52 publications were found
2023 Georgia Ag Forecast Series: 2023 Beef Cattle Outlook
1. Severe drought elevated cow slaughter in 2022. With fewer cows to slaughter in 2023, cattle prices are expected to increase. 2. China could become the largest export destination for U.S. beef in 2023. 3. As per capita beef consumption grows, there also will be a growing interest in plant-based alternatives.
Acorn Toxicosis in Beef Cattle
Autumn and winter are busy seasons for beef cattle producers, and many times grazing and cattle management are not as tightly regulated as in other times of the year. Many Southeastern cattle operations include pastureland that encompasses or borders oak timbers; most North American oak trees are considered toxic. Therefore, when cattle venture into timber land in search of grazing, there is an in…
Beef Cattle Showmanship: Tips for Showring Success
The way exhibitors present cattle has changed tremendously in a century. Youth beef shows often have showmanship divisions that are very competitive. Being a showmanship division winner is a great achievement and worthy goal. New exhibitors should study and practice these basic skills for the best chance at success.
Beef Management Calendar
This calendar contains a monthly listing of the common management practices needed for commercial beef herd production in Georgia. Some are recommended at a certain time of the year and others are recommended when calves are a certain age or at a certain point in their reproductive cycle.
Body Condition Scoring Beef Cows
Body condition scoring (BCS) is an easy and economical way to evaluate the body fat percentage of a cow. Cows can then be sorted and fed according to nutritional needs. Body condition scoring can be an effective tool for cattle producers who cannot weigh cattle, and it may be an even better measurement of cow condition and reproductive performance than weight. Most studies show that body condition…
Bull Buyer's Guide
Bull procurement decisions can greatly impact your future calf crops and herd genetics for many years. Selecting and buying a herd bull is the quickest way to make genetic improvement in your herd. The selection process must include looking for those traits that are economically important and highly heritable. Demand and buy bulls with total performance that will improve your herd. This publicatio…
Calf Health Basics
Calf health is a key variable for calf growth and performance. Producers should not expect to know all calf health issues, causes, and the most successful treatments. Instead, a producer's main goal should be to accurately identify and differentiate normal from abnormal in a calf's physical state and behavior. The topics discussed in this publications are intended to help producers notice key area…
Commodity Options as Price Insurance for Cattlemen
One of the greatest risks cattle producers face is price risk. Price changes can come in the form of declining cattle prices for sellers, increasing cattle prices for buyers or increasing feed prices for feed users. Because of this risk, producers might want to “insure” feeder cattle, fed cattle or feed against unfavorable price movements, while still being able to take advantage of favorable pric…
Common Terms Used in Animal Feeding and Nutrition
The purpose of this publication is to serve as an educational
reference and resource to those who are interested
in animal feeding and nutrition. Our primary objective
is to list the common terms used when discussing animal feeding. This listing will also be helpful when reading articles on animal feeding and nutrition, feed analysis reports or tags associated with feeds sold in the market.
Considerations for Using By-Product Feeds
By-product feeds come from a variety of sources, including grain processing, production of human foods and beverages, and manufacturing of fiber products. Although many of these feeds have been used for years, others are relatively new. Research has been conducted on most by-product feeds and the guidelines for their use are well documented; however, limited information is available on the feeding…
Creep Feeding Beef Calves
Creep feeding is the practice of providing supplemental feed (grain or forage) to nursing calves. This is usually done with the use of a creep gate, which is large enough for calves to enter the feeding area but too small to allow cows to pass. Creep feeding systems vary from grain-based energy supplements to limit-fed protein supplements to creep grazing. Each system generally produces increased …
Cutting Costs, Not Corners: Managing Cattle in Tough Times
Cutting costs allows producers to survive during trying times and also teaches valuable lessons that may actually increase profits in future years. Cutting corners, on the other hand, may save some money in the short-run but ultimately will have very detrimental effects.
