regardless of size. Topics include finances and operational decisions, and how to look for and use simple management changes for better results. This five-part series in Marion County begins Feb. 11. Registration is needed by Feb. 8.

A five-part series set in southeast Iowa is designed to assist with cattle producers with a new way of looking at management and economic decisions for better financial results in their operations. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Patrick Wall created the series and said he looks forward to sharing knowledge and information to help producers find more profit, eliminate money pits and lower stress levels.

The upcoming virtual Driftless Region Conference is packed with timely topics for every beef producer, including livestock health, safety and security. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab said Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle, lead public health veterinarian for Iowa State University, and Dr. Paul Plummer, Anderson Chair of Veterinary Services at ISU VDPAM will address those topics.

The upcoming virtual Driftless Region Beef Conference will host speaker Dr. Brenda Boetel. Dr. Boetel is the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Professor and Department Chair of Agricultural Economics and UW Madison Division of Extension Agricultural Marketing Specialist. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab said Boetel will give viewers an insight on current market trends and the 2021 agricultural market outlook.

Livestock producers and agribusiness professionals are invited to a webinar discussing climate and weather predictions for the 2021 growing season. The webinar, set for Wednesday, January 20, from noon to 1 p.m., features Dennis Todey, director of the USDA Climate Hub in Ames. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Beth Doran said Todey will bring accurate and important information for those who work with livestock and crop production agriculture.

 

News releases |2020|