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BeefTalk

BeefTalk: Calves Pay the Bills, But the Cows Make the Bills

September 14, 2017 — Breeding systems have goals, objectives and outcomes that reflect a total beef operation. Today, dairy, swine and poultry breeding systems exist and many accomplish the operations' goals and objectives. Beef production, however, is often the exception. The various stages of a good commercial beef breeding

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BeefTalk: Time to Get Serious; Small Cows Produce

September 8, 2017 — The old question kept coming back: Would the extra calves really pencil out if the center stocked 1,100-pound cows instead of 1,400-pound cows? And then more questions: Would those small cows actually carry the load? Could they be competitive with mainstream beef production? Since the

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BeefTalk: Walking a Trail, Understanding Cow Math

August 31, 2017 — The search for efficient cows at the Dickinson Research Extension Center has resulted in "cow math," the translation of biological and economic efficiency into the herd production inventory based on land units. That is a lot to understand but doable. The beef industry has efficient

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BeefTalk: Seeking Efficient Beef Cows

August 24, 2017 — What do we know about efficiency within the beef cattle business? A lot. What do we know about understanding beef cattle efficiency? A little. How do we implement what we know and understand? Not sure. We have two very difficult issues when beef cattle efficiency

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BeefTalk: Diversity Helps Mitigate Drought Effects

August 17, 2017 — Are you interested in increasing soil water absorption by 685 percent? Remember the commercials that showed paper towels absorbing copious amounts of water, more than a competitor's paper towel? Is one paper towel better than another in water absorption? I think we know the answer:

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BeefTalk: A Dollar a Day and CountingProducers need to think outside the box when looking for ways to reduce costs

August 3, 2017 — Cattle producers make hay because their cows need feed in winter. Did you know about 76 percent of maintaining a cow is feed costs? That number is from the North Dakota Farm Management education program (http://www.ndfarmmanagement.com) database and FINBIN (http://www.finbin.umn.edu/) from the Center for Farm

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BeefTalk: Precondition Calves Regardless of Weaning Time

July 27, 2017 — Now is the time to start preparing calves for marketing with a sound preconditioning program developed in concert with your veterinarian. Drier weather may mean selling this year's calves earlier, so preconditioning your calves sooner rather than later makes good sense. Do not wait and,

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BeefTalk: Be Cautious and Do Not Overspend for Hay

July 20, 2017 — I have a cow worth $1,000. Ponder these questions: Should I sell the cow and place the money in an account where someone will pay me to use my money? Should I keep the cow, hoping for a greater return on my money than if

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BeefTalk: Start Planning for Next Year: Pregnancy Check Cows Early

July 6, 2017 — Mother Nature has changed everything – again. The upper Midwest's dry to drought conditions have changed stocking rates, challenged pasture rotation schedules, hastened the end-grazing date, and limited cow and calf condition scores. Producers need to work through the present and take steps to minimize

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BeefTalk: When Early Weaning, Adapt Calves and Provide Right Nutrition

June 30, 2017 — While we are dry in the upper Great Plains, and the lack of moisture is depressing, much of cattle country, especially the eastern and western portions of the U.S., have adequate moisture and feed supply. On a long drive from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, through Montana and

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BeefTalk: How Early is Too Early to Wean?

June 23, 2017 — Can I wean 90-day-old calves that weigh 300 pounds? The answer is yes. Dry weather has made this – and variations – the question of the day. In an ideal world, mother and calf should enjoy green pastures from birth until weaning at about 7

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Drought Resources for Ranchers

June 20, 2017 — The sheer number of articles in our archives related to drought in the ranching industry is fairly discouraging. In the last 10 years alone we’ve addressed drought in…well, we don’t really want to know how many years. It’s a fact of life here on the

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BeefTalk: Prepare for Early Weaning

June 16, 2017 — The impact of drought is dominating the news, but producers need to be careful to not overreact. The best reaction is to strengthen the grazing plan and have a drought response plan. Every grazing day brings an opportunity for rain – and rain will come

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BeefTalk: The Wind, Soil and Grass Are Dry

June 2, 2017 — On the drive home this past weekend, I saw green grass. Once home, I felt the dry wind and dry grass and saw seeded fields that were not experiencing much growth. In this part of the world, dryness is here. Throughout the years, I regularly

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BeefTalk: Proactive Cow Penning

May 18, 2017 — A beef producer needs a set of "liquid cattle" – the group that is easy to round up and sell as weather changes, feed becomes short or the labor force changes. Selling this group creates opportunity for the remaining herd by lessoning the demands on

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BeefTalk: Why Did the Calf Die?

April 27, 2017 — A good goal for calving success is to have 97 percent of all calves that are born walk into the weaning pens this fall. This can be achieved, although not easily, through appropriate management, working with the environment and a good interaction with industry professionals,

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BeefTalk: Improper grazing steals from the future

April 20, 2017 — Proper cattle management means proper pasture management. Correct pasture stocking rates and grazing plans are essential for the short run and the long-term survival of a beef operation. Producers have many approaches to grazing systems. The key point is to have a plan because improper

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BeefTalk: Zero Tolerance for Bad Cows

April 13, 2017 — I apologize if the following words are too harsh, but they are true. Unfortunately, some know the feeling all too well. The beef business has risks, and one risk is bad-tempered cows, cows that want to kill you. Most cows respect their caregivers and have

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BeefTalk: Zero tolerance for bad cows

April 13, 2017 — I apologize if the following words are too harsh, but they are true. Unfortunately, some know the feeling all too well. The beef business has risks, and one risk is bad-tempered cows, cows that want to kill you. Most cows respect their caregivers and have

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BeefTalk: Cattle, so why not sheep, too?

April 6, 2017 — Previous discussions in this column noted sheep can be stocked on a cattle operation at the rate of one cow, one ewe without a negative impact on grazing. In fact, ecological advantages certainly result when cattle and sheep (and perhaps even goats) cohabitate on grasslands.

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