Dealing with Pasture, Hay, Feed, and Livestock Losses After Significant Weather Events
As a result of significant weather events, many producers in Georgia may experience losses of pasture growth, hay stocks, feed supplies, and livestock. After such events occur, farmers will be assessing damage to fields, stock, and property for many days, weeks, months. This publication is intended to provide recommendations to farmers that have experienced adverse affects due to significant weath…
Drought Management Strategies for Beef Cattle
Drought conditions are a yearly occurrence in Georgia and have been prolonged in several areas over the past several years. These conditions can have severe impacts on cattle, and every cattleman should have a plan in place to minimize the effects of drought on the farm's finances. This publication describes several management strategies for producers to consider during drought conditions.
Drought-Related Cattle Feeding Problems
Drought does not develop overnight but progressively over time. Proper management during a drought period can make or break a producer's ability to stay in the cattle business. One main concern during a drought period is feeding and nutrition of the cow herd. Several problems could arise due to drought conditions. A good producer should stay alert for warning signs and avoid potentially damaging s…
Estrous Synchronization for Beef Cattle
Estrous (heat) synchronization in beef cattle involves manipulating the females' estrous cycle so they can be bred at about the same time. The normal 21-day estrous cycle in beef cattle can be altered by following an effective estrous synchronization protocol. Numerous estrous synchronization protocols have been developed that use a combination of different drugs and products to alter hormonal cha…
Estrus Synchronization Programs for Natural Service
Cattle producers commonly evaluate reproductive performance by determining how many cows became pregnant during the breeding season. Although pregnancy rates are important, when the females become pregnant within the breeding season is a major component of cow-calf profitability. Cows that become pregnant early in the breeding season calve earlier in the calving season. Consequently, they have mor…
Factors Affecting Calving Difficulty
Calving difficulty, otherwise known as dystocia, may result in reduced calf performance, delayed estrus and, in some cases, loss of the calf and/or dam. This publication discusses several factors affecting calving difficulty and provides management suggestions that may be useful to prevent its occurrence.
Feeder Calf Grading Fundamentals
Feeder cattle buyers, marketers, and producers are able to communicate the potential growth and carcass merit potential of individual and grouped calves using the USDA Feeder Cattle Grading Standards. Producers that are aware of these standards and their use in predicting carcass value are better suited to making breeding and management decisions to improve the value of future calf crops.
Feeding Sprouted Wheat to Cattle
Sprouted grains are usually considered unsuitable for milling or distilling; however, they can serve as an excellent source of nutrients for cattle.
Wheat, which is commonly used for human consumption, is usually priced higher than other feedstuffs and is typically not utilized for livestock consumption. Sprouted wheat, however, is discounted heavily at the mill and may be economically feasible to…
Forage Systems for Stocker Cattle
This publication provides a guide to the various forage systems that could be used for stocker development and provides guidelines for managing grazing or hay harvests for optimum forage yield and quality.
Forage Use and Grazing Herd Management During a Drought
This brief management guideline provides producers with specific management tactics that may minimize the potential for short- and long-term problems. These tactics, categorized in order of early, advanced, and severe drought stages, are based on specific characteristics including water loss, forage growth, and rainfall.
Freeze Branding Cattle
To improve efficiency, cattle producers should place a high priority on identifying individual cattle and maintaining accurate records. One type of permanent identification is branding.
Genomic Testing in Beef Cattle: How Does it Work?
Genomic testing is not a new idea in the eyes of science, but its application in today's beef industry is still met with some confusion. The purpose of this publication is to explain to county agents and producers how genomic testing works, how to use the results, and why this technology is valuable to cattlemen. This bulletin covers a simple history of genetic technology; parentage testing and si…
Halter Training Beef Cattle
If you or someone you know is planning to halter train beef cattle, remember that the calf must be coached—it will not instinctively know what to do. Good coaching equals better results. This circular focuses on how to be a good coach during the halter training process for beef cattle.
Herd Bull Management: Pre-Breeding Period
The pre-breeding period (2 months prior to breeding) is essential for preparing bulls for a successful breeding season. This is particularly important for yearling bulls as they are still growing and will use for energy during their first breeding season. Pre-breeding management should include an adaptation period, breeding soundness exam, health care, exercise, and an evaluation of body condition…
How to Improve Your Percent Calf Crop
The number of calves sold is a major source of income from a cow/calf operation. A high percent calf crop increases profit. Reproductive efficiency is the first factor to consider in a breeding program. A beef cow must conceive in the first 40 to 60 days of the breeding season, have a live calf unassisted, breed back to calve every 12 months, and raise a calf that is heavy enough to be profitable.…
Impact of Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) on Reproduction in Cattle
Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), commonly referred to as “Rednose,” is a disease resulting from bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1). The detriment of the disease, as well as the positive benefits vaccination can have on a reproductive program, needs to be on the forefront of a producer's herd health program.
