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Friday, July 18,2014

Beef Talk

The cow herd struggles to expand

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
For example, I picked up a pamphlet that had the 2013 net returns per acre for several crops in western North Dakota. Based on cash-rented land, there was a spring wheat net return of $55.65 per acre, $77.32 for winter wheat, $28.35 for corn as grain, $93.

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Friday, June 27,2014

Beef Talk

Not all bulls are herd bulls

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
At the Dickinson Research Extension Center, seven long, yearling bulls needed to leave. They were neutered and weighed in at 1,179 pounds after a summer on grass. Last fall, they were sent to the feedlot and weighed 1,636 pounds after 88 days on feed. They gained 5.

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Friday, June 13,2014

Beef Talk

Grass or grain fed?

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
At the same time, the news media was discussing the need for grass-fed beef. This probably was the source of the question and, if one ponders, one can see why future generations will get confused. As producers, the word beef conjures up images of cattle and associated production and marketing scenarios.

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Friday, June 6,2014

Beef Talk

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
As calving winds down and calves are settled with their mamas, the inevitable day will come when the calves need to get a round of vaccinations. It is much like the old days when the school made the announcement that the county nurse was coming along with a bag full of needles.

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Friday, May 30,2014

Beef Talk

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
One of my first farm visits as a new county Extension Service agent years ago was to visit a producer in distress because of several dead cows. The dead cows were dotted around the pasture and lying in abundant spring grass. Grass tetany was evident..

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Friday, May 16,2014

Beef Talk

Spring reflections and calf deaths

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
The yearling heifers also need to be processed, the replacements sorted off and the remaining heifers spayed and sent to grass. Replacements basically are preselected because the breed type is monitored and fit into the center’s crossbreeding program..

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Friday, May 9,2014

Beef Talk

Electronic bidding for bulls: The wave of the future

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Bulls that are needed are not always affordable, and sometimes scheduling conflicts get in the way. Interestingly, of the last four bulls the Dickinson Research Extension Center purchased, three were purchased through the process of electronic bidding.

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Friday, May 2,2014

Beef Talk

Grass turnout date is more than a desire

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
The cows seem content, and one may even notice a producer or two out and about checking the cows. Generally, there are strips of hay spread across the pasture or side of the hill to make sure the cows have adequate feed during this critical part of their life.

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Friday, April 25,2014

Beef Talk

Are 60 percent calving in first 21 days?

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Are you at 60 percent? As each operation reviews its herd calving history, a cow is expected to start cycling following birth and prior to the bull arriving in the pasture. Ideally, a cow should cycle within 80 days of calving and then settle with next year’s calf.

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Friday, April 18,2014

Beef Talk

A teachable moment

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
If the weather can impact calving, the phone will ring and people will want to know how calving is going. For years, I was able to detail the daily struggles and offer words of encouragement. Today, the conversation concerns the needs of others because the Dickinson Research Extension Center will not start calving until May 10.

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