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The professional and standard editions of four of Iowa Beef Center’s ration balancing software, BRaNDS, have been updated and are ready for use. Associate scientist Garland Dahlke said the new versions are for Eastern Cornbelt, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, and include a variety of modules.

Although the four-part weekly webinar series, Responding to Increasing Drought Conditions in Iowa, is complete, recordings from those sessions are available. See the specific session info and links to those recordings on the program website.

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has released Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for emergency haying and grazing of 24 counties in western Iowa. Utilizing this additional forage resource provides producers with opportunities as well as challenges, and this information from IBC provides considerations to think through when deciding how to use it in your operation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.



News Archives


Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director, writes this monthly column featured in Iowa Cattleman Magazine.

September 2020

The Bottom of the Bin

Due to growing and harvesting conditions and issues related to propane availability, some of last year’s corn crop was not stored at the ideal moisture. As the weather warmed through the spring and summer, grain quality concerns became more of an issue. Dr. Charles Hurburgh and the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative closely monitors corn quality throughout Iowa and he says much of last year’s corn crop is reaching the end of its shelf life.

Read the rest of this column.

Iowa Cow-Calf Commentary

Iowa Beef Center and extension specialists write the "Iowa Cow-Calf Commentary" featured in the Iowa Cattleman Magazine.

September 2020

Heifer Retention: Have a plan

The decision to retain or purchase heifer replacements needs to be based on the cost of developing heifers, feed inventory and resources, and overall genetic goals for each operation. Ask yourself, do I have the genetic base I want, or can I purchase females to get me there quicker? In order to effectively build genetics through heifer retention, producers need to be purposeful and diligent with both short- and long-term goals in mind and have a plan on how to get there.

Read the rest of this column.