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Beef Quality Assurance Transportation is the latest certification needed for beef cattle haulers and producers who deliver cattle to major packing plants.To help transporters become certified in BQA transportation, a multi-state workshop will be offered by Iowa State Extension and Outreach, South Dakota State University Extension and University of Minnesota Extension on Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sioux Falls Regional Livestock. This will be the last in-person workshop offered in South Dakota and northwest Iowa for 2019.

The 2019 Iowa State University Animal Industry Report is now available online. The annual report, begun in 2004, features a variety of animal industry-related research and study done at Iowa State that is supported by the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. The report is coordinated through the animal science department and is published by the Iowa State University Digital Press, using a new publication system this year.

The use of cover crops following grain production is a great way to protect soil, reduce erosion, improve water quality and enhance soil quality. While fall grazing crops face weather-related challenges, they also can reduce feed costs. A new infographic shares experiences, information and advice from 18 producers who have fall-grazed cover crops for at least two years.

As beef cattle producers turn their attention to weaning, the Iowa Beef Center encourages producers to consider using its 205-Day Weight Calculator. This free spreadsheet tool assists beef producers in calculating Standardized 205-Day weaning weights. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab said weaning weights are used to evaluate differences in growth potential of calves and the milking ability of dams.

Iowa State University extension beef specialist Patrick Wall will present information on developing personalized grazing plans during a free pasture walk in Lee County on Oct. 10. ISU Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will co-host the event, set for 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Jef Buford farm near Donnellson. NRCS employees will lead a soil health demonstration and talk about available cost share assistance. Please preregister by Oct. 8 by contacting the Lee County Extension Office at 319-835-5116 or email See details and directions on the event flyer.

With the limited hay crops in some areas this summer, beef producers may want to consider harvesting corn silage to supplement the cow herd this winter. Corn silage can be a very cost effective feedstuff for cow herds, but proper harvesting, storing and feeding is critical to maintain silage quality and feed value. Dr. Hugo Ramirez Ramirez, Iowa State University dairy specialist, shared his top five priorities for making quality silage.

In the absence of a reported market price, determining a fair price for corn silage is a negotiation between buyer and seller. As in most negotiations, the fair price is what the seller and buyer agree to, but there are many variables to consider in negotiating that price. Iowa State University extension livestock specialist Russ Euken offers guidance for sellers and buyers.

Iowa Beef Center's new publication "Iowa’s Pastureland and Grazing 2013-2018" is based on survey results from producers who attended various grazing and pasture management programs over that timeframe. It gives a snapshot of how Iowa’s cow-calf industry has changed in terms of pasture utilization. It summarizes the findings of that evaluation to determine the changes in Iowa’s pasture management and to look at the effectiveness of IBC’s various pasture programs.

The premier educational opportunity for cattlewomen in Iowa, Boots In The Barn, will be hosted by Louisa County Extension this fall. A four-meeting series covering an array of topics has been set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Aug. 28, Sept. 4, Sept. 18 and Oct. 2 at the Youth Center in Columbus Junction. The building is located on the Louisa County Fairgrounds at 101 Fairgrounds Road, which is just off highway 92 on the southeast side of Columbus Junction. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Patrick Wall said attendees find the program usable and enjoyable.

From 2015-2018, the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University partnered with 28 producers across the state in the Iowa Cow Systems Project. It was designed to identify costs, environmental impacts and best practices from Iowa cow-calf operations. The effort worked to assess emerging beef cow management technologies, detail benchmarks, summarize production and environmental data and develop decision tools. Read more about the project, findings and how to access the results.

The College of Veterinary Medicine and the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University are asking for help from midwestern confined cow-calf producers on a survey project. The main goal of this project is to determine the common management practices utilized, the incidence and importance of animal disease, and the nutritional management practices in confined cow-calf operations. We want to improve our understanding of how these operations are managed so that we can better serve producer needs through research and educational activities. All data collected will be completely confidential and no individual answers will be published. Any presentation of the results of the survey will have all answers compiled from all participants. We hope to complete our data collection and analysis by this fall so producer educational programming may be planned beginning in 2020. The survey is available online here  and in paper version. Request a paper copy by contacting Dr. Terry Engelken at 515-294-2192. A stamped return envelope will be included so you can mail the completed survey back at no charge. You can email Engelken with any questions.



News Archives


Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

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

October 2019

Try a Podcast this Harvest Season

In Iowa October is harvest time. Historically we do not do many educational programs for farmers at this time of year because they are busy with harvest activities. October is the time when our staff regroups and works to develop plans for the next year. That is the case this year as well, however that doesn’t mean we are not still providing education for the beef industry. We’ve noticed in recent years an increase in phone calls and emails from beef producers during harvest as they pass the time in combines, grain carts and trucks. This time to think often stimulates very engaging questions and ideas.

Read the rest of this column.

Katy Lippolis -- Angus JournalKaty Lippolis, assistant professor of animal science at Iowa State University, writes a regular "By Design" column for Angus Journal.

March 2019

Calving Facilities

As we get closer to calving season, it’s time to make sure our facilities are prepared. In many instances, deciding to calve in a barn can be advantageous in many ways. Newborn calves have difficulty maintaining body temperature, an calving in cold and/or muddy conditions can lead to significant sickness and mortality. After difficult births, calves are often weak for several days and require additional care to ensure healthy recovery.

Read more.