round hay bale in field at sunset

Reducing livestock hay loss over winter

Feed costs tend to be one of the most costly parts of caring for livestock- whether for horses, cattle, sheep or goats.  One large component of feed cost is how much hay your critters are using (or wasting). A University of Minnesota study evaluated the use of nine different types of round bale feeders for […]

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beef cow and calf on dormant pasture

Shifting Calving Time

With the new year just upon us, it might seem a bit early to be thinking about calving if you are a beef farmer.  However, if you are an early calving farm starting the calving season in February, now may be the time to adjust your feeding schedule to get more of your calves born […]

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Winter care

With the onset of winter comes additional care of livestock.  A few of the key pieces to care of livestock in the wintertime is access to fresh water, dry bedding, ample feed, and shelter. For any livestock that is kept outdoors or in a barn where indoor temperatures follow the outdoor temperatures, winter is a […]

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Putting money in the till

By Richard Halopka, UW-Extension Agriculture Agent for Clark County When working in private industry one day my boss told me “we need to put some money in the till.” My first thought was what is he talking about? The simple answer is every day when you begin the day you turn on the lights and make […]

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White Park beef calf with anti-nursing tag inserted in the nose.

Low-stress weaning part 2

Weaning is the process of acclimating a mammal to eating food other than milk and removing dependency on the mother.  In nature this process occurs gradually, over time.  After hitting the peak of lactation, the milk supply from the mother will slowly decrease.  At the same time the milk supply decrease is occurring, the social […]

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White Park beef cows and crossbred calves on pasture.

Low-stress weaning part 1

With the changing of seasons comes a change in farmer schedules.  In a few weeks many beef farmers will begin weaning calves off of the cows on pasture.  This is a stressful time for both the cow and calf.  “Traditional” weaning calls for an abrupt separation of the cow and calf.  This results in the […]

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Big bluestem grass about 6.5 feet tall and showing the characteristic "blue" sheen near the nodes.

Grazing warm season grasses

At the end of August I had the opportunity to attend a grazing professional development event hosted in Spooner. Much of the Spooner area has abundantly sandy soils like the soils here in Waushara and Marquette counties, so farmers face similar pasture establishment and summer quantity of forage challenges.  Black Creek Bison has been testing several different warm-season grasses including selected varieties of annual crabgrass, teff grass, switchgrass, little bluestem, and big bluestem.

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Cattle near a metal ring hay feeder surrounded by muddy tire tracks. Photo by Callum Black / Cattle and mud / CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Floating away

After what was a very long stretch of time without rain this summer, we are now facing the exact opposite problem… with flooding in much of southern Wisconsin, many roads are still closed for safety reasons.  On my way to work this past week I have been seeing standing water in places that I have […]

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speckled cow on pasture with barn and silos in background.

Soil Fertility Guidelines for Pastures

As we start to enter the harvest season, it is also a good time to think about completing soil testing for the upcoming growing season. The publication A4034 Soil Fertility Guidelines for Pastures in Wisconsin provides some context about where to test in pastures, where NOT to test, and some general guidelines about liming and […]

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Go to the Grazing Research & Resources website.

Silvopasture

One of the many challenges that graziers face during the summer is the dreaded “summer slump,” especially on summers with limited rainfall.  There are various strategies that graziers can employ to combat this issue.  A few potential strategies include: lower the animal stocking rate in late summer (which is often not practical), plant annuals which […]

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