When it comes to pinkeye, one of the most common diseases in cow-calf and stocker operations, prevention is the best strategy, says W. Mark Hilton, DVM. The Purdue University clinical associate professor of beef production medicine says a broad-based prevention strategy is needed to fight this multifactorial disease. He offers his advice in “Preventing pinkeye” on page 14.

Because of her personal growth needs and that of her fetus, especially in the third trimester, experts have long recommended supplementation for first-calf heifers. In “Subbing On Supplements” on page 34, Senior Editor Burt Rutherford says, depending on how far you are from the ethanol plant, you may be able to substitute distiller's grains for your traditional supplement at equal or even reduced cost.

Despite persistent drought in big swaths of the U.S., private grazing rates continued to climb in 2006. Mike Fritz reports in “Still Climbing” on page 42 that USDA's latest pastureland leasing survey reports a 4.5% overall growth in the U.S., with South Dakota leading the way with a 10.3% spurt per animal unit over the year before. California trailed at 7.1%.

One of the resources most referenced throughout the year on BEEF magazine's www.beef-mag.com Web site are Texas Tech emeritus professor Rod Preston's annual updates of the typical composition of feeds for cattle and sheep. This year's version, “2007 Feed Composition Tables,” which start on page 50, includes a special discussion on the feeding value of distiller's grains.

No one can accurately forecast market prices and the value of gain in cattle. As beef supply and demand change daily, so do beef market prices. That, in turn, causes the value of gain to change. That's where the true power of marginal costs and returns lies, explains Wes Ishmael. In “Playing The Margins” on page 68, he details how this perspective can offer stocker operators a finer profit focus and more management flexibility.

One pound of gain from less than 4 lbs. of feed? That kind of conversion is possible by 2010, Kansas seedstocker Mark Gardiner tells Larry Stalcup. In “Picking The Michael Jordans” on page 84, Gardiner provides his formula on how the legendary Gardiner Angus Ranch have built a genetic system whose offspring's influence may be apparent in 40-50% of the nation's Angus herds.