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The 2019 Beef Feedlot Short Course, organized and hosted by Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, is set for Aug. 6-8 at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames. Iowa State Extension beef specialist Erika Lundy said the goal of the event is to optimize participant learning through exposure to new technology, research and best management practices.

Livestock producers who want to learn about optimizing forage and livestock production are invited to attend the five-part Greenhorn Grazing series at the ISU Davis County Extension Office this summer and fall. Iowa State Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark said the series has been a popular management course for producers over the years, with a solid base curriculum and ability to adjust the program to meet interests and needs of participants. The first session is June 26.


Iowa Beef Center’s Cow Systems Project, a research project to characterize three cow-calf production management systems across Iowa, will be the focus of a June 12 webinar sponsored by Iowa Farm Bureau. Iowa State University Extension beef specialists Denise Schwab and Erika Lundy will lead the discussion on the webinar, which is available at no charge.

Need to get your Beef Quality Assurance certification or Beef Quality Assurance Transportation certification? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Industry Council are offering two workshops on June 12 at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg. Beth Doran, ISU extension beef specialist who's providing the workshops, said they enable producers to become BQA certified, which is a requirement of some packers.

With grass slow to come this spring, it is likely that forage quality will rapidly change this summer. As a general rule of thumb, energy values (total digestible nutrients or TDN) of forages, pasture included, can decrease rapidly at a rate of 0.33-1.0% per day from vegetative to mature stage. To preserve forage quality, harvesting excess forage acres now can be beneficial for later feeding. To address some of the challenges associated with first cutting forage crops, many producers have turned towards harvesting forages as a baleage.

A wet fall, unusually cold temperatures, excess rain, and in some cases flooding, have cattle and sheep producers wondering how they will manage forage shortages this summer and lay in forages for next winter. The good news is there are haying, grazing and silage options, according to Beth Doran, beef specialist with ISU extension. But she cautions that producers should check with their crop insurance agents about their alternative plans before a final decision is implemented.

Cattle producers can increase their knowledge of current feedlot issues and profitability during the June 13 Cattle Feeders Day at the Wallace Foundation Learning Center near Armstrong. Researchers from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will provide answers to producer questions related to animal health, nutrition and producing high quality, marketable beef, according to program organizer Erika Lundy, extension beef specialist.


The annual Update for Veterinarians program, organized and provided by Iowa Beef Center, features a full day of education and information focused on beef cattle production. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark coordinates the program and invites practitioners who work with cattle to make plans now to attend the event set for Tuesday, June 11, at the Iowa State McNay Research Farm near Chariton.

Following the rough winter and high feed prices, many producers are anxious to get cows turned out to pasture. Taking time now to check your pastures and your grazing plan will help ensure a more successful grazing season. The Iowa Beef Center team offers a list of six spring pasture management tips to use now.

Flood waters may be receding, but renovation of flooded pastures is taking top billing. Beth Doran, Iowa State extension beef specialist, and Joel DeJong, Iowa State Extension field agronomist say now is the time for producers to check pasture plants for survival and start planning for possible renovation.

Flood waters are receding, but the challenges in recovery for farmers and livestock producers are just beginning. That's why Beth Doran, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, said producers should get out in their fields as soon as possible. Beef producers should assess the damage to pastures and hay ground and then check out possible disaster assistance.


Cold and wet weather has added to the challenges of Iowa cow-calf producers that are currently calving. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Beth Doran said both are ideal conditions for contributing to calf scours. She recommends providing shelter for the calves such as a portion of a shed dedicated for calves to get away from their mothers or a portable calf shelter. 

To put it simply, Beth Reynolds sees herself as a resource for producers. As the new extension program specialist with the Iowa Beef Center, she said her goal is to provide relevant materials and keep resources readily available. Producers should look forward to seeing her at meetings, field days and research projects, as she looks forward to working with her IBC colleagues to share information and opportunities for education with producers and others in the beef industry.

