Recent Livestock Headlines

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Environmental conditions have handed a mixed bag to stocker cattle producers this year.

Stocker cattle need adequate forage to get them to the next level in the production cycle as feeder cattle or replacement heifers, and there are numerous paths a producer can embark on.

James Rogers, Noble Research Institute pasture and range associate professor, Ardmore, Oklahoma, is running a number of projects researching what might work for stocker operations, including cover crops and quick-developing crops.

The first is a stocker cattle grazing study where researchers are incorporating a summer cover crop into a winter wheat pasture system. Both the cover crops and wheat are grazed with stocker cattle.

“The project is set up examining combinations of tillage treatments (conventional versus no-till) and summer cover crop treatments (present or absent) on 5-acre paddocks that are replicated five times,” Rogers said.

Noble also has three small plot studies that show various combinations of summer cover crops and the effects on subsequent small grain forage production due to cover crop termination date, cover crop seeding rate and planting green or no termination of the cover crop.

“Our focus is to determine the effects of summer cover crops on subsequent forage production of small grain pasture that will be used for stocker cattle grazing,” Rogers said. “We also are measuring the soil health effects of summer cover crops on soil moisture, soil bulk density, water infiltration, forage yield, soil microbial activity and soil nutrient content.”

Rogers also looks at the dollars and cents of adding cover crops the grazing system over the two years they’ve collected data, with a third year in progress.

“We are having difficulty obtaining enough grazing days for the summer stocker cattle to pay for the cost of the cover crop,” he said. “They have helped to offset cover crop costs but not covered them.”

In the research program they’ve averaged around 40 to 50 days of cover crop grazing but need 60 to 90 days.

“The last couple years, we have experienced rains through May which delays planting, and then a dry June which delays cover crop development,” he said. “We have been turning in cattle on the cover crops in July, then taking them off in early September to get ready for winter pasture establishment.”

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Calf health, weaning strategies and the Beef Quality Assurance program are among the topics on the agenda for the April 17 Weaning and Stocker Health Workshop at the Livestock and Forestry Research Station in Batesville, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

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A majority of Kansas calves are born in the spring and weaned in autumn. Basic economics dictates increasing supply mixed with steady demand causes prices to decline. For years producers have added value to spring born calves through backgrounding. The aim is to enhance calf health and provi…

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Limit feeding has been around forever. As long as it has been around it was believed that feeding a high-energy diet was a no-no. New research at the Kansas State University Stocker Unit could prove that high-energy diets have a place in the stocker business.

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Fire can wipe the slate clean, whether it’s a prescribed burn or a wildfire. Removing the excess material can improve the grass over time.

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It’s every parent’s dream to raise a child who is a productive member of society. Cattle producers are no different. They aim to produce a calf that enters the food or reproductive chain bred to succeed.

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Stocker cattle producers in 2016 could have a tough decision on their hands: Leave the cattle on the wheat and graze it out, or take the cattle off and save the wheat for grain.

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Cow-calf and beef stocker producers in the Great Plains now have a new set of tools to help them adapt quickly to a wide range of changing weather conditions and climate scenarios.

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Opportunity knocks for entrepreneurs who want to be in the stocker cattle business, according to Mike Utech, financial services officer at Frontier Farm Credit in Emporia, Kansas.

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Stocker cattle health has always been a challenge, but the challenge has increased over the years and producers may need to beef up their management plans, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

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Beef stocker cattle health, business management and infrastructure topics are among those on tap for the 2015 Kansas State University Beef Stocker Field Day on Sept. 24, in Manhattan.

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The 2015 Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Mid-Year Meeting, held in Bozeman on June 4 through 6, drew over 150 ranchers and members of the cattle industry from across the state for policy meetings, a leadership-training workshop, the annual Ranch Tour and a concert with Ringling 5. Special…

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The first thought that went through Brian Barnhardt’s mind when he and his wife, Jill, drove by the ranch they would eventually buy in Coffey County, Kansas, was location, location, location.

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Along both sides of the Red River, in Texas and in Oklahoma, wheat and stocker cattle are important farming operations. Which is why the organizers of 2015 Red River Crops Conference, Jan. 27, in Childress, Texas, brought in speakers to talk about how to improve efficiencies in raising wheat…

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South Dakota Stockgrowers Association applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for voting recently to pass H.R.636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act. The bill includes a number of tax relief measures aimed at small businesses, including the increases to Section 179 deductions.

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At the 45th Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture Dec. 18 to 20 in Osage Beach, Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon laid out an aggressive agenda for his final two years in office.

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During the 130th Annual Convention of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, ranchers will have the opportunity to attend several Cattlemen’s College education workshops, ranging from animal reproduction and nutrition, estate planning and discussions on current markets and processing plant fe…

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Cattlemen talking to cattlemen is always a big part of the annual Beef Stocker Field Day, and this year was no exception. Dale Blasi, K-State Extension specialist, even set up shaded areas for these conversations to take place at this year’s event held Sept. 25 in Manhattan, Kansas. However,…

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Frank Hinkson is a seedstock producer from Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, who has noticed an upward trend in customers looking for more docility in their cattle herds. Knowing that genetics plays a role, he added disposition to his list of culling factors. This video news is provided by CAB and t…