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January 2010 Archive for Livestock Today

RSS By: Sara Brown, Beef Today

The Livestock Today blog is your place to learn the latest production news for the livestock industry.

Day 1: Cattlemen’s College & Trade Show Opening

Jan 28, 2010
By Sara Brown

Wednesday was a busy day at the 2010 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio. Here are a few highlights:

Cattlemen's College:

Colin Woodall, NCBA Executive Director, Legislative Affairs, headlined an early session and talked about government issues that will be affecting cattlemen this year. More

Larry Redman, Texas AgriLife Extension specialist, says it’s the little things that count in cattle production—forage management and stocking rates. Producers need to get a soil test to determine the right about of fertilizer to apply, consider their forage base and how to best utilize native forages, and control weeds and brush. “A rule of thumb to remember: If you can see the hooves of the cattle, the forage is too short,” he says. Overstocking rates adversely affects forage productivity, animal performance, profitability of the operation and the environment. 

Jennifer Johnson and JD Radakovich, King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, discussed how cow size, and finding the right genetics for your operation is key to efficiency.

Troy Hadrick, Advocates for Ag, talked about blogging and using other social media to educate others about agriculture. 

Opening Session:  Key speaker Christopher Gardner gave convention attendees a chance to relax, and handed out signed copies of his book, Start Where You Are, Life Lessons in the Pursuit of Happiness.

 The trade show opened with great influx of new products and educational demonstrations.

Headed to San Antone

Jan 25, 2010

By Sara Brown

Are you headed to San Antonio for the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA tradeshow this week? Whether you’re headed for the Lone Star state, or your chores are keeping you home, visit for all the news and coverage from the show.  

Kim Watson-Potts, Steve Cornett and myself will bring the association news, education from Cattlemen’s College and the latest new products and cattle research to you. Watch our blogs for daily recaps. If you are on Facebook, we invite you to ”become a fan” and keep up with the latest happenings. Check it out at You can also follow us on Twitter at
If you are going to the show, please stop by our booth, 3005, in the tradeshow. We want to know more about our readers! Let us know what kind of stories you like to read in the magazine and online. 

See ya’ll in Texas!

This column is part of the Beef Today Cattle Drive e-newsletter, which is delivered to subscribers biweekly and includes beef industry analysis, market information as well as the latest beef headline news. Click here to subscribe.


Urgent Need in Iowa for Livestock Generators

Jan 22, 2010
The Iowa Cattlemen's Association has been contacted by the Iowa governor’s office regarding the immediate need for generators in the West Central Iowa area that has been so severely hit by recent ice storms.  Livestock operations may be without power for several additional days and the availability of generators is critically short of meeting the need.  In particular, anyone having a PTO-powered 40,000 to 50,000 watt generator that they could loan, rent or sell to someone in need would be of great assistance.  If you can help in a timely manner, please email or call Jamie Haberl of Safeguard Iowa Partnership at or 515-246-1707. 

Special Considerations for Silage Testing

Jan 09, 2010
By Sara Brown
If you’ve read this month’s Beef Today feature story "Manage Your Forage Dollars Wisely", you know how important it is to know exactly what you are feeding your beef cows.
At our farm, we are feeding our spring calving cows a corn silage and hay ration. Silage tests have an unique value that beef producers should understand—MILK2000. This is an index method that evaluates corn silage based on dry matter and energy content. The energy calculation is based on the amount and estimated digestibility of the crude protein, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), starch and non-starch components, and fat content of the corn silage sample. The NDF digestibility is estimated from an invitro measurement rather than a calculated lignin estimate.
MILK2000 is a good way to compare different corn silages because it includes two important factors—silage yield and nutrient availability.
Silage sampling. Silage nutrient content can vary widely from the top of the silo or pile to the bottom. If you are testing silage, it’s important to get a balanced sample, especially if you are also feeding hay or mineral.
To get as accurate a sample as possible, the best method for sampling corn silage from a bunker or pile is to use a face shaver. Cut into the face about 4” in three locations across the face. The shaved forage should then be mixed in the mixer wagon and then four to six handfuls of silage collected into a bucket, mixed and then take a final sample for analysis.
Do you have questions about your forage ration? E-mail Beef Today editors your questions and future story ideas.We'd love to hear from you!
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