Sustainability means different things to different people. “If we’re not sustainable in what we do, we’re out of business,” said Nebraska cattleman Bill Rishel. “Many of us in the cattle business grew up thinking of sustainability as making enough money to keep ranching the next year. Of course that meant we had to care for our natural resources and manage them in a responsible way.
In the past two issues of TMR Corner we have explored how feeding a beef cow-calf herd with a vertical TMR mixer simultaneously decreases feed waste and increases animal performance. In this issue we will use that information to develop a cost-benefit analysis for adopting the use of a vertical TMR mixer on a moderately sized cow-calf operation.
Seven cattle operations from across the country were recognized as 2013 regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winners during the 2013 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, Colo., recently.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) this week hailed the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee’s passage of the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, H.R. 1526, legislation to prevent the continuation of catastrophic wildfire events by improving federal forest management.
Remlinger Manufacturing offers the PFM Series 600 Bale Slicer to cut bales of hay, straw and silage quickly and efficiently for indoor or outdoor feeding or bedding for beef cattle and other livestock. Features four bale spears to securely carry bales from storage to feeding locations. Designed to fit skid steer loaders, with an optional 3-point hitch built to fit all category 2-3 tractors.
Livestock scales are generally used in weighing large animals like cattle, horses and sheep, since these animals need to be held and weighed accurately. Weighing scales are particularly important to veterinarians specializing in farm animals because typical veterinary scales are unable to weigh large animals. Likewise, weighing scales are also used in zoos to monitoring the weights of the animals.
Crossbreeding may fit most producers, but it is not the only logical path, says a leading cattle feeder and an animal scientist. Tom Brink, president of J&F Oklahoma Holdings, says feeding 1.6 million cattle per year at Five Rivers Feedlots has led him to conclude: “Planned crossbreeding is not the problem. Planned straight breeding is not the problem. Breeding cattle without any consistent plan is the problem.” He commented at the 45th Annual Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) meeting June 12 in Oklahoma City, where a series of presentations and a panel discussion examined the rationale for breeding systems.
Ultra-high stock density grazing, also called mob grazing, is a practice where a large concentration of animals are restricted to graze a small area, usually for a very short period of time. While there’s no strict definition on the size of herd or smallness of the area, some folks suggest at least 300,000 lbs. of animals/acre, or about 200 cow-calf pairs/acre, 1,000 pairs on five acres, or 50 pairs on a quarter acre. A few mob grazing experts have gone more than three times higher, to more than 1 million lbs. of animal/acre, says Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist.