Angus — The Business Breed

Sign up!

Quick links:

Share the EXTRA

Connect with
our community:

Follow us on twitterJoin us on Twitter

Bookmark and Share


Control Cheatgrass with Grazing

Grazing helps control invasive grass species.

Cheatgrass has become the dominant vegetation in millions of acres in the West.

“There are indications, with the research we’ve done in conjunction with University of Nevada–Reno, that grazing can help,” says Mark Weltz at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit in Reno, Nev. “One tactic is late-season grazing to clean up the old plants and reduce carry-over fuel.”
Read more.

Bermuda Grass 101

Choosing the right variety starts with personal preference and geographic region.

Not all Bermuda grasses are created equal, and varieties are often confused as their own separate species, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Vanessa Corriher-Olson, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton, Texas, said she receives numerous calls each year regarding Bermuda grasses by producers who are confused about warm-season grass species and looking for the right fit for their location.

Bermuda grass is a warm-season perennial grass that spreads mainly via underground stems, or rhizomes, and horizontal aboveground stems, or stolons, she said. The grass tolerates a wide range of soil types and soil pH levels, making it adaptable to most of the southern United States.

“Most people think these Bermuda grass varieties are a species of their own, but they are not,” Corriher-Olson said. “They are hybrid varieties of Bermuda grass.” Read more.

Bio Cheatgrass Control

Control cheatgrass with a soon-to-be-available natural bioherbicide.

Many ranchers and rangeland managers are trying to find ways to halt the prolific spread of cheatgrass and medusahead, and reduce these invasive weeds in areas that are already dominated by them. A new weapon in this battle is a naturally occurring soil bacterium, ACK55, which suppresses and inhibits root growth of these unwanted invaders.

Ann Kennedy, recently retired soil scientist and soil microbiologist from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research Unit in Pullman, Wash., was instrumental in discovering these helpful bacteria in her research that began more than 30 years ago. Today her work is continued by Mark Weltz and others at the ARS Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit in Reno, Nev. This bacterial herbicide may soon be available on the market. Read more.

Justin Sexten

The growing requirements.

Beef cattle genetic power keeps moving up. Just look at the trend for pre- and postweaning growth potential across breeds. Look at the continued improvement in quality grade across the industry.

Some say that growth increase has come at the detriment of the cow herd, increasing feed and forage requirements beyond what the ranch can maintain. However, steer carcass weights peaked at 930 pounds (lb.) in fall 2015, not maintaining their historic 5-lb. annual increase as predicted. While carcass weights vary seasonally, they have declined annually since 2015 and are trending lower in 2018. Read more.

Kris Ringwall

Kris Ringwall

Beef Talk

How many cattle should go in the pasture?

Cattle are in the pasture, but how many should be there?

The answer to that question is the heart of a beef operation. Proper utilization of grass is critical.

Overutilization will impact the plant community negatively; underutilization impacts the plant community by not allowing for the proper stimulation of plant growth. The answer relates to what is the proper stocking rate for a given pasture. Read more.

Weaning Fall-born Calves

Don’t forget to plan for water needs of both cows and calves.

Many cow-calf operations with fall-born calves will wean the calves in mid- to late June. Weaning during very hot summer weather is stressful enough to the calves. Therefore any management strategy that can reduce stress to the calves should be utilized. Fenceline weaning is one such strategy.

California researchers weaned calves with only a fence separating them from their dams. These were compared to calves weaned totally separate from their dams. Calf behaviors were monitored for five days following weaning.

Fenceline calves and cows spent approximately 60% and 40% of their time, respectively, within 10 feet of the fence during the first two days. During the first three days, fenceline calves bawled and walked less, and ate and rested more, but these differences disappeared by the fourth day. Read more.

Angus Advisor

Click here for July herd management tips from cattle experts across the nation. Advice separated by region.

[Click here to go to the top of the page.]