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    Cottonwood Fire Recap

    Four months have passed since a large grass fire started along Interstate 90 between Wall and Cactus Flat, and was later named the Cottonwood Fire. With the combination of dry conditions, temperatures in the upper 80’s and a high wind warning that day, it was the recipe for a perfect storm. The fire burned over 41,000 acres within a matter of hours and was deemed the 5th largest fire on record in South Dakota history.

    Read More »

    Online Beef University: Beef up on beef

    Leaders are learners, always striving to learn more and not settling for the status quo. An excellent learning opportunity is now available for beef producers to learn more about the product they produce, or brush up on some of the production facts, beef labeling issues, beef inspection and grading along with the latest knowledge available to the beef industry. As a result you not only become more knowledgeable about the latest data and industry insights of beef production, but learning more about your product will enhance your ability to be a well-spoken beef industry advocate with the ability to inform consumers on their critical current questions and issues.

    Read More »

    Adding Value to Beef for Both the Producer and Consumer

    Getting more bang for your buck is always a goal in life. This holds true for both beef producers and consumers. Almost everyone likes a good steak, but good steaks are generally considered expensive. One way to lower the cost of a steak dinner is to find the “value added” cuts. Not only do these cuts stretch budgets farther, they also help the producer realize more value from the beef they raise. Steaks such as the flat iron, chuck eye, and the Denver cut are a great way to save money and still have an excellent eating experience.

    Read More »

    U.S. Beef Trade: Who? What? Why?

    Beef producers and consumers often ask about beef trade, why we import and export? The simple answer is we are trying to receive the highest value for the product produced. The following facts might be helpful to understand the beef industry: the U.S. is the largest producer, largest consumer, fourth-largest exporter and the largest importer of beef in the world according to USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service.

    Read More »

    Online Access to Beef’s Cattlemen’s College

    Continued education is a valuable tool to help you with questions you may have, an opportunity to educate yourself on a new topic/issue or to challenge you to look at new parameters impacting the beef industry. As research has proven, leaders are those who are willing to learn, and continue to learn. As an active beef producer your schedule is busy and time constraints or conflicting schedules don’t always allow you to attend some of the face-to-face educational sessions you would like to.

    Read More »

    Beyond the Plate: Using research to guide healthy lifestyle practices

    Our last South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), “Beyond the Plate” article identified the importance of beef checkoff research like the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study and its impact on healthy lifestyle choices. Supportive research continues to build and expand on the national research through the recent completion of, “Let Them Eat Beef,” a recent study conducted by South Dakota State University’s Dr. Kendra Kattelmann.

    Read More »

    Agricultural Generational Communications: Part 2

    As we continue with the series on ‘Agricultural Generational Communications’, we introduced you to a mock farm called “ABC Farm” consisting of senior generation, 71-yr-old (John) who started the farming business, his son (Tom) a 51-yr-old, farming alongside his dad for nearly 25 years, and grandson/son 24-year old (Brandon) who returned to the farm after completing college. This farm example will be used to provide tips on working across generations in agriculture.

    Read More »

    Beyond the Plate: Research’s role

    Research is the basis of virtually every checkoff program, which therefore makes it very important you know the “why” behind it. Checkoff funded research projects completed to date have likely saved the industry more than once from possible ruin, often brought on by beef information previously based on assumption, rumor, propaganda, and non-scientific studies.

    Read More »

    Adding Value to the Beef Carcass: Getting to know the value cuts

    A typical beef animal can produce a carcass that weighs between 700 and 900 pounds. Approximately 50% of that weight consists of the chuck (fore quarter or shoulder portion) and the round (hind quarter). Traditionally the chuck and round are fabricated into either 1) roasts that require slow, moist heat cookery, 2) steaks that require some type of tenderization to improve palatability or 3) trim for ground beef.

    Read More »

    Beyond the Plate: Your Beef Checkoff’s role in creating a foundation for beef demand

    Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. You’re likely familiar with the slogan, because after more than two decades, it still resonates. The well-known words are part of the message the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) has worked for nearly 30 years to share with the goal to increase beef demand, and generate positive attitudes about beef while improving profit opportunities for beef producers.

    Read More »

    Feed Bunk Management

    When it comes to nutritional management of growing and finishing cattle, the scientific aspects tend to get the most attention. Hours are spent getting the formulations right and debating the merits of different ingredients and additives. In truth, feeding cattle successfully is as much art and judgment as science. Judgment is required to balance between over- and under-feeding. Under-feeding limits performance and possibly Quality Grade. Feeding too much increases feed waste and more importantly can trigger acidosis, poor performance, and increased death loss.

