News & Releases 2016

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From producer panelists to academic and private industry representatives, the 2017 Iowa Forage and Grassland Council (IFGC) Conference will offer a wealth of information and experience to attendees. In addition to industry professionals, the conference also will feature two producer panels on extended grazing and grazing management experiences and break-out presentations on beef and sheep forage nutrition and mineral nutrition.

Do you have a hard-to-buy-for farmer in your life? Consider a truly unique gift of education with a registration to the Driftless Region Beef Conference, set for Jan. 26-27 in Dubuque. The focus of the fifth annual conference is efficient and economic beef and forage production in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and features a variety of speakers. Act now to get the early registration fee of $85.

The premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers -- the Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference -- has provided timely, accurate and important information to the state’s beef cattle industry for more than 40 years. Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Patrick Wall said this year’s conference, set for Jan. 28, 2017 at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, will continue that successful tradition.

Area beef producers should make plans to attend the Three-State Beef Conference set for Jan. 10, 11 and 12, 2017, with locations in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. The Three-State Beef Conference (formerly the Four-State Beef Conference) is designed to give beef cattle producers and others in the beef industry in these states a regular update on current cow-calf and stocker topics. The conference provides a forum of specialists from three of the leading beef cattle land grant universities in the U.S. as well as other industry experts.

The 2017 Feedlot Forum will help producers learn more about the decisions they need to make regarding issues that affect their business, including the Veterinary Feed Directive, feedlot assessments, market volatility and market prices. Set for Jan. 17 at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center, this annual event opens at 8:30 a.m. with a trade show featuring a record 26 exhibitors. The $25 registration fee also provides a steak dinner and $10 beef certificate.

A series of strategy-focused workshops in early 2017 will help cow-calf producers learn more about improving their operation's bottom line. Attend any of the sessions for more on feeding, including grazing harvest residue, cover crops and alternative feeds. Iowa State cow-calf specialist Patrick Gunn is organizing the series.

The 2017 Driftless Region Beef Conference will spotlight competitive advantages of Midwest beef producers, including the opportunity to raise beef cattle on corn ground. Attendees will hear from two of the leading researchers in the country to talk about the synergies between cattle and corn at the Jan. 26-27 event in Dubuque.


Building upon the success of last year’s move to Ames in January, the annual Iowa Forage and Grassland Council (IFGC) Conference will remain in Ames for its 2017 event. The conference is set for Jan. 19-20 at the Iowa State University Alumni Center, just south of Stephens Auditorium at the Iowa State Center. ISU Extension and Outreach beef program specialist and current IFGC President Joe Sellers said IFGC is partnering with PFI to offer a full slate of producer and industry expert speakers on a variety of topics at the conference.

Beef production is a risky business, and the challenge is how to mitigate risk to be profitable. The upcoming Driftless Region Beef Conference will feature several speakers on managing risk related to production and marketing. Risk management professionals and veterinarians will share their experiences and expertise on managing different risk factors at the Jan. 26-27 event in Dubuque.

Cow-calf producers who want to learn more about improving the return from their enterprise are invited to a strategy-focused workshop on Wednesday, Dec. 14. ISU Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Beth Doran said this meeting is the first in a statewide series offered through IBC and ISUEO set for this winter, and will include a variety of topics that relate to feeding and marketing.

The Driftless Region Beef Conference is set for Jan. 26-27 in Dubuque. With nearly 2.5 million cattle in four Midwest states, university extension services in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin are teaming together to offer the fifth annual conference. It will focus on efficient and economic forage and beef production in the driftless area. Read more about the conference, topics and speakers.


Keep safety top of mind when agitating and pumping pits. Hydrogen sulfide levels can spike quickly and without warning during pit pumping, causing potential threat to human and animal safety. Because agitation releases gases from the manure, it’s essential to ensure adequate barn ventilation during agitation and pumping. The fresh air from this ventilation removes those gases and dilutes any concentrates. These resources provide information, fact sheets and videos on safety when agitating and pumping.

The Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) has received several questions from southwest Iowa producers about corn mold this harvest season. Based on producer descriptions of black mold or black dust that becomes airborne when the plants are disturbed, common corn smut is the most likely culprit in many of these cases.


A VFD webinar presented by IBC beef program specialist Chris Clark and hosted by Iowa Farm Bureau on Sept. 20 is archived on the IFBF website.

Iowa State's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab have been seeing cases of fatal idiopathic/renal failure from several feedlots throughout the state. All known cases originate with calves weighing more than 750 pounds. Clinical signs are similar in affected animals, and necropsy findings show enlarged and pale kidneys. No specifically identified cause as of yet link opens in new window/tab and feedlot operators with calves going off feed that don't respond to therapy are asked to contact their vet for necropsy and diagnostic sample testing. 


The second session of Grassroots Grazing provies a unique opportunity for attendees. The September 15 session will be held at the ISU Marsden Agronomy Farm and Field Extension Education Laboratory location near Boone, and offers a first-hand look and up-to-date information on grazing, cover crops, crop rotation options, and the Marsden Farm cropping experiment itself.

This year’s annual Van Buren County Pasture Walk focus is on using cover crops as a forage source. Jason and Paul Wells from near Milton will host the event and share information and experiences of using cover crops as forage in their dairy operation. Please preregister by Sept. 2 for the Sept. 7 event.

See our newly updated list of sources and resources for those whose operations and farms may be affected by flooding or other high water situations.

Don't miss out! The 2016 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC) Workshop is set for Sept. 7-8 in Des Moines and registrations are still being accepted. Host site organizer Iowa State University cow-calf specialist Patrick Gunn said the workshop is a must-attend event for cow-calf producers, bovine veterinarians, industry representatives, students, and extension personnel.


Are you prepared for implementation of the Veterinary Feed Directive on January 1, 2017? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Farm Bureau, and the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association are partnering to offer a free educational series about the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Iowa State Extension beef program specialist Chris Clark said Iowa veterinarians, livestock producers, and feed industry personnel are invited to attend any of 11 session locations throughout the state.

The early registration and hotel reservation deadline for the 2016 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC) Workshop to be held Sept. 7-8 in Des Moines is quickly approaching. After Aug. 8, professional and student registration fees will increase to $250 and $150 respectively, and the guaranteed room block with the Embassy Suites will no longer be honored. Host site organizer Iowa State University cow-calf specialist Patrick Gunn said the workshop is a must-attend event for cow-calf producers, bovine veterinarians, industry representatives, students, and extension personnel.

If you’ve wondered about the animals, facilities or research at either the Iowa State University beef teaching farm or sheet teaching farm, two upcoming pasture walks offer a great opportunity for you. Iowa State Extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers said the agenda at both farms provides information on topics specific to those species.

Understanding causes of lameness and how to diagnose and treat those conditions is important to beef industry professionals for animal well-being and financial reasons. Beef cattle producers, feedlot operators, veterinarians and others who want to increase their knowledge are invited to attend a two-day Master Hoof Care school offered by Iowa State University on Aug. 23-24 at Amana Farms.

The 2016 field day of the Iowa State University McNay Memorial Research Farm near Chariton will focus on grazing opportunities and issues, including sericea infestation, fescue pasture renovation and on-farm cereal rye research. Iowa State Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Joe Sellers said the Aug. 2 event provides access for people to see crops and grazing research in full growing mode.

A new beginning farmer program in south central Iowa will help young farmers understand how to assess, manage and modify their financial situations to best fit their needs. The initial session is set for Aug. 4 beginning at the Marion County Extension Office at 5:30 p.m. ISU extension beef program specialist Patrick Wall is leading the program.


Beef feedlot school series is set in southwest Iowa. Iowa Beef Center and ISU Extension and Outreach are putting the finishing touches on a five-part beef feedlot school to be held in southwest Iowa. The first session is set for Tuesday, July 12, at the Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis. Beef program specialist Chris Clark leads the program and invites all who are interested to register soon. Cost is $125 for the series.

