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Attendees at a recent Cattle Stewardship conference in northwest Iowa heard a common, simple message from speakers that when taken to heart can improve a farm’s economic bottom line: comfortable cattle perform better and consequently, are more profitable.

The heat is here. ISU extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell offers guidance and suggestions on making sure you and your cattle are ready for high temperatures and humidity. Also, check out our heat resources page for more information and assistance.

The 2017 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Workshop is set for Aug. 29-30 at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas. Garland Dahlke of Iowa Beef Center is an Iowa State University representative on the hosting group - Beef Reproduction Task Force. Twenty-two speakers will offer insight, advice and experience on a variety of topics related to nutritional components, bulls, leveraging genetics and more.


Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University is wrapping up the data collection phase of a project to characterize how Iowa producers produce and use silage and earlage for cattle feed. Approximately 100 surveys completed by producers detailing the production, storage and feeding methods and 50 samples of silage and earlage have been collected and analyzed at Dairyland Labs as part of the project. Not surprisingly, the sample information reveals a great deal of variation in silage and earlage dry matter and nutrient composition. The corn silage analysis data will be entered into the Iowa Beef Center's Corn Silage to Beef Calculator to determine how that variation can affect the pounds of beef produced per acre. That information, plus the survey and lab analysis information, will be compiled and analyzed. A report developed from that analysis that will be available later this summer through the Iowa Beef Center. For more information contact ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist Russ Euken by phone 641-923-2856 or email.

ISU associate scientist Garland Dahlke recently updated the Iowa Beef Center’s Beef Ration and Nutrition Decision Software, and said the new version is easier to use and has the most current information from the latest Nutrient Requirements of Beef Center from the National Research Council. Owners of earlier versions of professional and standard editions can update at a low cost.

Grassroots Grazing is designed for graziers interested in a more controlled or management-intensive grazing system, says Iowa State extension beef program specialist Denise Schwab. Livestock producers with an interest in strengthening or transitioning grazing practices can sharpen their skills by attending Grassroots Grazing workshops in northeast Iowa offered by Iowa State and regional NRCS offices. The summer-fall five-part series is just $50.

National cattle behavior specialist Temple Grandin will join beef cattle specialists from Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota at the June 8 Cattle Stewardship Conference in Spirit Lake. Iowa State extension beef program specialist Beth Doran said Grandin provides a unique view of stewardship to attendees and the event is a great opportunity for attendees to hear from her and become Beef Quality Assurance certified. Registration fee of $30 is due by May 31.


Students from Iowa State University’s Beef Cattle Systems Management class received real life information and advice during a recent tour of three northwest Iowa beef industries. Class instructor and Iowa Beef Center director Dan Loy said the field trip provides a unique opportunity for students.

The ISU Allee Demonstration Farm is home to a three-year study exploring the integration of cereal rye as a cover crop with stocker cattle and row crop operations, as well as how grazing of cereal rye affects soil fertility and compaction. Attendees at a spring field day learned about some of the early results.

Southern Iowa beef producers who want to learn more about grazing management and managing tall fescue are invited to attend any of four beef management workshops this spring. Organizer and ISU extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers said the session dates of May 30, May 31 and June 1, will allow attendees to hear from experts from University of Missouri and AgBotanica who also will be presenting at the 2017 Veterinarian Update session on May 31.

Southeast Iowa producers who want to conserve natural resources while being able to optimize their forage and livestock production are invited to attend the 2017 Greenhorn Grazing series in Mount Pleasant this summer. Register early for the five-session series and pay just $60.

Beef veterinarians can receive six continuing education credits for attending the Iowa Beef Center’s 2017 Update for Veterinarians program at the Iowa State McNay Research Farm near Chariton. Organizer Joe Sellers said the May 31 event will feature a variety of in-depth and up to date health and nutrition topics. Register by May 29 for $65 which includes the noon meal.

Do you use grazing contracts in your operation? If so, you'll want to take a look  at our new publication on establishing rental price for four common types of contracts. The two-page fact sheet, Pasture and Grazing Arrangements for Beef Cattle also includes links to online resources from ISU Extension’s Ag Decision Maker and Iowa Beef Center. It’s available as a free pdf download through the ISU Extension and Outreach store website. Learn more.

Livestock producers interested in learning to optimize forage and livestock production while conserving natural resources are invited to attend the 2017 Iowa Greenhorn Grazing series in Winterset. ISUEO beef program specialist Joe Sellers said the five-part series runs from June through November and the $50 fee includes a meal and materials for each session. Get the details on workshop topics, dates and registration contacts.


