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The annual Iowa Forage and Grassland Council Conference features a great lineup of speakers and topics at its 2018 event. The conference, set for Jan. 18, will be held at the Iowa State University Alumni Center, just south of Stephens Auditorium at the Iowa State Center. ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist and IFGC past president Joe Sellers said IFGC is partnering with Practical Farmers of Iowa to offer sessions presented by Kathy Voth and Rachel Gilker from On Pasture.

Producers have come to expect relevant information from the Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference on current topics that impact their profitability, according to ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist Patrick Wall. That's why speakers at the 2018 event will address economic challenges facing producers following the 2017 drought. New this year: Smoke on the Water Beef Barbecue Contest with free brisket lunch!

To help beef producers and agri-business professionals adapt to the ever-changing industry, Feedlot Forum 2018 will focus on rapidly occuring changes in the beef industry. Topics include domestic and international markets for beef, responding to an FMD outbreak, and the 2016 National Beef Quality Audits. The forum is Jan. 16, 2018 at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center.

Attendees of the 2018 Driftless Region Beef Conference will learn about molds in crops and mycotoxins in feed from experts Alison Robertson of Iowa State University and Trevor Smith of the University of Ghent, Belgium. Cost for the Jan. 25-26 event is $85 when registered by midnight, Jan. 12.


Winter and its extreme conditions are right around the corner. And while beef cattle generally can tolerate these well, ISU extension and outreach beef specialist Chris Clark reminds producers that some members of their herds require special considerations. These needs and preparations that should happen before there’s a need are outlined in this Progressive Cattlemen article.

The upcoming Driftless Region Beef Conference will showcase utilization of cover crops for feed by Midwest beef producers. Cover crops have great potential to reduce erosion, improve soil health and protect water quality, and also have the potential to produce high quality cattle feed if managed correctly. The Jan. 25-26 conference will feature several speakers presenting information on the value of cover crops for diverse Midwestern farms.

The sixth annual Driftless Region Beef Conference is set for Jan. 25-26, 2018 in Dubuque. This event is provided through cooperative effort of extension services in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and features topics and information that focus on efficient and economic forage and beef production. Read more information in this release.

Sheep producers and agribusiness staff are invited to a field day featuring ewes and cover crops on Nov. 28 in Plymouth County. Iowa State Extension and Outreach beef specialist Beth Doran organized the event and said, "Cover crops have been used to stretch grazing in the fall and early spring for cattle, but less research has been conducted regarding their potential with sheep. This field day features two northwest Iowa sheep producers who actively graze cover crops.”


There’s still time for beef producers to become certified or to update their Beef Quality Assurance certification, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Beth Doran has planned two such workshops in northwest Iowa. These events will help area cattle producers ensure they are meeting consumer and packer expectations.

With possibility of the first killing frost of fall 2017 imminent, ISU Extension agronomoist Brian Lang offers information, cautions and reminders about alfalfa and other forages in the latest Oct. 24 Crop News.

Beef producers who want to learn more about risk management topics, including costs of wintering cattle, available insurance options and a general beef cattle outlook are invited to attend a beef cattle risk management workshop near Chariton on Nov. 8.

Producers across the predominant cow-calf sector of Iowa will have five opportunities next month to learn about reproductive efficiency from a number of angles and to investigate a new approach to managing heifers. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Patrick Wall said these five meetings, set for Nov. 17-21, will cover selecting the right genetics, the right heifer and the right bull to achieve individual herd goals. Note change of location for Nov. 21 morning session to Jones County Extension Office in Monticello.

ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist Joe Sellers was the featured speaker for the October webinar of Iowa Learning Farms. He spoke on management-intensive grazing and grasslands, including fencing, water access and supplementation. See his recorded presentation. (~39 min.)

Researchers at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association need your help to better understand the impact of Johne's disease in beef cattle. Please consider completing this short survey to provide valuable information regarding the impact of this disease on the Iowa beef industry. The survey should take about 10-15 minutes.

Save the date for the 2018 Iowa Forage and Grassland Council conference. The annual event will be held Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Iowa State University Alumni Center in Ames. Topics presented by ISU speakers include grazing management for wildlife, corn silage quality, managed grazing benefits and the BRaNDS program. Cost is $40 for members, $60 for non-members, and registration deadline is Jan. 11. See more info on the IFGC website.



Joe Sellers is recognized as a strong advocate for grazing and soil conservation as they relate to profitability of beef cattle operations. As such, he'll lead discussion on effective grazing practices and the proper use of management-intensive grazing on Iowa farms during the Oct. 18 Iowa Learning Farms webinar. The free monthly webinar series is offered the third Wednesday beginning at noon. See more info on this session and how to participate.

Iowa’s new heifer development program, Iowa Cowmaker Elite (ICE), is officially underway! ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist Patrick Wall is the ICE program coordinator. He said the intent of the long-term project is designed to help Iowa’s beef producers select, manage and develop high quality heifers year after year.

