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Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University

Livestock Industry Opinions
Jul 7, 2009
The first set of cows averaged just more than 1,400 pounds at spring turnout on crested wheatgrass. They are part of a study involving cropping rotations and range systems harvested by grazing cow/calf pairs and early weaned calves. The second set of cows averaged 1,060 pounds when turned on crested wheatgrass this spring.
Livestock Industry Opinions
May 15, 2009
North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association (NDBCIA) members have recorded an average daily gain of 2.52 pounds for calves on summer pasture. This means the 70,000 calves measured through NDBCIAs Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (CHAPS) program cumulatively gain on a daily basis 176,400 pounds, 1,764 hundredweight, or roughly 88 tons.
Livestock Industry Opinions
Apr 17, 2009
The other day was difficult. The discussion centered on the horse industry as the Dickinson Research Extension Center was reviewing program costs. As the horse program was discussed, the updated costs were noted. Based on a five-year average, the annual cost (direct and overhead expenses) for maintaining a producing mare and nursing foal was $764.
Mar 6, 2009
There was a pleasant view as I went to the auction barn the other day. The semitrailer truck was sitting in the parking lot with a load of alfalfa hay. Under many situations, no one would really notice, but the long, drawn-out winter has many producers checking their hay inventory as frequently as the weather forecast.
Feb 13, 2009
A troubling event occurred this past week at an auction barn. There was a feeling of ?not wanting,? but also a feeling of ?that is the way it is.? The auction barn is known as a social center and a place to sell cattle. People share stories and experiences that go along with an industry that is speckled with considerable individualism.
Livestock Industry Opinions
Jan 23, 2009
Last week, the report card on bull S48 was to keep him for the 2009 breeding season. This periodic review is used on all bulls at the time of purchase and periodically throughout a bulls life. The first evaluation of older bulls is for soundness, because putting resources into a bull that has limited breeding capacity is impractical.
Jan 16, 2009
The coffee chat is filled with many opinions about how to buy bulls. The art of buying a bull requires an open mind, homework, and a vision for the future of a producer?s cowherd. For example, we turn to the nutritionists if we want to get a better understanding on how cattle can utilize peas in rations.
Livestock Industry Opinions
Dec 30, 2008
The report from the human side of the chute was not very good. We had 32 open heifers that were pastured together and exposed to one bull. The bull had passed the breeding soundness exam. He was at least interested in the heifers at the time of turnout. Once we had the news, the bull was brought in for a recheck.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Sep 5, 2008
Wintering cattle requires feed. The current tight inventories of feed suggest that cow culling should be deep. Yet, once the culling is done but the bales still don’t add up, the time is right to contact a good beef cattle nutritionist. The nutritionist can help develop a "least cost" ration. When developing the least-cost ration, feedstuffs may need to be purchased. One needs to be careful and review all options. Through the years, most of us have witnessed the detrimental effects of underfeeding or the results of overfeeding. The important point is that the nutrient value of feed is what
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Aug 29, 2008
Pregnancy check now for better management Trucks have been bringing in hay at $5 a loaded mile, so the hay yard is filling up slowly and expensively. The gates and locks have been spruced up. This year, hay values are pricey. As a result, most ranchers are standing at a fork in the road. Do they buy hay or sell cows? Producers need to review all of the options. The preferred alternative is trying to meet the nutritional needs of the cowherd with hay. Hay prices definitely are forcing the review of other feed options. Purchasing feed based on a dollar cost per pound
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Aug 22, 2008
Now that hurts! The hay yard is empty for many producers and the traditional June hay was scarce or nonexistent. As the staple for cattle, the amount of hay one wanted to make has been replaced with the amount of hay needed to sustain the herd. Early indications suggest an upward shift in prices. Last year’s hay was abundant and visible from the road, at least in the case of the Dickinson Research Extension Center. A quick check of the records confirmed that the center purchased 318 tons of hay at an average price of $61.65 per ton. That will change this year. The


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