Note: this workshop has been postponed until further notice. As interest in using hoop barns for calving continues to grow, so does the need to understand the unique management techniques necessary for this approach. Joe Sellers, Iowa State University Extension beef program specialist, has scheduled an on-farm workshop to address this need. The workshop will be held Tuesday, March 28, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Brewer Family Farm near Dallas Center.

Producers interested in learning more about cover crops and how to successfully incorporate their use in both stocker cattle and cow-calf operations are invited to two field day events in northwest Iowa on Tuesday, April 11. The morning session is at the Iowa State University Allee Research Farm near Newell and the afternoon session is at the Mark Schleisman farm near Lake City. Both locations and noon lunch are free with RSVP.

Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University is working on a project to characterize how Iowa producers produce and use silage and earlage for cattle feed. A two-pronged approach led by extension beef program specialist Russ Euken will use results from a current survey of Iowa producers and lab analysis of silage and earlage samples. Learn how to be part of the survey and possibly qualify for free silage/earlage analysis.


The Iowa cow herd is growing, and managing feed and forage resources is a key to profitability, according to ISU extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers. It’s time to start planning improvements to your pasture systems, and an upcoming event in Corning will provide timely topics for producers to do just that. Learn more about the free session, "Spring Grazing - Opportunities and Management Needs," set for Feb. 27.

North central Iowa cow-calf producers are invited to fine-tune their management skills at a March 2 workshop in Iowa Falls. Preregister by Feb. 23 to reserve your noon meal at this free event. Hardin County Extension is coordinating the session that runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. See more information.

Even though snow cover this winter is less than many years, spring calving operations need to prepare now. Long-term cool wet weather and accompanying persistent muddy conditions are more than difficult, they can be deadly. Iowa State Extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell offers reminders and suggestions for helping cows and calves through the next few months.

UPDATE: 2/20/17: the webinar and hearing will begin at 2 p.m. Central Time.
Extension beef program specialist Beth Doran and extension dairy program specialist Fred Hall will host a live webinar of the first hearing in the country on the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization later this month in the basement meeting room of the Sioux County extension office in Orange City
. The webinar is set for Feb. 23. There’s no preregistration and seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis. The time of the hearing will be announced as soon as it is released.

Confused about feeding Chlortetracycline to your beef cows or feedlot cattle? The transition of Chlortetracycline or CTC to a VFD drug has highlighted several issues that are raising questions or problems for Iowa beef producers, according to Iowa State University extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell. He and others have developed two informational pieces to address those concerns.

Sign up soon for the Feedlot Roundtable session at one of five Iowa locations set for Feb. 9. Offered through a joint effort of Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, University of Nebraska—Lincoln and the Nebraska Beef Council, the session will be offered from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Delaware, Hancock, Howard and Webster county extension offices, and at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames. Attendees are asked to preregister by Feb. 7.

The 2017 EIHPA conference will focus on two unique methods of incorporating forage crops into grain crops. All are welcome to attend the March 10 meeting at Buzzy’s in Welton beginning at 10.m. The $30 fee is payable at the door and includes a membership to the organization and meal at the event. Extension beef program specialist Denise Schwab provides more information.


Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach are teaming up with University of Nebraska - Lincoln and the Nebraska Beef Council to offer a Feedlot Roundtable session at five Iowa locations on Thursday, Feb. 9. Cost is $10 payable at the door, but please preregister by Feb. 7.

Beef producers interested in software to help with balancing rations will want to check out IBC's newly updated Beef Ration and Nutrition Decision Software (BRaNDS) ration balancing software. Association scientist Garland Dahlke recently completed this update and said the new version is more user friendly and reflects recently updated guidelines in the "Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle."

Beef producers and allied industry professionals are reminded to sign up for Feedlot Forum 2017. This year’s Forum is Jan. 17, beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center, and registrations are encouraged by Jan. 12 in order to plan for the steak dinner, beef certificates and proceedings for attendees.

The upcoming Driftless Region Beef Conference will spotlight several big picture issues facing the beef industry, and organizers say they worked to bring great speakers to address these issues at the Jan. 26-27 event in Dubuque.

There’s still time to preregister for the 2017 Three-State Beef Conference, set for Jan. 10-12. The Iowa location is Jan. 10 at Southwestern Community College in Creston, with registration at 5:30 and program start at 6 p.m.

The 2017 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference agenda includes a variety of topics designed to help producers of all ages and production goals, and has launched a new website to make information and details of the conference agenda available to a broader audience. The Jan. 28 event is the premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers.


News releases |2016|