In descending order, by date published.
Beef cattle have defined requirements for vitamins. In some instances, vitamin supplementation may be necessary to avoid deficiencies. Vitamins are classified into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins include the B vitamins, such as riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin, as well as vitamin C. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Supplementation for beef cattle generally focuses on vitamins A and E. This is because the rumen microbes synthesize the water-soluble vitamins and vitamin K in sufficient quantities to avoid deficiencies. Vitamin D requirements can often be met by exposure to the sun and would therefore only be of concern for cattle in confinement housing.
Among the variety of supplementation options currently available for beef cattle operations, a mineral can be one of the most challenging to select. Mineral tags contain important information regarding the contents of a mineral supplement and are regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Understanding the information on a mineral tag will aid in the comparison of multiple products and help to ensure the selected mineral product will meet the needs of specific animals.
Various factors such as delayed planting, early frost, drought or suppressed market prices may lead one to consider feeding soybeans to cattle. Soybeans can be fed to beef cattle as an energy and protein source. Depending upon the stage of development, soybeans will have varying degrees of feed value and a feed test for nutrient content is recommended.
3/23/2021 (major revision)
Authors: Les Anderson, Michelle Arnold, Darrh Bullock, Kenny Burdine, Roy Burris, Ben Crites, Jimmy Henning, Steve Higgins, Steve Isaacs, Kevin Laurent, Jeff Lehmkuhler, Lee Moser, Gregg Rentfrow, Kylie Schmidt, Ray Smith, Chris Teutsch, Lee Townsend, Katherine VanValin, Paul Vijayakumar
Kentucky is ideally suited for cattle production. The main feed for cattle is a renewable resource Kentucky has in abundance--forages. The majority of the state's terrain favors cattle production over row crops. Kentucky farms cover 14 million acres, with approximately half of that occupied by forage grasses and legumes. Our natural resources and climate permit the growth of most cool-season and warm-season species. Water is readily available in all areas of the state, and we have a relatively long growing season.
Departments: Agricultural Economics, Animal and Food Sciences, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Entomology, Plant and Soil Sciences, Veterinary Science
Series: Interdepartmental (ID series)
Size: 4.50 mb
Kentucky is in the upper transition zone which allows for the growth of warm- and cool-season forages. Corn, a warm season grass, grows well in the state and may be harvested for either grain or silage. Corn harvested as silage can be an economical alternative for beef cattle. Implementing sound management strategies and determining the nutrient content to balance rations will allow for successful feeding of corn silage to beef cattle.
Will pasture-finished beef eventually become a commodity with lowered product prices? These and other questions must be evaluated by those considering pasture-based beef finishing. As with any new enterprise, however, the learning curve is steep, and success requires a commitment to working through the many production, marketing, and processing details. This reference guide provides a foundation for this process.
Kentucky has several bourbon distilleries and one fuel ethanol plant. The spent grains from the production of ethanol is utilized as a protein source in livestock feed. Shutdowns for fuel ethanol plants may also occur as a result of unfavorable profit margins when crude oil prices are low. Most distilleries and fuel ethanol plants will have a scheduled maintenance shutdown each year. During a shutdown, availability of distillers grains and other coproducts from these plants may be limited or unavailable. So, the question is what else can I feed in place of distillers grains?
The growth of the bourbon industry has provided an increase in distillery byproduct feedstuffs that can be utilized by cattle as a source of energy and protein. Learning the nutritional characteristics of these feedstuffs will facilitate proper feeding, allowing for improved cattle performance.
Weaning is the process of separating suckling offspring from their dam. Weaning is a management procedure applied by the herd manager. Cattle are herd animals and their gregarious nature can lead to stress as a result of this separation. Managing the weaning process can aid in reducing stress for the animals and livestock managers.
Winter feeding of cattle is a necessary part of nearly all cow-calf operations. In winter months, livestock producers often confine animals to smaller "sacrifice" pastures to reduce the area damaged from winter feeding. A poorly chosen site for winter feeding can have significant negative impacts on soil and water quality. Such areas include locations in floodplains, such as those along creek bottoms or around barns near streams. These locations are convenient, flat areas for setting hay ring feeders; however, their negative effects on water quality outweigh the convenience.
A rotational grazing program can generally be defined as use of several pastures, one of which is grazed while the others are rested before being regrazed. Continuous grazing is the use of one pasture for the entire grazing season.
In the Southeastern United States, acute interstitial pneumonia has been produced by ingestion of the leaves and seeds of perilla mint (Perilla frutescens). Perilla ketone is the toxin absorbed from the rumen into the bloodstream and carried to the lungs where it damages the lung tissue in cattle.
Nutritional supplement blocks and tubs are convenient for beef producers, require no investment in feeding troughs and require a limited area for storing. One of the most attractive features is that they lower the labor needed to supplement livestock. Many producers use these products to provide supplemental nutrients to cattle consuming low-quality forages or as a mechanism to promote a more consistent intake of minerals. These products are also attractive to producers who have off-farm employment as they eliminate the need for daily feeding. Yet, they often come at a greater cost per unit of nutrient than more conventional feedstuffs. Since there are differences in the blocks and tubs being marketed today, familiarity with how to compare products and determine their differences will enable producers to decide which product best fits their needs.
