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Ag Decision Maker

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Continued land competition, higher feed costs, and drought stressed forages are signaling Iowa cattlemen that it’s time to improve and fine-tune their grazing programs. Iowa Beef Center’s Fencing and Grazing Clinic has expanded to three Iowa locations this year to help meet that need with information and hands-on experience. Event partners are Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms. Clinics are set For Sept. 7, 12, and 14.

Incorporating a summer annual into a crop rotation provides much needed summer slump grazing while utilizing minimal row crop acres. Denise Schwab, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said a winter annual/summer annual forage rotation disrupts the standard corn/soybean rotation, which in turn provides benefits. She has organized two forage field days in eastern Iowa, Aug. 23 and Aug. 26, that will demonstrate annual forage rotations and share the results of ISU research plots. Both feature producers utilizing summer annual forages and are free to attend.

Whether you were unable to attend the Hairy Heel Wart and Cattle Lameness Symposium on June 28 or you were there and would like to refresh your recollection on the topics and speakers, we have just the thing. Four archived videos and one presentation in pdf are now available.

If you’re thinking about attending this year’s Feedlot Short Course you’ll want to act soon. A few spots remain and Iowa State University extension beef specialist Erika Lundy-Woolfolk said participants in the August 2-4 event will be the first to experience new topics including a beef carcass fabrication demonstration in the ISU meat lab.

Producers and haulers who need to renew or obtain their certification in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) or Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) can preregister now for in-person trainings in eastern and northeastern Iowa. Offered by the Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the sessions range in date from August 9 to September 21 and are available at no cost thanks to sponsors.

Continuing drought in northwest Iowa is forcing producers to alter their grazing plans. Fortunately they have “detours." Beth Doran, Iowa State University extension beef specialist said there are several avenues to consider, and reducing the stocking rate is top of that list.

The Beef Reproduction Task Force and Texas A&M University will host the 2022 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on August 30-31. The Beef Reproduction Task Force is a multi-state extension group made up of specialists from several land grant universities, and Garland Dahlke with Iowa Beef Center represents Iowa State University.

The Beef Ration and Nutrition Decisions Software is designed to assist in the formulation of rations for beef cattle. BRaNDS users often have questions on information to use, reports that can be run, data to save and transfer, and more. IBC associate scientist Garland Dahlke and ISU extension beef specialist Chris Clark will present information and offer suggestions during two “Applied Ration Balancing, Tips, Techniques & Formulation using BRaNDS” sessions in mid-August.

Producers and haulers who need to renew or obtain their certification in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) or Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) can preregister now for in-person trainings later this summer in Carroll. Offered by the Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the sessions are set for August 10 and are provided at no cost. ISU extension beef specialist Erika Lundy-Woolfolk will present both workshops.

Keep current temperatures and humidity levels in mind during these hot, humid summer days, and make sure your cattle have shade and plenty of water. Check our heat resources page for more info.

Livestock producers interested in strengthening or transitioning grazing practices can sharpen their skills by attending the upcoming Grassroots Grazing workshops. The series is offered by Iowa State University Extension and regional Natural Resources Conservation Service. Denise Schwab is one of the organizers and said this short course consists of five different modules taught over the grazing season.

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.

 

News Archives

Columns

Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director, writes this monthly column featured in Iowa Cattleman Magazine.

August 2022

Cutting Ration Costs: Keep a sharp pencil

A recent report (June) from Kansas State University indicated that feed costs of nearly $120 per cwt are just shy of the all-time record of $133 set in March 2013 following the drought of 2012. This is based on data from their “Focus on Feedlots” newsletter. With high feed costs and locally available forages, many cattle producers are looking at other options to reduce cost of gain.

Read the rest of this column.

Iowa Cow-Calf Commentary

Iowa Beef Center and extension specialists write the "Iowa Cow-Calf Commentary" featured in the Iowa Cattleman Magazine.

July 2022

Meeting the Feed Needs of Fall-Calving Herds

As drought, high input costs, and market volatility have driven U.S. cow herd numbers to 70-year lows, some Iowa cattlemen may consider starting a fall herd if markets dictate. Benefits to fall-calving include marketing calves during seasonal highs, double dipping on bull power, and reduced calving labor. However, our region has one major limitation: feed. If not managed, feed costs for fall-calving cows will eat the profit out of the higher market value of fall-born calves

Read the rest of this column.