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Need to get your Beef Quality Assurance certification or Beef Quality Assurance Transportation certification? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Industry Council are offering two workshops on June 12 at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg. Beth Doran, ISU extension beef specialist who's providing the workshops, said they enable producers to become BQA certified, which is a requirement of some packers.

With grass slow to come this spring, it is likely that forage quality will rapidly change this summer. As a general rule of thumb, energy values (total digestible nutrients or TDN) of forages, pasture included, can decrease rapidly at a rate of 0.33-1.0% per day from vegetative to mature stage. To preserve forage quality, harvesting excess forage acres now can be beneficial for later feeding. To address some of the challenges associated with first cutting forage crops, many producers have turned towards harvesting forages as a baleage.

A wet fall, unusually cold temperatures, excess rain, and in some cases flooding, have cattle and sheep producers wondering how they will manage forage shortages this summer and lay in forages for next winter. The good news is there are haying, grazing and silage options, according to Beth Doran, beef specialist with ISU extension. But she cautions that producers should check with their crop insurance agents about their alternative plans before a final decision is implemented.

Cattle producers can increase their knowledge of current feedlot issues and profitability during the June 13 Cattle Feeders Day at the Wallace Foundation Learning Center near Armstrong. Researchers from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will provide answers to producer questions related to animal health, nutrition and producing high quality, marketable beef, according to program organizer Erika Lundy, extension beef specialist.

The annual Update for Veterinarians program, organized and provided by Iowa Beef Center, features a full day of education and information focused on beef cattle production. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark coordinates the program and invites practitioners who work with cattle to make plans now to attend the event set for Tuesday, June 11, at the Iowa State McNay Research Farm near Chariton.

Following the rough winter and high feed prices, many producers are anxious to get cows turned out to pasture. Taking time now to check your pastures and your grazing plan will help ensure a more successful grazing season. The Iowa Beef Center team offers a list of six spring pasture management tips to use now.

Flood waters may be receding, but renovation of flooded pastures is taking top billing. Beth Doran, Iowa State extension beef specialist, and Joel DeJong, Iowa State Extension field agronomist say now is the time for producers to check pasture plants for survival and start planning for possible renovation.

Flood waters are receding, but the challenges in recovery for farmers and livestock producers are just beginning. That's why Beth Doran, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, said producers should get out in their fields as soon as possible. Beef producers should assess the damage to pastures and hay ground and then check out possible disaster assistance.

Cold and wet weather has added to the challenges of Iowa cow-calf producers that are currently calving. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Beth Doran said both are ideal conditions for contributing to calf scours. She recommends providing shelter for the calves such as a portion of a shed dedicated for calves to get away from their mothers or a portable calf shelter. 

To put it simply, Beth Reynolds sees herself as a resource for producers. As the new extension program specialist with the Iowa Beef Center, she said her goal is to provide relevant materials and keep resources readily available. Producers should look forward to seeing her at meetings, field days and research projects, as she looks forward to working with her IBC colleagues to share information and opportunities for education with producers and others in the beef industry.

The USDA's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) is asking for help from cattle producers and other stakeholders in preparation for an upcoming study, "Health Management on U.S. Feedlots, 2020." Opinions expressed through a needs assessment survey (available through April 7) will be used to set study objectives and help researchers meet needs of industry and allied groups. The online survey will take 5-10 min. and includes a section where participants can add general comments.

Recent rains, floods and excess water could mean changes to your management and grazing practices, as well as current and future feed supplies. Check out these resources.

In the beef industry, calving management is critical to production and profitability of the cow herd. Knowing how to prepare, what to do and not do, and when to take action all are critical aspects of correctly managing calving in your herd. That’s why the Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach developed the Calving Management Manual, now available on the IBC website.

News Archives


Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

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

May 2019

Who is your customer?

As we celebrate the month dedicated to the cattle industry (May) and the product it produces (Beef), it is a good time to reflect upon who our customer is and how we are meeting their needs. In a segmented industry such as the beef industry there are multiple customers along the way and each have different needs.

Cow-calf producers want seedstock that meet their production needs and system and are marketable to the feedlot or backgrounder.

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.