The USDA's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) is asking for help from cattle producers and other stakeholders in preparation for an upcoming study, "Health Management on U.S. Feedlots, 2020." Opinions expressed through a needs assessment survey (available through April 7) will be used to set study objectives and help researchers meet needs of industry and allied groups. The online survey will take 5-10 min. and includes a section where participants can add general comments.

Recent rains, floods and excess water could mean changes to your management and grazing practices, as well as current and future feed supplies. Check out these resources.

In the beef industry, calving management is critical to production and profitability of the cow herd. Knowing how to prepare, what to do and not do, and when to take action all are critical aspects of correctly managing calving in your herd. That’s why the Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach developed the Calving Management Manual, now available on the IBC website.


The 2019 Dairy Beef Short Course, held in conjunction with the Central Plains Dairy Expo, will focus on the importance and value of dairy beef bull calves in today's marketplace. As dairy and beef producers continue to experience economic struggles, increasing the value of bull calves can add value for dairymen, feeders and processors is vital. Iowa State University dairy specialist Fred Hall said this year's short course will provide a wealth of information for attendees. It's set for Tuesday, March 26 in rooms 1 and 2 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and registration is now open.


Due to severe weather, these BQA certification sessions are postponed:

  • BQA training originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the Lucas County Extension Office has been rescheduled for next Tuesday evening, Feb. 5.  The meeting will be held at the Lucas County Extension office from 6:30 p.m. to approximately 8:30 p.m.  To learn more or to register, please call the Lucas County Extension Office at 641-774-2016. 
  • The Jan. 30 BQA training in DeWitt is now postponed to Feb. 6, 6-8 p.m. at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. Any questions, contact Denise Schwab at 319-721-9624.
  • Jan. 30 session at Hamilton County Extension Office, Webster City, is cancelled. That office also is closed Jan. 29-30. Questions: contact Russ Euken.

"Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness: What to expect and How to prepare" workshops for cattle, pig, sheep and goat producers, extension personnel and veterinarians are scheduled at five Iowa locations, from Feb. 7 to March 12. All are hosted by Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship and Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, provided at no cost and include lunch. Attendees at these interactive workshops (8:30 to 3:30 p.m.) will learn what to expect if Foot and Mouth Disease or African Swine Fever is found in the U.S., how long movement could stop and the requirements to move animals once movement restarts, how to protect their animals from diseases, and the use of daily health monitoring strategies in an outbreak. More details on the workshop flyer link opens in new window/tab. Preregister by completing this online form or calling 515-281-5321.

Iowa is home to 4.2 percent of the United States’ beef cattle inventory, the seventh-largest number of any state in the country. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Denise Schwab said a project conducted through the Iowa Beef Center worked with 28 producers to characterize three production management systems. A series of meetings in February will share the results of the project and tour some cooperator operations.

Beef producers and agri-business professionals still have an opportunity to obtain their Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification in northwest Iowa, according to Iowa State extension beef specialist Beth Doran. The Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Industry Council are offering a "wrap-up” training on Feb. 5 at the Buena Vista County Extension Office in Storm Lake. The session, set for 1 to 3 p.m., will feature eight best management practices and new emerging trends in the beef industry. There is no cost to attend, but participants are encouraged to preregister before Feb. 3 by calling the Buena Vista County Extension Office at 712-732-5056. For more information, contact Doran by phone at 712-737-4230 or email See a program flyer link opens in new window/tab.

Dairy and beef producers are invited to attend one of two advanced calving clinics in early February in Maquoketa and Independence. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab said anyone who attends will learn something new regardless of their experience with calving out cows.

The premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers, the Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference, is offering a comprehensive package of information to attendees this month, including financial management, genetic selection and low-stress animal handling in the general sessions. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Patrick Wall said this year’s conference is set for Jan. 26 at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.

One of the most respected consultants in the cattle business, Burke Teichert, will be the featured speaker at the 2019 Driftless Region Beef Conference, Jan. 24-25 at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque. Check out the website and register soon. Early registration fee of $85 ends Jan. 11.

News releases |2018|