Cattlemen’s Notebook

August 24, 2013 10:02 AM

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South Dakota

Keep an Eye Open for Thistles

Thistle infestations are developing rapidly in South Dakota pastures. Standard programs to control perennial sow thistle and Canada thistle include Tordon plus 2,4-D, Milestone or ForeFront. Stinger or Transline can be used for Canada thistle around trees. Herbicides can be applied from summer through September or early October while leaves are mostly green. Biennial thistles (musk, plumeless, bull and Scotch) control is most consistent when 2,4-D is applied at the rosette stage. For more information, visit www.BeefToday/South_Dakota.


Second-Cutting Hay Higher in Quality

Indiana’s second hay cutting is lower yielding but higher in nutritional value than the first, says Ron Lemenager, Purdue University Extension beef specialist. "We might be able to mix and match how we feed low-quality and higher quality forages from the first and second hay crops to meet the requirement of different stages of production in our cow herd," he says. Determine a feeding strategy by sampling 10% of the hay bales from the same harvest in the same field to determine nutritional value of each lot of hay. For more information, visit www.BeefToday/Indiana.


Pinkeye Follows Rainfall

Due to increased rainfall, more Georgia cattle are dealing with pinkeye. "When we have a lot of rain and grasses are growing really fast, cows stick their head down in the grass to eat, and the stems and leaves irritate the eye," says Jacob Segers, University of Georgia beef cattle specialist. Pinkeye can be treated with antibiotics from your veterinarian. Producers should also trim pastures, increase stocking rates to utilize high forage production and maintain healthy forage stands to reduce disease risk. For more information, visit www.BeefToday/Georgia.

New Mexico

New Maps Show Rangeland Management

USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) researchers have developed new "ecological state" maps to guide decisions about rangeland restoration. ARS scientist Brandon Bestelmeyer and others paired soils data and vegetation maps to generate scientific assessments of rangeland conditions across 6 million acres in southwestern New Mexico. The "ecological state" areas range in size from a few acres to 10,000 acres and will be used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Visit www.BeefToday/New_Mexico.


Winter Feeding Will Be Complicated

Winter feeding programs may be more complicated in 2013 than usual, say researchers at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. Thanks to low cow herd numbers and welcomed rains this summer, the Southern Great Plains is seeing excess forage. While there may be abundant quantity available, forage quality will vary. Analyze forage quality by testing 10% of the bales from each harvest. Read more at


FY 2014 Beef Board Budget Approved

Leaders of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) have submitted a budget of $40.7 million for fiscal 2014, a 5.6% decrease from the fiscal 2013 amended budget. More than $37.9 million is allocated to national checkoff work, and an additional $2.8 million will fund a CBB administration and USDA oversight budget. The 2014 budget recommendation still must be approved by the full Beef Board and USDA. Read more at

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