Magnesium is a vital component of normal nerve conduction, muscle function, and bone mineral formation. Hypomagnesemic tetany or "grass tetany" is a disorder caused by an abnormally low blood concentration of the essential mineral magnesium (Mg). Synonyms for this disorder include spring tetany, grass staggers, wheat pasture poisoning, or lactation tetany.
Although infrequent, brassica crops can cause animal health disorders if grazing is managed improperly. Most brassica-related disorders in cattle tend to occur during the first two weeks of grazing while adjusting to the forage. The primary potential disorders are polioencephalomalcia or PEM, hemolytic anemia (mainly with kale), nitrate poisoning, and pulmonary emphysema. Other possible clinical disorders include bloat and rumen acidosis, and metabolic problems such as hypomagnesemia and hypothyroidism with goiter. Glucosinates present in brassicas are precursors of irritants that can cause colic and diarrhea. Large bulbs may lodge in the esophagus and lead to choking. Certain brassicas (specifically rape) can cause sunburn or "scald" on light-skinned animals, especially when grazed while the plants are immature. Other potential problems include oxalate poisoning and off-flavoring of meat and milk.
Few plants normally contain high nitrate levels, since under normal growing conditions the nitrates are converted to protein as quickly as they are absorbed from the roots. However, under certain conditions plants can develop dangerously high nitrate levels which can cause nitrate intoxication. Death or abortion may result. Care must be taken to recognize possible toxic forages and manage them appropriately to avoid animal loss.
Authors: Glen Aiken, Les Anderson, Darrh Bullock, Roy Burris, Lowell Bush, J.R. Bussard, Andrew Foote, Ben Goff, David Harmon, V.B. Holder, Isabelle Kagan, Nicole Kenney, D.H. Kim, S.E. Kitts, Jim Klotz, Anne Koontz, Jeff Lehmkuhler, Kyle McLeod, Jim Strickland, Eric Vanzant, Bill Witt
The intent of this report is to provide highlights of our research and extension activities. We have a vested interest in the beef industry in the state and nation, and hope this report provides a window into our programs. We believe that after viewing this report, a greater appreciation will be garnered with respect to our involvement in the multiple fields of study related to beef production. The faculty, staff and student activities are advancing our understanding of basic science principles of livestock production as well as applied research that producers and the industry can benefit from immediately, as well as in the future. Extension educational programs, on-farm demonstrations, and other activities aid in transferring this knowledge to producers, allowing for increased awareness and adoption of management change.
Kentucky's cattle industry represents the largest beef cattle herd east of the Mississippi, ranking eighth in the nation for number of beef cows. This industry is extremely important to Kentucky's economy. This publication discusses site evaluation strategies, production area management techniques, and a variety of facility types for intensive cattle production that preserve natural resources and improve production.
Extended dry conditions have impacted the corn crop severely in many areas of the state this year. As the condition of the corn crop deteriorates, many have been forced to look at salvage options such as cutting corn for silage and possibly hay for some fields. Due to the extreme weather conditions this year, this publication will focus on valuing drought-stressed corn silage.
Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), also known as pinkeye, is a costly disease for the beef producer. Tremendous losses stem from poor weight gain and loss of appetite in affected animals suffering from visual impairment and ocular pain.
Feeding distillers grains derived from the production of spirits or ethanol for fuel is an acceptable practice for beef cattle production. The use of these products as both an energy and a protein supplement has been beneficial as the cereal grain prices have increased making these coproducts more cost competitive.
Authors: Les Anderson, Darrh Bullock, Roy Burris, Lowell Bush, Blair Knight, Kevin Laurent, Jeff Lehmkuhler, Jim Matthews, Kyle McLeod, Lori Porter, Jim Randolph, Gregg Rentfrow, Keith Schillo, Meg Steinman, Jim Strickland, Laurentia van Rensburg, Eric Vanzant
The 2010 Research and Extension Beef Report highlights advances in understanding of basic scientific principles of livestock production as well as applied research from which producers and the industry can benefit. Extension educational programs, on-farm demonstrations, and other activities help transfer this knowledge to producers so they can adopt of management changes as appropriate.
Ruminal tympany, or bloat, can result in lost animal performance and in severe cases, death. It occurs as a result of a buildup of fermentation gases in the rumen. Bloat may be categorized as frothy bloat, which is caused by the formation of a stable foam in the rumen, or free gas bloat, which is due to excessive production of gaseous compounds from fermentation or as a result of an obstruction preventing the escape of gas compounds. Legume bloat is a frothy bloat condition.
Utilization of growth-promoting implants in the beef cattle industry provides an opportunity for improving production efficiency. Within the animal, they promote protein synthesis, resulting in a 10 to 30% increase in growth along with a 5 to 10% improvement in feed efficiency.