Causes of fires in baled hay or straw

CE-MR-2-HAY-FIRES1Hay fires are more common than straw fires, for reasons involving the type of forage, the moisture content in the stored forage, and heat production. After forages are cut, respiration of plant fibers (burning of plant sugars to produce energy) continues in plant cells, causing the release of a small amount of heat. When the forages are cut, field dried and baled at the recommended moisture level (20-percent or less), plant cell respiration slows and eventually ends. [Read more…]

‘Hereford Nation’ breaks records

The Hereford Nation took Grand Island, NE, by storm as it hosted the record-setting 2015 VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE). During the event June 27-July 3, more than 800 youth from 38 states exhibited a record-number 1,441 entries. [Read more…]

The cow goes where its nose goes: Part One

CEW-BF-MR-2-The-cow-goes37931by Sally Colby

Part 1: cattle handling basics

If there’s one thing to understand about handling beef cattle, it’s that they can only think about one thing at a time.

“Cows don’t multi-task,” said Dr. Ronald Gill, professor and extension livestock specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension. “They’re in the moment.”

With that in mind, the goal of those who are handling cattle should understand and work with cattle instinct, use body positions to influence cattle movement, and be ready to respond to both individual and group responses by cattle. [Read more…]

Cattlemen prepare for antibiotic regulations changes


Changes in regulations regarding antibiotic use in livestock are happening. In January 2017, limitations on the use of medically important antibiotics — which will be permitted only for necessary therapeutic use — as well as in how the antibiotics are accessed for use, will become fully implemented. [Read more…]

Handling manure can be risky business

CM-MR-3-Manure-gasses16061by Sally Colby

Manure and the potentially dangerous gasses from manure storage and agitation are one of the inevitable aspects of livestock farming. The combination of working in confined space and a farmer who needs to keep moving can be lethal.

Rob Meinen, Penn State extension in the ag safety program, describes confined space as ‘large enough to enter but with limited or restricted means of entry and exit, and not designed for normal, continual occupancy by a worker.’ [Read more…]