A new nutrition software program will help Iowa goat producers with accurate information on nutrition needs and diet formulations for their animals. "Goat Nutrition" is for all goats of all ages, and the one-time price includes personalized assistance and future updates.

Watch out for ergot-infected grass this summer. ISU Extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell and ISU Extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers say the climate this summer has produced a favorable environment for Ergot fungus to infect seed heads of many forage grasses. The toxins produced by the Ergot fungus will compound fescue toxicity. The dark colored Ergot bodies can be visualized within the grass seed head. Grazing or feeding infected hay along with fescue may lead to clinical problems in your herd. If in doubt, have your hay tested for ergopeptides. See more information in this publication, "Ergot Poisoning in Cattle" available as a free download.

Beef producers in northwest Iowa who haven’t yet completed a feedlot assessment are invited to learn about the process at one of two remaining field days offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in July. The events are free and offer BQA certification.

Managing timbered pastures is a challenge as landowners and tenants must balance forage production and lumber production. Attend a July 12 field day near Fayette to see how one landowner and tenant are working together to make the best of both opportunities.

Use first heat event of 2016 to set and check mitigation strategies for your animals. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef veterinarian Grant Dewell offers these reminders.

A new publication from Iowa Beef Center, Growth Promotant Implants for Cattle - IBC 113, has guidance for beef producers on how to develop an appropriate strategy for using growth promoting implants and find the right implants for that strategy. The publication also contains a table of currently available implants categorized by potency and active ingredient, and info on which animal class (suckling, stocker or feedlot) is approved for each individual brand of implant.


Learn about crops following cover crops and the latest on handling area weed pressures at the June 22 weed and brush management field day near Corning. No cost for the event, which includes a free ribeye steak sandwich meal.

Sericea Lespedeza is becoming a more prevalent weed in southern Iowa, and controlling this weed is becoming a bigger issue for producers. IBC and ISUEO are hosting two sessions of a June 21 weed and brush field day focusing on this weed at the McNay Research Farm.

The initial Grassroots Grazing program for young and beginning graziers was such a success in 2015 that it's expanding into east central Iowa this year. The first session in Belle Plaine is June 9.

The 2016 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle workshop, the premier national event in beef cattle reproductive management, will be held for the first time ever in Iowa later this year, and Iowa State University cow-calf specialist Patrick Gunn said the Sept. 7-8 event will include information for cow-calf producers, bovine veterinarians, industry representatives, extension personnel and students.

IBC beef program specialist Joe Sellers played an important role in the success of ISU Extension and Outreach's Women Managing Cattle program. Learn more in this video.

The second session in the three-part series, Grassroots Grazing, for young and beginning graziers in southern Iowa is set for May 26 at the Tony Mullen farm near Corning. ISU Extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers says the event begins at 6:30 p.m.

Five years of research through the USDA’s National Program for the Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle will be on display June 11 at an ISU nutrition field day. Beef specialist Patrick Wall said one trial features the new Feed Intake EPD from the American Hereford Association.

The initial Grassroots Grazing program for young and beginning graziers was such a success in 2015 that it's expanding into east central Iowa this year. The first session in Belle Plaine is June 9.

Four Beef Feedlot Assessment Field Days will help northwest Iowa producers learn more about how to complete the BQA feedyard assessment. IBC, IBIC and ICA are partnering to offer these free programs, with two dates in early June and two in early July.


ISU, UNL and Lallemand Animal Nutrition are cooperating to offer the Silage for Beef Cattle Conference on June 17. Everyone with an interest in silage as part of beef diets is invited to register for the free event

The annual “Update for Veterinarians” program organized by Iowa Beef Center is May 24 at the ISU McNay Farm near Chariton. It features a full day of education and demonstrations focused on beef cattle, and registration of $60 by May 20 includes the noon meal.

