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Regional Roundup

The Regional Roundup is production advice to help meet challenges found in specific areas of the United States. Regions include Midwest/North, Southeast, Southern Plains and West.

LATEST

The grazing season is in full swing and dry conditions persist on some Western ranches. Every dry period results in a different set of circumstances, so a variety of resource (forage, cattle and capital) management options should be considered.

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As I look at the current drought monitor map for the week ending May 15, 2018, and compare it to the map for the week ending Feb. 13, 2018, the changes are mixed. Fewer total acres of Oklahoma and Texas are in the drought or abnormally dry categories.

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Anyone who has ever owned cattle has asked the question, “Why aren’t my cows getting bred?” Undetected diseases plague us and keep us guessing. We must always be vigilant to prevent diseases such as trich, bovine viral diarrhea and lepto from entering the herd. Still, the most impactful disease is probably the most treatable and preventable.

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While grass was slow to come this spring, it is likely forage quality will rapidly change this summer. As a general rule of thumb, energy values (total digestible nutrients) of forages (pasture included) can decrease rapidly at a rate of 0.33 to 1 percent per day from vegetative to mature stage.

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As we head into the summer, dry conditions in most of the West may force producers to evaluate alternative management strategies. Open cows or potential replacement heifers are costly, especially when feed resources are limited.

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Loose mineral supplements and molasses tubs or blocks are sometimes used to provide feed additives like fly control products, ionophores, antibiotics, bloat management drugs and others.

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