Feed Efficiency

Cattle weights and the Choice-Select spread

This week the 5-area fed steer carcass weights exceeded 900 pounds. I believe that is a record. Weights have been running above year ago levels for most of 2011. This probably is partially a result of negative feeding margins for much of the year and higher cattle prices. This may not seem intuitive at first, but let’s consider the economic forces. If I am losing money on a pen of cattle, I am looking for every advantage to try and salvage a few more dollars per head. Even though we have had higher feeding costs in 2011, the fed cattle price per pound as still exceeded the cost per pound of gain. FULL STORY »

Iowa State invites producers to Beef Research Showcase

People who attend Iowa State University (ISU) football games and who also are interested in beef research have a unique opportunity awaiting them on the date of the final home ISU football game on Nov. 18. ISU’s Iowa Beef Center and beef nutrition faculty and staff are planning the “Beef Nutrition Research Pre-game Showcase” beginning that morning. FULL STORY »

Backgrounding prospects in the northern Plains

The prospects for backgrounding fall calves certainly improved from the end of August into October. In late August, December corn futures prices had advanced to $7.80 per bushel and January feeder cattle prices had declined to about $134/cwt. FULL STORY »

Veterinarians’ role to grow in ensuring judicious drug use

Veterinarians will become increasingly more involved with judicius use of antimicrobials in food animals. FULL STORY »

Managing feed costs

Feed costs have been in an increasing pattern since 2007. The cattle industry has been slowly adapting to these new economics. Recent developments, however, have moved feed costs into uncharted territory. FULL STORY »

Finding a genetic connection: Diseases and defects in cattle

It's no secret that genes play an important role in genetic abnormalities in cattle, but could a gene be responsible for resistance or tolerance to diseases? That's what Agricultural Research Service (ARS) researchers are trying to find out. FULL STORY »

Improving the efficiency of hay use

Like never before, this is the winter feeding season to consider ways to improve efficiency of harvested forage use. And fortunately, a few relatively simple concepts or strategies when combined could reduce the need for hay to about 2/3 of what most of us think we need. FULL STORY »

North Dakota backgrounding videoconference

As feedyard production costs increase, backgrounding could be an economically viable alternative to selling calves at weaning for some producers. To help producers learn more about backgrounding opportunities and how they might benefit their operations, North Dakota State University will host a videoconference next Monday, with access at several locations. FULL STORY »

AgriLife Research beef cattle studies focus on residual-feed intake

Feed efficiency in beef cattle is getting a closer look by a Texas AgriLife Research scientist, who is evaluating both feedlot performance and feed intake to improve profitability and reduce the environmental impact of beef production systems. FULL STORY »

Prepare cattle for a parasite-free winter

Whether marketing calves or caring for bred cows this fall, every cattle producer has to make the most of each pound of feed. So why feed parasites too? FULL STORY »

Prepare cattle for a winter without parasites

Deworming cattle in fall helps maintain health and condition FULL STORY »

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