    Read More »

    Caring for Animals When the Power Goes Out

    The power outages experienced in areas of South Dakota might make animal caretakers wonder, “How did we ever raise livestock in the days before electricity?”  Electric lights, hot water heaters, and mechanical ventilation are all items that are taken for granted, except when weather events interrupt their supply of “juice.”

    Read More »

    Year-End Review & 2017 Planning

    The holiday season and the end of 2016 are upon us. Many newsworthy things happened in the beef cattle industry in 2016 that affected everyone in the beef business. Some were good and some were not so good, but all affected the successes of beef cattle producers throughout the year. The end of a year of managing any business, including beef cattle production, provides an opportunity to assess and evaluate how well management plans and practices worked throughout the year.

    Read More »

    Hammering Out the Details as the VFD Rule Approaches

    As the January 1, 2017 implementation date approaches, livestock producers, veterinarians, and feed distributors are gearing up to start complying with new rules regarding feed-grade antibiotics. Among some producers and veterinarians, a recent sentiment has been that the VFD rules are “changing,” leading to confusion. In reality, the VFD rules have not “changed” at all since becoming final. The rules as published, however, aren’t heavy on details. When different people interpret these details on the basis of a specific farm’s needs, different answers to the same questions can emerge, unfortunately creating more uncertainty.

    Read More »

    Net Wrap: A New Barrier

    Since the mid-1900’s, large round balers have been utilized to store hay and other forages as winter feedstuffs on cow/calf operations in the Upper Midwest. Today there are many baler options for producers to choose from with variations in size and shape of bales, as well as the type of binding. Binding has evolved from wire to twine, net wrap and even plastic bale wrappers. With advancements in binding technology, efficiency has increased when compared to twine binding.

    Read More »

    What to Expect if You Retain Ownership into a Feedyard

    Many cow-calf producers have always sold their calves at weaning. It’s fairly common to hear about retaining ownership and the opportunity it provides to add value to your cattle when market conditions are right. In fact, there have been several articles in the ag press lately suggesting that this might be a good fall to retain ownership at least through the backgrounding phase because low feed costs suggest the opportunity to feed cattle at economical costs of gain.

    Read More »

    Keep Watch of Young Cows During Calving

    With snow filling road ditches across the state this past month, preparing for calving season just got more difficult. Hopefully the barns are soon to be ready and you’re finding ways to stay warm between calf checks if you’ve started calving already. While calving season is undoubtedly a super busy time, it’s also important during this time to think ahead to spring and pay attention to first-calf heifer pairs so they remain healthy and are ready to breed back come spring.

    Read More »

    Are your farm employees ready for low temperatures?

    Winter is here and snow and icy roads will increase the risk for accidents. Getting ready to leave the house and going to work on the snow and ice might be a problem for inexperienced people. The cold and snowy season are challenges for anyone, and especially to the immigrant workers that have to endure them.

    Read More »

    Generator Preparedness

    For many homeowners a power outage may be viewed as just and inconvenience with some potential repair cost associated with it. But for a lot of livestock operations, a power outage has the potential to be a very costly event. Although we are not able to control the weather, there are things we can do to be prepared when we are struck with a power outage. If you don’t have a generator but are thinking you would like to have one for when the power goes out, don’t wait till the power goes out to purchase one.

    Read More »

    Putting the Preg Check Results to Work

    Pregnancy check day is one of the most important days on the ranch as it is the day when we find out what cows are pregnant and how many calves we can expect come calving season. So now that the veterinarian has left the yard and the open cows are sorted off, what’s next? Before throwing the preg check list on the dashboard never to be looked at again, try to reflect on the results.

    Read More »

    Caring for Animals When the Power Goes Out

    The power outages experienced in areas of South Dakota might make animal caretakers wonder, “How did we ever raise livestock in the days before electricity?”  Electric lights, hot water heaters, and mechanical ventilation are all items that are taken for granted, except when weather events interrupt their supply of “juice.”

    Read More »

    Upper Midwest Puerto Rico Collaboration: The time is now for dairy employees

    The dairy industry faces a labor shortage and with the uncertainty associated with the U.S. immigration issues, there seems to be only one direction, forward. The time has come to search for solutions and establish new collaborations. To help facilitate bringing farmers with solutions for the lack of skilled and available workers a team from SDSU Extension proposed to build a legal agreement between Puerto Rico and South Dakota.

    Read More »

    Year-End Review & 2017 Planning

    The holiday season and the end of 2016 are upon us. Many newsworthy things happened in the beef cattle industry in 2016 that affected everyone in the beef business. Some were good and some were not so good, but all affected the successes of beef cattle producers throughout the year. The end of a year of managing any business, including beef cattle production, provides an opportunity to assess and evaluate how well management plans and practices worked throughout the year.