Beef producers are invited to attend either of two Beef Management Workshops offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Iowa Beef Center on May 23 and 24. No preregistration and no cost other than dinner buffet payable onsite, according to organizer Joe Sellers.

Thanks to the National BQA Program, there will be some assistance available for Iowa beef producers this summer to complete the BQA Feedyard Assessment. If you’re unsure where to start on the BQA Feedyard Assessment or would like someone to assist you in performing it on your farm from May through August 2016, please contact Doug Bear with Iowa Beef Industry Council.

USDA NAHMS wants your help in developing questions and subject matter for a beef industry cow-calf study next year. This link ( takes you to a short (10-questions, one-page) survey asking for some demographic info and your opinions on priority issues for the industry and the upcoming survey.


Deciding how much to pay for a bull is no easy task, but Iowa State University extension cow-calf specialist Patrick Gunn said knowing which factors to consider can help producers feel more confident in the decision-making process.

Iowa State University extension cow-calf specialist Patrick Gunn said cattle producers might benefit from using different forage harvest practices such as baleage, and the new publication, "Making the Switch to Baleage" could help.

Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Learning Farms and the Iowa Beef Center are teaming up to share information on adding cover crops to annual forage plans for livestock during an April 14 meeting in Mount Pleasant. Read more about this free program and preregister by April 12.


New software that will help sheep feedlot managers keep better track of their operations is now available from the Iowa Beef Center. Assistant scientist Garland Dahlke said the program provides detailed monitoring of both animal performance and business transactions that are part of the sheep feeding enterprise.

Beef feedlot and cow-calf producers are invited to attend one of two “Sharpening Your Beef Cattle Management Skills" workshops. ISU Extension program specialist Russ Euken said the programs will be held in Iowa Falls on March 10 and in Humboldt on March 11.

Another Grassroots Grazing location added to 2016 schedule: Consider attending the first session at the McNay Research Farm on March 22. Preregister by March 21 link opens in new window/tab for the session and provided meal.

Due to the success of the first-ever Grassroots Grazing program for young and beginning graziers in 2015, the series is being expanded this year. Joe Sellers encourages people to preregister soon for these no-cost meetings.Two new locations are Corning on February 22 link opens in new window/tab and Ames on February 23 link opens in new window/tab.


The Heifer Development 3 program in Atlantic has been rescheduled for Monday, February 8. The Iowa caucus and a new snow forecast for the original date of Feb. 1 led site host ISU Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Chris Clark to reschedule the event. Preregistration is now due Feb. 5. Times and costs remain the same.

Three Iowa locations will host the 2016 Beef Feedlot Roundtable on Feb. 9. Topics include silage research update, ruminant starch digestion and changing distillers grains in feedlot cattle diets. Register now to attend this annual ISU-UNL session at Cresco, Ida Grove or Manchester, and pay at the door.

The 2016 Driftless Region Beef Conference will spotlight several big picture issues facing the beef industry, ranging from new tools for improving cattle health to reproductive efficiency and fetal programming. The conference will be held February 4-5 at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque. Early registration ends Jan. 22.

The 2016 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference offers a variety of topics designed to help producers of all ages and production goals. Among the topics: assessing the short and long-term market outlook, the WOTUS rule and best management practices for marketing feeder cattle. No fee to attend and no preregistration necessary, says ISU Extension beef program specialist Pat Wall.

There is still time to register for the 2016 Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council (IFGC) annual conference. This year’s event, set for Jan. 21-22, features many producer speakers sharing their grazing management experiences.

The Iowa Beef Center is partnering with the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA), ABS Global, Accelerated Genetics, Select Sires and Merial to present this series of educational workshops, “Heifer Development 3: Breeding & Selecting for Longevity & Profit."

Three-State Beef Conference is set for Jan. 12 in Creston with preregistration requested by Jan. 8.Sessions also are scheduled for Jan. 13 in Albany, Missouri, and Jan. 14 in Beatrice, Neb. Cost is $25 per person. See all the details and registration information on the conference website.


News releases |2016|