Implanting Beef Cattle
Implanting nursing calves with a growth stimulant is one of the most economically justifiable practices available in the beef industry. Implants have been shown to increase weaning weights of nursing calves in hundreds of research trials. Stocker and feedlot calves exhibit even greater responses than nursing calves. Implanting returns more revenue per dollar invested than any other management prac…
Improving Artificial Insemination Techniques
Using incorrect A.I. techniques can lower the overall success rate of the A.I. breeding program. Most producers learned correct semen handling techniques and insemination procedures at one time; unfortunately, many have developed bad habits that have lowered their success rates. This publication reviews proper procedures that should help eliminate some of those common mistakes.
Maintaining a Clean Water Trough for Cattle
Clean water for cattle is important for animal health and production and water delivery systems require routine maintenance and monitoring.
Measuring the Dry Matter Content of Feeds
Adjust rations for the dry matter (DM) content of each feed, especially when wet feeds, such as silage, are fed. Small changes in the DM content will change the nutrient profile of the ration. The potential results of not monitoring the DM content of wet feeds and adjusting rations accordingly are a combination of problems including decreased animal performance and feed efficiency and increased he…
Mineral Supplements for Beef Cattle
Beef cattle require a number of minerals for optimal growth and reproduction. Selecting the correct mineral supplement is important for maintaining healthy animals, and optimal growth and reproduction.
Nutritional and Metabolic Disorders of Southeastern Beef Cattle
In the Southeastern U.S., beef cattle producers focus on forage management and maximizing the grazing season. To that end, Southeastern cattle spend the vast majority of their lives either grazing or consuming stored forage. Cereal grains and coproduct feeds are also commonly used nutritional supplements for cattle in times of elevated nutrient requirement. Any disease or disorder in the beef herd…
Profitable Cattle Marketing for the Cow-Calf Producer
Profitable cattle marketing means producing the most profitable calf, selling through the most profitable market outlet and pricing at the most profitable time. Unfortunately, most cow-calf producers simply sell their calves. Marketing means choices on how or what to put on the market, where to market and when to price. The first step in becoming a cattle marketer is to recognize all your alternat…
Reproductive Management of Commercial Beef Cows
Reproductive efficiency has long been recognized as the most important aspect of commercial beef production. This publication explains how improved herd management and selection for reproductive performance can substantially increase the percent calf crop.
Selecting a Beef Breed
New cattle producers frequently ask, “Which breed should I choose?” This question brings cold chills to many knowledgeable cattle producers and excitement to just as many enthusiastic breeders. The diversity of resources and management capabilities of any operation makes this question difficult to answer.
Setting Goals to Improve Breeding Strategies
Problem identification is the first step in establishing objectives and goals to improve reproductive management in a dairy herd. Management is determining what must be done and achieving results through the efforts of yourself and your employees. Use the following worksheet to evaluate herd reproductive performance and set goals to improve your breeding strategies. Then develop a tactical plan to…
Small Farm Nutrient Management Primer: For Un-permitted Animal Feeding Operations
Producers need to be aware of the impacts that manure can have on water and air quality. However, management of manure and other byproducts of livestock and poultry production has important impacts on farm profitability, neighbor relations and protecting soil and water quality.
