August Beef and Forage Tips for Producers
- Foot rot generally occurs in adult cattle. It causes sudden onset of severe lameness and sometimes a mild fever. Often times the coronet (the junction between the hoof and hairline) is swollen. It is common to see foot rot in the heat of the summer.
- Pink eye is a troublesome disease throughout the summer caused by bacteria in combination with external irritants such as face flies, UV light, dust and plant seeds. For prevention or treatment, follow advice of a veterinarian.
- Horn flies can become a problem late in the summer especially when fly tags can lose their effectiveness. Monitor fly population on cattle and treat if necessary. Remove fly tags after they lose their effectiveness to help prevent fly populations developing chemical resistance.
- Free choice mineral is just as important during the hot summer months as any other time of the year.
Fall Calving Herds
- It is important for the cows to maintain a good body condition (BCS 5 to 6) as they enter the fall calving season. Cows at BCS at a 4 or below breed back at a much longer interval and less frequently than those in 5-6 condition.
- It is important to be prepared for the fall calving season. Check calving supplies. Supplies may include bucket, disinfectant (Nolvasan), antiseptic soap (Nolvasan scrub), OB sleeves, OB lubricant, OB chains, OB handles, calf puller, etc.
- Heifers should weigh 65% of their mature weight before their first breeding.
Spring Calving Herds
- Vaccinate heifers for brucellosis. Vaccinate calves prior to weaning. Calves should be weaned at least 45 days prior to sale, castrated, dehorned, and vaccinated with IBR, BVD, , BRSV (a 4- or 5-way viral vaccine), 7-way clostridial vaccine (Blackleg), Pasteurella haemolytica (recently renamed Mannheimia haemolytica) also containing leukotoxoid, Pasteurella multocida, and Haemophilus somnus. Some of these vaccinations can be purchased in combination.
- Body condition score the cows to determine if it is necessary to wean calves early.
- Plan marketing program for weaned calves.
Forage/Grazing Management Tips
- Rainfall has been abundant. If you have excess forage to graze, rotate pastures on a weekly basis to keep grass in a growing stage. This will be worthwhile if drought sets in during late summer. (Savings from improved grazing management = 2-3 weeks more grazing when drought hits)
- Stockpile one or two bermudagrass pastures to be stockpiled for fall grazing.
- Clip or graze off old bermuda forage to a 2 to 3-inch stubble
- Apply 50-60 lbs/acre of nitrogen fertilizer between August 1 and 15
- Defer grazing until October. Savings from grazing stockpiled forage instead of feeding hay = $25-$50 per animal unit or $50-$75 per acre of forage stockpiled.
- Pick a tall fescue field to stockpile for winter grazing.
- Clip or graze off old fescue forage to a 3-inch stubble by the end of August.
- Apply 50-60 lbs. /acre of nitrogen fertilizer in early September.
- Defer grazing until late November or early December.
For more information, refer to factsheet 3133 "Grazing Stockpiled Forages to Reduce Hay Feeding During Fall & Winter”: http://www.uaex.edu/publications/PDF/FSA-3133.pdf
For more information on beef cattle/forage production, contact the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service at 870-425-2335.
By Brad Runsick
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Brad Runsick
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
3 East 9th St. Mountain Home AR 72653
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