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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.

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.

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.

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.


News Archives


Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

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

July 2021

Fair Time

More than one-half of Iowa’s county fairs occur in the month of July. Every fair is different but for most it is a celebration of our rural heritage. Among the features of almost every fair are steaks and burgers grilled by the county cattlemen’s association and youth take center stage through livestock shows. Last year many of the county fairs were canceled or modified significantly.

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 2021

ISU Research Update: Relationship between creep feed administration and cow-calf performance

There’s a thick stack of research studies done with the goal of evaluating the benefits, costs, and effectiveness of providing a creep feed supplement to calves for short or extended time periods. Feed conversions vary greatly, ranging from 3.1 to 20.1 pounds of creep feed to achieve 1 pound of gain, averaging somewhere between 8.1 and 10.1 pounds of feed to achieve 1 pound of gain. The bulk of the variation can be attributed to creep feed type (protein or energy) and the forage quality and availability.

Read the rest of this column.