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Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University

Opinion
May 13, 2016
The recent moisture and heat has the grass growing; these are happy notes but with a dark side. Fast-growing, lush grass may not have enough magnesium (Mg) within its rapidly growing stems and leaves to meet the daily requirement for Mg in the lactating cow.


Opinion
Apr 29, 2016
The historical North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association calving data summarized through the CHAPS (Cow Herd Appraisal Performance System) program sponsored by the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service indicate that 3.7 percent of the calves born do not make weaning.


Opinion
Apr 15, 2016
Bull docility often is mentioned as a critical talking point when bulls are bought, but it’s often simply accepted once they are unloaded at home. Never trust a bull! That is a story in itself, but the point today is the current bull inventory and the condition of the bulls.


Opinion
Apr 8, 2016
The traditional thought process embedded in generations of beef producers would not acknowledge the countercultural role. Cow/ calf production has been anchored by strong ties to the land, which change very slowly. Those who depend on the land approach life in the same way; “stability” would be a good word.


Opinion
Mar 28, 2016
In an effort to evaluate this change in management, a review was conducted comparing overall performance of the center’s herd for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011(mid-March calving) to the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 (mid-May calving).
Opinion
Feb 29, 2016
That being said, producers still have reasons to select bulls based on traits that are not readily available nor in the breed databases. Interestingly, no one ever bluntly denies the use of data, but one most certainly can sense a presence of denial at times.


Opinion
Feb 22, 2016
Every winter, I do enjoy visiting with producers regarding upcoming bull purchases and offer a workshop titled “Bull Buying by the Numbers” to help producers get a better understanding of what the numbers mean. Participation is geared to help individual producers streamline their bull-buying strategies to meet their individual goals and objectives.


Opinion
Feb 12, 2016
Two major improvements this year are ease of use and simplicity of use. Some repetition is involved, especially in going back to breeders one previously has purchased bulls from and the progeny performed up to expectation. The information available continues to gain depth and expands through the many breed databases.


Opinion
Jan 22, 2016
One fairly new addition to sire summaries is a selection index, available from several breed associations. The selection index allows a producer to select bulls based on multiple traits through a single expected progeny difference (EPD) value. The selection index EPD value can meet maternal cow/calf selection or terminal beef production objectives.


Opinion
Jan 8, 2016
Let’s change the cow size discussion to a bull size discussion. Generally, the cow herd genetics are changed through the purchase of bulls. On average, genes from an individual calf are as follows: Half come from the sire, one-fourth comes from the maternal grandsire and one-fourth comes from the maternal grand dam.

Opinion
Jan 4, 2016
So often, we simply add the words “net profit” and continue. But are not our lives greater than the coins in our pockets? As food producers, we are keepers of others, providers for those without. Like nature and the seasons, we need to ponder potential change within the world.


Opinion
Dec 18, 2015
This concept is an outcome from the question, “When should I calve?” For the past four years, the center has calved on grass. Initially, the May- and June-born calves at the center were weaned at the traditional early November dates, held in confinement pens for up to a month and then put back out on winter paddocks and supplemented.

Opinion
Nov 30, 2015
At the Dickinson Research Extension Center, cattle are worked quite frequently because we need to collect data for research projects. But, as the center has shifted from intensive cattle production to extensive cattle production, certain managerial questions arise.