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Friday, September 26,2014

Beef Talk

Cow herd expansion needs land

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
That is a difficult question producers must answer. Just how many more is not an easy number to grasp because most beef operations actually try to keep their carrying capacity or stocking rates stable. Stocking rate, or the cow/calf pairs that inhabit the ranch, are set based on the carrying capacity of the particular type of land.

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Friday, September 19,2014

Beef Talk

Have some bulls to cull?

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
For many, the bulls are left on pasture and rounded up with the cows and calves as fall progresses. Throughout the summer, various bulls are moved around or brought home. In some cases, they are injured. In other cases, they simply won’t stay in the pasture.

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Friday, September 5,2014

Beef Talk

Wet and dry; there is no constant

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Instead of sustainability, what we really may need is an organized response to everpresent change. As cattle producers, how we respond to the environment is key to our survival. The world is covered with water and plants. How we use the plants depends on how consumers look at their plates.

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Friday, August 8,2014

Beef Talk

May I borrow your land?

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Perhaps the word “aggressive” is too harsh, but there certainly is an interesting relationship that is created when the person who owns or leases the surface of the land meets the person who owns the other side of the coin, which is known as subsurface or mineral rights.

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Friday, July 25,2014

Beef Talk

Do the math: Income minus cost equals net return

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
For those who do math, what is $713 minus $537? The answer is $176. Good numbers, especially for the cow/calf producer because the $713 indicates the amount of cash that cows have been able to generate after adjusting for replacements. The $537 indicates the recent costs to keep a cow for the year.

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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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