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Friday, February 13,2015

Beef Talk

Feel good by feeding some alfalfa

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Alfalfa is an excellent choice to feed as a supplement to beef cows that are later in their pregnancy. Seldom do we think of hay as being a supplement, but the right high quality forage, such as alfalfa, certainly can be fed as a supplement to the lower quality forages generally available for the main ration of a beef cow.

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Friday, February 6,2015

Beef Talk

Feed those cows the right amount of feed

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
However, the cows still need to be fed. In fact, a common mistake that is made as the weather warms is to reduce the feed a little bit. In reality, yes, that extra feed for body heat may not be needed, but every day that a cow gets closer to birth, the more demanding the pregnancy becomes.

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Friday, January 23,2015

Beef Talk

Buy wisely and spend thriftily

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Dollars are the common denominator. Why be in the beef business without a return to labor and management? With current demand for replacement cattle indicative of a positive industry stance to maintaining and expanding the beef business, now is a good time to ponder some fundamental costs of the business.

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Friday, January 16,2015

Beef Talk

After-the-party blues

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Beef fever, the 2014 attitude. Ever hosted one of those over-the-top parties? They seem to be enjoyable and many people attend.

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Friday, January 9,2015

Beef Talk

Revising the bull pen

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Each year, the Dickinson Research Extension Center reviews the bulls from the previous year to cut back on what bulls need to be overwintered.

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Monday, December 29,2014

Beef Talk

Step 1 for bull buying: Simmental example

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
At the center, values for the current bulls are entered into a simple spreadsheet to allow for easy tracking. The breeding inventory and registration numbers from this past breeding season included five bulls. Their year of birth and registration numbers are: 2013-born bulls, 2790504, 2790544, 2800373 and 2800393; and 2012-born bull, 2669482.

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Friday, December 19,2014

Beef Talk

Step 1 for bull buying: Red Angus example

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
For example, using the center’s Red Angus bulls, the breeding inventory from this past breeding season included five bulls. Their year of birth and registration numbers are: 2013-born bulls, 1617778 and 1617805; 2011-born bulls 1473021 and 1473096; and 2010-born bull 1393949.

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Friday, December 12,2014

Beef Talk

Prepping for the bull-buying season

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
I am going to say this three times: A producer does not need to know all the mathematics, justifications or scientific “who done it” aspects of breed association expected progeny differences (EPDs). These EPDs are available to all purebred and commercial producers, so use them.

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Friday, November 14,2014

Beef Talk

Cull deep enough to find those freeloaders

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Even though cow numbers are down, keeping cows that are not likely to produce a worthy calf next year is fruitless. Culling really is a process of drawing a line in the sand, and those cows that cannot cross the line are sent to market. At the Dickinson Research Extension Center, the line is a combination of managerial chute-side judgments and data.

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Friday, October 24,2014

Beef Talk

When a cow is determined to be market beef, sell her

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Current discussions focus on increasing cow numbers, but it may be ill-advised to change cow culling schemes. When a cow is determined to be market beef, sell her.

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