Just two sessions remain in this year’s Greenhorn Grazing series in southern Iowa, and organizer Joe Sellers said people who want to attend are encouraged to register soon for accurate meal count. Cost is $20 per session, payable at the door. Sessions are set for Tuesday, Sept. 26 and Tuesday, Nov. 14. Both sessions begin at 4 p.m. at the Madison County Extension Office, located at 117 N. John Wayne Drive in Winterset, and include a pasture walk at a local farm.



Final new southwest Iowa Pasture Clinic set for Aug. 23. ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark reminds producers to register with Mills County Extension for the Emerson location to ensure adequate meal and materials count.

Six drought-related meetings scheduled for south central Iowa Aug. 7-9 will focus on crop growth and development under drought conditions, feeding drought damaged crops, issues with drought silage, and crop insurance considerations. ISU extension beef, farm management and agronomy specialists are leading this effort, which includes opportunity for a quick individual nitrate assessment of cornstalks. No charge, no preregistration.



Northwest Iowa producers who need certification in Beef Quality Assurance are invited to attend a workshop sponsored by Iowa Beef Center, Iowa Beef Industry Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. The event is set for Tuesday, Aug. 29 at the Sioux County Extension Office from 10 a.m. to noon and there's no cost to attend.

The 2017 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Conference is just a month away, and organizers encourage those interested to register soon. The two-day program will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and 8 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Aug. 30, and registration ends Aug. 16. Garland Dahlke of Iowa Beef Center is an Iowa State University representative on the hosting group - Beef Reproduction Task Force.

Due to the intense drought conditions in portions of south central Iowa, Iowa State Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Joe Sellers announced that the original agenda of the annual field day at Iowa State University’s McNay Memorial Research Farm has been adjusted to address related needs. Start time, speakers and evening meal remain the same.

If you haven't registered for IBC's Beef Feedlot Short Course, you'll want to do so now. Just 10 spots remain for the Aug. 8-10 educational event in Ames. Deadline is Aug. 1 or when the attendance cap is reached. Read about the course and find links to registration forms here.

If you're a cattle feeder, you know that profitability depends on more than just cattle prices and performance. More than ever, you recognize that manure value, market flexibility and management impact net returns to your operation. An Aug. 25 summer feedlot conference in Welton in eastern Iowa will address a variety of topics related to cattle manure, animal care and management. Preregister by Friday, Aug. 18 for $15, payable at the door. After that date, the fee increases to $20. Make your attendance plans now.

Iowa farms are experiencing a variety of weather-related conditions, ranging from too much water to very dry soils and pastures. Check out these three IBC resource pages for more information, resources and people who can help:
Heat resources
Flood resources
Drought resources

Five new Southwest Iowa Pasture Clinics will address a wide variety of pasture management topics for producers looking for ways to optimize livestock and forage production practices and weed management strategies. ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark said producers should preregister for the location they 'll attend to ensure adequate meal and materials count.

Beef feedlot managers and employees looking for an educational program to develop and enhance their skills will want to consider a new offering from Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University. IBC program specialist Erika Lundy said the “Iowa Beef Center Feedlot Short Course" set for Aug. 8-10 fits the bill.

The Cow Caravan -- a three-day late summer bus tour across Iowa featuring some of Iowa’s successful grazing and confinement cow operations -- is planned by Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University The Aug. 29-31 tour is a component of the center’s Cow Systems Project, created to evaluate management practices among operations ranging from extensive grazing systems to year-round confinement. It leaves from and returns to Ames each day. The bus tour is free, evening meals and lodging are participant expenses. Register soon!

The 2017 field day of the Iowa State University McNay Memorial Research Farm will provide updates on grazing and cover crops, including a pasture tour spotlighting weed control techniques and planning for stockpiled grazing. Iowa State Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Joe Sellers organizes this event, and said the Aug. 2 event also will provide the latest in selected beef cattle research projects and specific results on the farm cattle.

You say you purchased the newest revised version of the Iowa Beef Center’s ration balancing software but not sure how it all works? Or maybe you want to obtain the software but just haven’t gotten around to buying it yet? IBC has a deal for you: a free training complete with lunch. This session will be held Aug. 1 in Ames at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at 2516 Mortensen Road.

Attendees of this year's Van Buren County Pasture Walk might want to keep an eye on the sky. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomist Rebecca Vittetoe said the Tuesday, Aug. 1 event will include discussions on technology and regulations regarding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and their uses in pastures and crop fields.


Beef producers in eastern Iowa are invited to learn about the process of completing the BQA Feedyard Assessment at one of three field days in July offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Participants will be certified in Beef Quality Assurance following each session.

Recent rains and excess water could mean changes to your feed supplies, management and grazing practices. Check out this list of resources from the Iowa Beef Center.

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.


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