Herd management — those two words are huge for cattle producers as they work to keep their business profitable. More than ever before, herd management has entered the field of technology with software programs designed to provide a record keeping system to track cattle and help producers make sound decisions. For many producers, these software programs can be daunting so it is important to choose one that is user friendly with built-in support that’s only a tap or phone call away. Over the years there has been no shortage of choices of herd management programs for ranchers and most of these have come and gone with hardly a handful withstanding the test of time. To cattle producers, time is money, so the question becomes “Which one?”
It is often said that the introduction of the TMR (Total Mixed Ration) mixer has played a pivotal role in improving animal performance, and at the same decreasing feed cost. Yet little authoritative information has been written, nor public research conducted, regarding this important tool for cattle feeding since its inception more than 40 years ago. Thus, today we are launching a new, regular column called TMR Corner. Here you’ll find information regarding how TMR mixers function, how to optimize the TMR and mixer operation on your farm, TMR mixer tips, industry developments, and other related items. In this issue, we will introduce our regular columnist, Dr. Alan S. Vaage, and provide some insight why we feel such a column is warranted, and how you, our readers, can participate.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association - 2014 NCBA Convention Preview
Cattlemen and women are taking over Nashville come February when the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sets up shop for the 2014 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show. The Cattle Industry Convention is the oldest and largest convention for the cattle business, now in its 116th year. The convention and trade show create a unique, exciting environment for cattle industry members to come together to network, create policy for the industry, and to have some fun.
The Cattle Industry Annual Convention features meetings and events from the NCBA, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, CattleFax, National Cattlemen’s Foundation and the American National Cattlewomen.
John Deere B-Wrap™ Offers New Way to Preserve Bale Quality
Store round bales outdoors, through the winter, and you’ll likely get hit with a hefty “fine.” According to research from Oklahoma State University, round bales can lose between 5 and 20 percent of their dry matter just by sitting outside through winter. Ouch! And those dry-matter losses increase even more if the bale sits outside for a full year or more.
Losing 20 percent is like tossing every fifth bale you make into a manure pile. But those losses are not really all that surprising when you consider that 20 percent of the dry-matter in a 6-foot diameter bale is in the outer four inches of the bale.
High tonnage with lower costs and less water has forage sorghum acreage increasing on the High Plains
Cattlemen looking to improve their forage solutions are turning to forage sorghum because of its ability to produce high quality feed that is cost-effective and water-efficient. Sorghum is well suited to produce with limited water and high temperatures, so it’s a great fit for areas such as the High Plains.
Red Polls: The Beef Industry's Best-Kept Secret
Until now, the Red Poll breed has been the industry’s best-kept secret. Now we are ready to share that secret with you. According to Dr. Keith Gregory, long-time USDA Researcher at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, “I feel the Red Poll breed is one of the most underutilized breeds in the country. Our research has shown the contributions this breed can make to crossbreeding programs. Red Polls excel in early puberty, with our studies showing they had the highest percentage of conception at a younger age of puberty. This breed also has optimum milk production and makes for an ideal cross.”
Red Polls have been waiting to move to the forefront of the cattle industry, and now is the time.
Winter Watering Made Easy The Latest Option to Fight the Freeze
For most of the U.S., the winter months are the most challenging for the cattle industry. Most livestock producers agree, when temperatures begin to drop, stress levels begin to rise — for the animals and for the good folks who dedicate their lives to raising them. Going head-to-head with Mother Nature is no easy task this time of year!
Cold-stress can wreak havoc on a herd if the animals are not in prime condition. You will want to take appropriate measures to ensure your cattle are ready for the season and remain in optimum physical shape throughout months of harsh cold.