This publication covers: Farm and Homestead Maps; Manure Storage and Treatment; Nutrient Budgeting with Nitrogen and Pho…
Solving Postpartum Breeding Problems
Early identification and diagnosis of reproductive problems through a herd health program are an essential part of successful dairy management. A cow must be pregnant by 85 days postpartum to achieve a 12-month calving interval. This is the backbone of sound reproductive management in an economical dairy business. Many factors during the dry period, parturition and early lactation can lower reprod…
Strategically Using Pregnancy Diagnosis to Identify Nonpregnant Cows
Pregnancy diagnosis is an important part of reproductive management in productive beef cow-calf operations. Open cows decrease profitability as they utilize similar resources as pregnant cows without producing a marketable calf to justify these costs. With the move toward more efficient operations and inclusion of artificial insemination (AI) and other reproductive technologies in cattle productio…
Tattoo Application in Beef Cattle
Livestock shows and purebred sales often require an ear tattoo as a form of permanent identification. If the rules of your next event require a tattoo, it is imperative for it to be accurate and easily read. Mistakes or improper application of tattoos can be very frustrating situations for everyone involved. Illegible, infected or incorrect digits are unfortunately common. Following a few key step…
UGA Basic Balancer
The UGA Basic Balancer is a spreadsheet-based decision aid to formulate basic rations for beef cattle operations. The nutrient requirements used in this program are adapted from guidelines presented in the 2000 National Research Council publication “Nutrient Requirement of Beef Cattle: Seventh Revised Edition: Update 2000." The UGA Basic Balancer program consists of a feed library, least cost feed…
Understanding and Using Cattle Basis in Managing Price Risk
Understanding the concept of basis is a key element in developing a sound marketing plan. Basis refers to the relationship between a commodity’s cash price in a local market and its futures market price. A more formal definition of basis is the difference between the cash price and the futures price for the time, place and quality where delivery actually occurs. Even if a producer never uses the c…
Understanding Beef Carcass Reports
Many retained ownership programs offer producers the opportunity to receive a level of data from the feed-yard and packing plant that is rarely available after those animals leave the farm. Producers can use this information to make genetic changes in their herd to better the marketability of their calves. However, before this information can be utilized, producers must understand what these terms…
Using Cotton Byproducts in Beef Cattle Diets
Cotton byproducts offer a variety of feed ingredients that can lower the cost of beef cattle production. Cottonseed meal and whole cottonseed can be used in rations for any class of cattle. Gin trash and cottonseed hulls are low-energy feedstuffs that are used as a roughage source in high energy diets or as a partial energy replacement in mature cow diets. Cotton stalk residue can maintain a dry p…
Using Distillers Grains in Beef Cattle Diets
With the growth of the ethanol industry in recent history, the availability of distillers grains, a byproduct of ethanol production, has increased. Distillers grains can serve as an excellent source of nutrients for beef cattle. However, several considerations must be taken into consideration before utilizing this resource. These include economics, nutrient content and potentially deleterious effe…
Using Futures Markets to Manage Price Risk in Feeder Cattle Operations
In today’s farming environment of extreme price volatility and large debt commitments, most livestock producers need the security of one or more of the advantages offered by price risk management. Livestock producers who are selling products or purchasing inputs can do one of two things when making pricing decisions: accept the market price when they are ready to deliver products or purchase input…
Using Live Animal Carcass Ultrasound in Beef Cattle
One tool that aids producers in the efficient and profitable production of beef cattle is live animal carcass ultrasound. The use of carcass ultrasound is an economical way cattlemen can make genetic improvements in carcass traits, which will, in turn, put profits in their pockets.
Vaccine Handling: Producer Tips for Chuteside Success
Vaccines are an integral part of a comprehensive herd health program. When used in conjunction with other management tools, vaccines can reduce both the risk and impact of disease in beef cattle herds. Nevertheless, when used inappropriately, vaccines can be virtually useless and, in some cases, result in impaired productivity and significant economic losses.
Water Requirements and Quality Issues for Cattle
Water is the most important nutrient for cattle. It accounts for 50 to 80 percent of an animal's weight and is involved in every physiological process. Cattle cannot adapt to water restriction and feed intake greatly decreases if water is restricted. Water availability and quality can become a major issue during a drought. It is important to check water sources frequently for water availability an…
What's the “Beef” with Methane Emission and Cattle Production?
In recent years, global climate change has been one of the most frequently discussed scientific ideas in the popular press. Terms like “global warming” and “greenhouse gas” have been politicized with little discussion of what they really mean, shedding more heat than light on scientific discussions of changing climate. Concerns about the relative contributions of greenhouse gases from different in…