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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.

While COVID-19 has changed a lot of things, major packers still require a current Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certificate from feedlot producers selling market-ready cattle. To help meet this need, ISU extension beef specialist Beth Doran has planned a set of certification workshops in northwest Iowa producers starting in early July.

USDA-RMA has announced changes to the Livestock Risk Protection insurance program starting this summer. Changes for the program, which is for feeder cattle, fed cattle and swine, include moving the premium due dates to the end of the endorsement period and increasing premium subsidies to assist producers. Agency officials want to have changes implemented by July 1.

Keep current temperatures and humidity levels in mind over the next few days, and make sure your cattle have shade and plenty of water. Check our heat resources page for more info.

The 2020 Update for Veterinarians program will be held as a virtual webinar that can be viewed from home or office. The June 16 program, organized and provided by Iowa Beef Center, features six full hours of education and information focused on beef cattle production. Iowa State Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark coordinates the program and invites practitioners who work with cattle to make plans now to register for the virtual event.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt cattle markets. Having a market that will take finished cattle at a suitable date has become a concern. In addition, the current live market prices, and limited sale opportunities for fat steers have left many cattle feeders searching for solutions to reduce their economic loss. "Considerations for Slowing Feedlot Cattle Growth due to the COVID-19 Pandemic" was created by Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension beef specialists, University of Wisconsin Extension livestock program educators, and University of Wisconsin Department of Animal Science Faculty to provide help for producers making these decisions.

A team of 10 Iowa State University beef-affiliated staff and faculty was recently honored for its ongoing work with the Iowa Beef Quality Assurance program by receiving the Excellence in Partnership to Iowans award by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. And IBC associate scientist Garland Dahlke also was honored recently for his work combining technology with practical feeding, rations and breeding information for the beef industry, through receiving the Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award from ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Read about all the winners.

Feedlot cattle producers currently are faced with making immediate decisions with long-terms implications. Iowa Beef Center, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Beef Industry Council have developed a two-part webinar series, Feedlot Considerations Amid the Pandemic, to help provide some clarity, considerations and suggestions. See recordings from the April 28 and April 29 sessions.

In a new report, ISU extension livestock economist Lee Schulz and Glynn Tonsor from Kansas State University address the issue of packing plant utilization on livestock prices. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are potential concerns about plant capacity. The authors stress that labor is often the driving factor between the rated capacity and the operational capacity of a plant.


News Archives


Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

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

July 2020

The new normal

I would like nothing more than to write this column about something other than the COVID-19 pandemic. I do understand that for beef producers, many things haven’t changed. Hay still needs to be made, cattle fed and crops tended. However, life around you is different, very different. Back in April this column talked about how this pandemic will change us. Little did we know how that would unfold. Now many of us are trying to get back to normal in our lives and work. However, normal isn’t normal anymore.

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.

July 2020

The value of early preg checks

In a recent Iowa State extension project, Iowa cattlemen indicated spending $306 per cow, on average, for stored feeds during the winter months.  Assuming a 4-month feeding period with one of those months being early lactation, that's $2.55/cow/day and does not include any costs associated with grazing corn stalk residue.  Despite the high annual expense of maintaining and feeding a beef cow, only approximately 25% of U.S. beef producers perform annual pregnancy checks (NAHMS, 2008).

Read the rest of this column.