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For the first time in two years, the Beef Improvement Federation’s annual meeting and research symposium will be held in person. Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director and Iowa State University extension beef specialist, said ISU faculty and staff are excited to host this year’s event, set for June 22-25 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

A recent Iowa Beef Center evaluation of extension grazing programs showed that while 80% of respondents already incorporate cover crops (winter annuals) into their farming enterprise, there’s an overall interest in additional research on adding forage alternatives to existing cattle production systems. Those findings led to a two-year project on utilizing cool and warm season annual forages into the grazing or stored feed system in cattle operations. ISU extension beef specialist Denise Schwab is involved with the study led by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach staff, and said the project begins with three field days over the next few weeks.

Those who use silage in their beef rations are invited to consider using the free Corn Silage to Beef Calculator from Iowa Beef Center. According to developer Garland Dahlke, the tool provides a means to rank the potential value of corn silage varieties used in beef rations and can evaluate a variety of factors.

Our Calving Management online manual is here for you. Info you need for correctly managing calving in your herd: general prep, facilities, supplies and more, all at your fingertips on your device.

Feed spoilage and waste obviously costs money, but it may have bigger impacts on cattle health as well. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Denise Schwab offers these reminders of feed loss types, causes and effects, and how to address possible challenges.

Industry professionals and beef producers who are finishing and marketing dairy beef are invited to virtually attend the I-29 Dairy Beef Short Course. The webinar, set for March 23, features a morning session from 10 a.m. to noon and an afternoon session from 1 to 3 p.m. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Beth Doran said participants may choose to attend one or both sessions.

While cold stress cannot be completely eliminated for cattle housed in typical outdoor facilities in the Midwest, a new publication from Iowa Beef Center describes management practices to reduce the impact of cold stress on your herd. Iowa State University extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell is one of the authors and said being prepared and knowing how to deal with extreme cold situations is vital.

Colostrum, or first milk, is extremely important for newborn calves. Ingestion of colostrum imparts passive immunity which is necessary to protect calves from infectious disease. This is particularly important in cattle because bovine antibodies are not readily transferred across the placenta, which means that calves are born almost completely unprotected from environmental pathogens and infectious diseases. And Chris Clark, Iowa State University extension beef specialist, said these antibodies are just one in a long list of beneficial components colostrum provides.

Body condition scoring is an easy trait to record and is strongly correlated to cow productivity. But don’t overlook the value of body condition scoring your cattle multiple times throughout the year. Read more about a new four-page publication from Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University with the information you need to do that.



News Archives


Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine

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

April 2021

Play Ball!

April 1 is opening day for major league baseball. Whether you are a fan or not, the fact that it looks like MLB opening day is happening on schedule is a welcome sign of normality. Soon planters will be rolling and the 2021 spring calf crop will all be on the ground. Both are indications of a fresh start.

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.

April 2021

BMP’s for Small Grain Silages

Small grain annual forages are a valuable feed source for cattle, but harvest and storage practices directly impact feed value. The first step when harvesting an annual forage is to determine if the goal is to optimize quality or yield. As forages mature, yield and fiber increase while protein and digestibility decrease. Energy values of forages can decrease rapidly at a rate of 0.33-1% per day from the vegetative to reproductive stages.

Read the rest of this column.