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With nearly 3.8 million head of beef cattle in three Midwest states, university extension services in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin are teaming up to offer the Driftless Region Beef Conference. The annual event will be held January 26-28, 2021, with webinars each evening.

Producers needing to renew or obtain their certification in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) or Beef Quality Assurance Transportation have a couple of opportunities to do so in northwest Iowa. In-person trainings offered by the Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Industry Council at no cost are set for early December.

The 2020 Iowa Forage and Grassland Council conference will be offered online. The virtual 2020 conference will feature four presentations on timely topics regarding managing forages after a year of difficult weather patterns. All presentations will be prerecorded and released on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 9 a.m.

Cattle producers and allied agribusiness professionals still have time to renew or certify their training in Beef Quality Assurance. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Beth Doran will lead three late November trainings in northwest Iowa.

As beef cattle producers turn their attention to weaning, the Iowa Beef Center encourages producers to consider using its free 205-Day Weight Calculator. Producers enter calf identification, birth date, weaning date, weaning weight and cow age, and the Excel-based tool will calculate weaning weights to an adjusted 205-day weight. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab said adjusting weaning weights to a common calf age is important for comparing cows based on the performance of the calves they produce.

The Midwest Grazing Exchange website has been developed by the Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group, a network of grazing educators in the Upper Midwest that includes Practical Farmers of Iowa. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab is a member of the working group that developed the new website to assist landowners and graziers in bridging the gap of accessing land to graze and finding livestock farmers for partner opportunities.

This fall and winter, Iowa cattle producers will be dealing primarily with drought-stressed feedstuffs which present their own set of challenges. A two-page fact sheet by ISU extension beef specialist Beth Doran provides a list of reminders and guidelines for producers in making water and feedstuffs decisions.


News Archives


Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

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

November 2020

Cattlemen and Regenerative Agriculture

Through the work of groups such as the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef many beef producers have become more comfortable with the notion of sustainable beef. Building on the basis of economic viability, social responsibility and environmental soundness the group has developed metrics, indicators and sustainblity assessment guides that define progress. Now some of the same companies that are part of this effort are developing projects in a newer arena called regenerative agriculture.

So what is regenerative agriculture?

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.

November 2020

Developing bulls for longevity

One of the biggest frustrations in the cattle business is watching a yearling bull fall apart on pasture. In Iowa, it can seem like there’s a bull for sale for about every 6 cows in the state, so here’s some tips to keep you competitive when developing and selling bulls. Likewise, if you will be purchasing a bull in the next year, here are some things you may ask of the seller.

Read the rest of this column.