Cow-calf production manual Calving Management online manual Pasture Management Guidespring grazing cover crops Low Stress Cattle Handling publication Pasture and Grazing Arrangements for Beef Cattle

Mission: The Iowa Beef Center mission is to enhance the vitality, profitability and growth of the Iowa beef industry through timely and relevant producer education, applied research and improved access to information.
News from Iowa Beef Center
Cattle grazing in pasture. The Fencing and Grazing Clinic is set for Sept. 9 at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames. The clinic is organized and hosted by Iowa Beef Center, Department of Animal Science, and ISU Beef Teaching Farm at Iowa State University. Iowa State Extension beef specialist Erika Lundy said a variety of topics, speakers and learning opportunities make this clinic a “must-attend” for anyone who works with cattle, grazing and fencing in their operations.
BQA program graphic.. A Beef Quality Assurance training session will be held Thursday, August 13, at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, 2508 Mortensen Rd, in AmesThe in-person session will run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. CDT and is sponsored and provided by Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Minnesota Beef Council.
Cattle in feedlot.

Low stress cattle handling can provide a multitude of benefits, including improved performance, animal welfare and handling efficiency. However, with a variety of techniques and approaches advocated by different experts, cattle producers may be unsure which direction to take with their own operation. A new publication from Iowa Beef Center explains the common positive aspects of these systems which are basic to understanding cattle responses regardless of system.

Cows and calves in hoop building.

Health management is critical to the vitality of confined cow-calf operations, and a new publication offers practical information for adapting management and health and biosecurity practices for these operations. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef veterinarian Grant Dewell authored the publication along with Terry Engelken of ISU’s veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine department.

Drought Webinar Series Graphic.

A four-part weekly webinar series, Responding to Increasing Drought Conditions in Iowa, will help attendees learn more about how to deal with continuing drought conditions and impacts on row crops and forages. This free series is intended for crop and livestock farmers in drought-affected areas, ag service providers, ag retailers, ag lenders, farm managers and anyone impacted by drought conditions. IBC and other extension specialists have planned the series. Sessions are four consecutive Thursdays, beginning July 30, and all sessions will be held 1 to 2 p.m. CDT via Zoom. You must register for access information, and one registration works for any or all sessions. The Aug. 6 session will be specific to livestock with topics including drought corn silage considerations, managing pasture and hay shortages and alternative forages. Specific session info and registration link is on the program website

ISU Extension specialists have scheduled in-person drought meetings in 10 central and west central counties affected by drought Aug. 3-7. All meetings are 90 min. long, most will be held at outdoor venues, social distancing will apply, and people are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when near others and the six-foot distance cannot be maintained. Preregistration at least two days in advance is requested for each, at the extension office in the county where the meeting will be held. There is no cost. See the list of meeting dates, locations, times and contacts.

Storm-damaged Field.

The crop damage in parts of Iowa from the mid-July wind and hail storms has been spotty and variable, leaving producers with everything from slight damage to complete defoliation of corn and beans. Much of the corn damage was leaning or lodging caused by high winds, with most plants having uprighted their growth by now moving into pollination. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab said fields that experienced hail damage didn’t fare as well, but may provide an opportunity for cattle producers since cattle are the ultimate upcyclers, provided fencing and water options are available.

Cover crop in cornfield.

As part of a demonstration project funded by a North Central Risk Management Extension Education grant, Iowa State Extension specialists conducted interviews with producers across Iowa who had used fall grazing for at least two years. Results from those real-world experiences form the basis of a new publication, “Farmer Experiences with Fall Grazing Cover Crops."

Feedlot Cattle Eating at Bunk with Producers in the Background.. The 2020 version of the Beef Feedlot Short Course, organized and hosted by Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, is set for Aug. 11-13 at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames. Iowa State Extension beef specialist Erika Lundy said the in-person event will follow State of Iowa and Iowa State University guidelines to ensure health and safety of all participants.
USDA graphic.

FYI: the July 9 session at Spencer has been postponed to July 28. Time of 7 to 9 p.m. and location of the 4-H Exhibits Building on the Clay County Fairgrounds have not changed. Remember to pregister to assure your space.

While COVID-19 has changed a lot of things, major packers still require a current Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certificate from feedlot producers selling market-ready cattle. To help meet this need, ISU extension beef specialist Beth Doran has planned a set of certification workshops in northwest Iowa producers starting in early July.

Graphic with Keep current temperatures and humidity levels in mind during these hot, humid summer days, and make sure your cattle have shade and plenty of water. Take a look at Grant Dewell's article in the June Growing Beef newsletter. Check our heat resources page for more info.
Handful of silage. Building on the success of previous cooperatively offered one-day silage conferences, Iowa Beef Center, University of Nebraska—Lincoln and Lallemand Animal Nutrition planned a similar opportunity for this summer. And while the high caliber and quality of topics and speakers continues, the delivery method is different. The event is now a four-part webinar series, each with a specific topic and speaker.
IBC wordmark and University of Wisconsin Extension graphic The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt cattle markets. Having a market that will take finished cattle at a suitable date has become a concern. In addition, the current live market prices, and limited sale opportunities for fat steers have left many cattle feeders searching for solutions to reduce their economic loss. "Considerations for Slowing Feedlot Cattle Growth due to the COVID-19 Pandemic" was created by Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension beef specialists, University of Wisconsin Extension livestock program educators, and University of Wisconsin Department of Animal Science Faculty to provide help for producers making these decisions.
  Please see our COVID-19 page for information on changes to programming by and with Iowa Beef Center, as well as additional information. We'll update as necessary.

Dealing with stress: Serious financial and other stresses continue to impact and affect those in our agricultural community. Here are links to some resources to help deal with a variety of stress concerns and grief. Remember also that the Iowa Concern Hotline is always available at 800-447-1985, and at

Beef Quality Assurance program graphic Looking for a BQA workshop? Check this listing on this page of the Iowa Beef Industry Council website for a location near you. This page also has links to our IBC personnel, online BQA training, information on BQA transportation trainings and more.
IBC Newsroom

Stay informed

IBC news releases, IBC director monthly column, newsletters and more.






@iowabeefcenter on Twitter Iowa Beef Center on Facebook Watch us on YouTube view IBC on Instagram Growing Beef newsletter

IBC -- More than 20 years of working to develop and deliver research-based information

Ask our experts