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Farmers and beef producers interested in learning more about cover crops and successfully integrating cover crops as a forage resource into their current beef and row crop enterprises are invited to attend either of two upcoming field days in Monona or Buena Vista County. Erika Lundy, extension beef program specialist with the Iowa Beef Center, said both events feature similar topics but will be held on different days at two of Iowa State University’s outlying research farms. There is no cost to attend and a free meal is included at both locations.

Producers and agribusiness professionals have a unique opportunity to see how dairy steers are managed and marketed in the upper Midwest through a special bus tour on Tuesday, March 27. The I-29 Moo University's Dairy Beef Short Course Tour will be held from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. along the I-29 corridor. Two Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists from northwest Iowa, Fred Hall and Beth Doran, are helping organize and present during the tour.

Iowa Learning Farms invites new farmers and those interested in farming to a special soil health and grazing workshop in Creston on March 15. Facilitators will pose questions to attendees on no-tillage practices, soil conservation and water quality, and those answers will guide program speakers in presenting helpful information. Iowa State extension beef specialist Joe Sellers will help field questions from the attendees. The workshop flyer has more info.The program is set for 6-8 p.m. at the Creston PIzza Ranch. No charge to attend and the meal is free, too. Reservations through ILF are strongly encouraged to ensure adequate space and food.

National survey looks at how VFD has affected herd management, animal health. If you’re over age 18 and raise beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, poultry or any other food producing animal, you’re invited to participate in a survey open through the end of March on the Michigan State University website. It's anticipated to take about 10-15 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential and participation is voluntary. Take the survey online here. ISU extension beef specialist Chris Clark represents Iowa on this group and is available to answer your questions about the survey or its intended use. Contact him by email.

The 35th annual Eastern Iowa Hay Producers meeting and conference will focus on economics and use of fungicides in alfalfa and technologies to improve field productivity and forage quality. All are welcome to attend the March 15 meeting at Buzzy’s in Welton beginning with registration at 10 a.m. The $30 fee is payable at the door and includes a membership to the organization and meal at the event. Iowa State Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab has more information.

News Archives


Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

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

March 2018

Traceability Regains Momentum

A report of a study on traceability was released at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention in January. The study, conducted by World Perspectives, Inc., took a current look at the opportunities, obstacles and incentives for traceability across the beef chain.

The need to quickly trace and isolate foreign animal disease is the primary driving force behind this effort, which developed from a recommendation of the Beef Industry Long Range Plan. The requirement of traceability for certain value-added and export markets such as China has added a potential economic incentive. Concerns about a national ID or traceability system relate to cost and liability. While those concerns remain, market signals may be creating more incentive for traceable systems.

Read the rest of this column.

Patrick Gunn -- Angus JournalPatrick Gunn, assistant professor of animal science at Iowa State University, wrote this monthly column for Angus Journal.

May 2017

The post-AI nutrition slump

In many Midwestern beef herds, the beginning of breeding season coincides with green grass. As such, many producers have a tradition of estrus synchronization and artificial insemination followed by immediately moving heifers and cows from the winter drylot to fresh spring pasture.

Although early spring grass is high in energy and protein, it is also extremely high in water content, particularly if a flush of spring rains has immediately preceded turnout. As such, each bite that the cows or heifers take is diluted in the amount of nutrients ingested. Although most nutritionists will agree that water content of a feed is not a limiting factor for intake, there is a limit to the number of bites a cow can take in a predetermined period of time.

Read more.