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Friday, June 21,2013

Beef Talk

Cow down!

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
The same as having cardiac pads available in human environments, cattle operations should have quick access to a veterinarian for consultation and care in this situation. The two probable causes that came to mind were ketosis (sometimes confused with milk fever at calving) and hypomagnesaemia tetany (commonly called grass tetany or grass staggers).

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Friday, June 14,2013

Beef Talk

Cows need grass and grass needs cows

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
The unpruned plant probably will look long and scraggly with a few flowers on it. The pruned plant will look robust and full of new leaves and additional flowers. Good gardeners spend all summer snipping, pinching and pruning their selected plants to make them more vigorous, full and gorgeous.

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Friday, May 31,2013

Beef talk

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
The ranch discussion focuses on the occasional problems. Problems always will crop up, but when work, time off and sleep are balanced, people make better decisions. Those improved decisions make for fewer complications and better outcomes, so there is a better work environment.

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Friday, May 24,2013

Beef Talk

How do we get the next generation to raise beef?

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
The flashback put me in the seat of an International 806 tractor with no cab, pulling a John Deere combine with a long-forgotten model number. The field was an average field of barley with the windrows running west to east. A strong wind was blowing from the west and the day was a typical hot, late-afternoon harvest day.

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Friday, May 17,2013

Beef Talk

To pass, 60 percent must calve in 21 days

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
As the calving season winds down, check the calving book. Count the number of cows that calved within 21 days from when the third mature cow calved. After that, check the number that calved the next 21 days and the next 21 days. Keep counting until you get to the end of the calving book.

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Friday, May 10,2013

Beef Talk

Keep an eye on the bulls because they don't get a day off

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Missed breeding opportunities are expensive because the next opportunity only comes around again in three weeks. Bulls need to have structural soundness and physical stamina to breed and conceive calves on a daily basis throughout the breeding season. No excuses need be made for questionable bulls.

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Friday, May 3,2013

Beef Talk

If baby rabbits can survive snow, so can calves

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
The contrast was stark, but there was a beautiful point. Life survives. In the world of beef production, baby calves need to survive inclement weather with minimal intervention. The desire to survive, seek that first drink and dry place to bed down, and to bond quickly with mother are desires that come from genes that kick in at birth.

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Friday, April 26,2013

Beef Talk

Where are the elders?

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
We know that calf death will occur. However, that does not mean we accept the death of a calf. Instead, we see it as a challenge to our management abilities. The recent cold spells and spring snows are a challenge for those who chose to have their cows calve early or, for all practical purposes, at the traditional calving time.

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Friday, April 12,2013

Beef Talk

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Regardless of current net returns, the goal of increasing net returns in the cattle operation is always commendable. For those who are struggling with negative net returns, the increase should move the cow/calf operation in a positive direction and provide enough additional dollars to remain in business.

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Friday, March 22,2013

Beef Talk

Expansion in the cow business

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
In anticipation of this spring’s summaries of agricultural enterprises provided by the North Dakota Farm Management Program (NDFM, at ndfarmmanagement.com), I have been reviewing previous numbers. Data also are available on the FINBIN website at finbin.

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