Hot Topics

Bull Management

Preparedness is the key to making an informed purchase when procuring a bull. And testing, planning and management are the keys to garnering the most productive value from that herd sire. From selecting the right genetics by utilizing modern tools, to ensuring the full expression of those genetics, there are a multitude of factors to consider in attaining the profit and production goals for a beef cattle herd.

Tips For Profit

Beef production is a dynamic livelihood that requires its practitioners to stay up on the latest practices, concepts and gadgets to cut costs, optimize animal and environmental care, and raise efficiency. These tools can include anything from a new grazing system or a novel marketing method to a new cattle chute or gate latch.

Calving Season

Calving time is when the rubber hits the road in the cow business. After all, without a live – and thrifty – calf, all the anticipated payoff of expenditures in genetics, cow health, facilities, feed, labor, etc., are just wasted dollars. This sections offers practical advice on genetic selection, passive immunity, calving issues, calf health, weaning, and preconditioning.

Drought Management Resources

The 2012 growing season started out promising, with an early planting season, good moisture, and some relief in last summer’s drought-ravaged Southwest. But Mother Nature had other plans and summer 2012 is shaping up to be a challenging one for Midwest crop growers and livestock producers in general.

USDA reported in early July that half of all U.S. pastures are in poor or very poor condition. As pasture dwindles, cattle in some hard-hit areas are going to town, while other producers hope to buy time by feeding winter hay. Severe drought in the Midwest, which was forecast earlier this spring to produce a record crop, has played havoc with grain markets. The July 15 corn cash price (Omaha Basis) is near $7.50/bu., and soybean meal is up 36% over last year, while hay prices continue to post new highs.

BEEF editors have developed this special topic page to provide comprehensive news and information on the ongoing drought.

Find more information on drought management at these resources:

Animal Activists

There’s a wide range in positions in animal activism – from simple animal handling to full animal rights. But the bottom line is to end the moral and legal distinction between animals and humans and the elimination of animals in the production of food and clothing, and in research and entertainment. Modern-day animal activists use a variety of tools to spread their message, with social media being a potent weapon.


Sustainability refers to not only the preservation of the environment but also the continuation of U.S. beef production as a profitable and enduring entity. That means not only working to sustain environmental and animal resources but using concepts and practices that will allow U.S. beef production to grow in size and scope, thus offering a future for new generations in production agriculture.

Employee Management

Keeping good employees on your ranch or feedlot is an ongoing challenge, but it's important to remember that managing your employees is every bit as important as managing your cattle.

Over the years, BEEF has compiled advice on employee management from a realm of industry experts. We highly encourage you to bookmark this as your employee resource center, because after all, with a shrinking pool of good ranch employees, it's crucial to keep your good ones happy!

Industry At A Glance

In an increasingly volatile and changing cattle industry, beef producers are facing daunting challenges from rising feed costs, record carcass weights, shifting feedyard demographics and more. Nevil Speer of Western Kentucky University breaks down the basic trends occurring in the beef industry in his weekly "Industry At A Glance" articles. Join the discussion and add your thoughts.

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