    Read More »

    Hammering Out the Details as the VFD Rule Approaches

    As the January 1, 2017 implementation date approaches, livestock producers, veterinarians, and feed distributors are gearing up to start complying with new rules regarding feed-grade antibiotics. Among some producers and veterinarians, a recent sentiment has been that the VFD rules are “changing,” leading to confusion. In reality, the VFD rules have not “changed” at all since becoming final. The rules as published, however, aren’t heavy on details. When different people interpret these details on the basis of a specific farm’s needs, different answers to the same questions can emerge, unfortunately creating more uncertainty.

    Read More »

    Net Wrap: A New Barrier

    Since the mid-1900’s, large round balers have been utilized to store hay and other forages as winter feedstuffs on cow/calf operations in the Upper Midwest. Today there are many baler options for producers to choose from with variations in size and shape of bales, as well as the type of binding. Binding has evolved from wire to twine, net wrap and even plastic bale wrappers. With advancements in binding technology, efficiency has increased when compared to twine binding.

    Read More »

    Online Beef University: Beef up on beef

    Leaders are learners, always striving to learn more and not settling for the status quo. An excellent learning opportunity is now available for beef producers to learn more about the product they produce, or brush up on some of the production facts, beef labeling issues, beef inspection and grading along with the latest knowledge available to the beef industry. As a result you not only become more knowledgeable about the latest data and industry insights of beef production, but learning more about your product will enhance your ability to be a well-spoken beef industry advocate with the ability to inform consumers on their critical current questions and issues.

    Read More »

    Adding Value to Beef for Both the Producer and Consumer

    Getting more bang for your buck is always a goal in life. This holds true for both beef producers and consumers. Almost everyone likes a good steak, but good steaks are generally considered expensive. One way to lower the cost of a steak dinner is to find the “value added” cuts. Not only do these cuts stretch budgets farther, they also help the producer realize more value from the beef they raise. Steaks such as the flat iron, chuck eye, and the Denver cut are a great way to save money and still have an excellent eating experience.

    Read More »

    U.S. Beef Trade: Who? What? Why?

    Beef producers and consumers often ask about beef trade, why we import and export? The simple answer is we are trying to receive the highest value for the product produced. The following facts might be helpful to understand the beef industry: the U.S. is the largest producer, largest consumer, fourth-largest exporter and the largest importer of beef in the world according to USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service.

    Read More »

    Beyond the Plate: Using research to guide healthy lifestyle practices

    Our last South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), “Beyond the Plate” article identified the importance of beef checkoff research like the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study and its impact on healthy lifestyle choices. Supportive research continues to build and expand on the national research through the recent completion of, “Let Them Eat Beef,” a recent study conducted by South Dakota State University’s Dr. Kendra Kattelmann.

    Read More »

    Beyond the Plate: Research’s role

    Research is the basis of virtually every checkoff program, which therefore makes it very important you know the “why” behind it. Checkoff funded research projects completed to date have likely saved the industry more than once from possible ruin, often brought on by beef information previously based on assumption, rumor, propaganda, and non-scientific studies.

    Read More »

    Adding Value to the Beef Carcass: Getting to know the value cuts

    A typical beef animal can produce a carcass that weighs between 700 and 900 pounds. Approximately 50% of that weight consists of the chuck (fore quarter or shoulder portion) and the round (hind quarter). Traditionally the chuck and round are fabricated into either 1) roasts that require slow, moist heat cookery, 2) steaks that require some type of tenderization to improve palatability or 3) trim for ground beef.

    Read More »

    Beyond the Plate: Your Beef Checkoff’s role in creating a foundation for beef demand

    Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. You’re likely familiar with the slogan, because after more than two decades, it still resonates. The well-known words are part of the message the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) has worked for nearly 30 years to share with the goal to increase beef demand, and generate positive attitudes about beef while improving profit opportunities for beef producers.

    Read More »

    Bring Beef to the Party!

    Tis the season for delicious cooking and while the parties are almost over, we have some ideas to help ensure you are well-equipped to bring the cheer to your New Year’s Eve party. Whether you have a date for a big bash or will ring in New Year a little more low-key with family and friends, when you arrive with a delicious beef appetizer recipe in hand, you’ll be sure to put the “happy” in “Happy New Year!”

    Read More »

    Prime Rib Roast: Mastering a Holiday Classic

    It is a holiday classic and creates an amazing centerpiece for a holiday meal. But cooking a prime rib roast can be unnerving at best for some. Especially if they feel the added pressure to impress guests. The good news is – prime rib’s “wow” factor doesn’t mean it cooking it must be complicated or difficult.

    Read More »

    Cottonwood Fire Recap

    Four months have passed since a large grass fire started along Interstate 90 between Wall and Cactus Flat, and was later named the Cottonwood Fire. With the combination of dry conditions, temperatures in the upper 80’s and a high wind warning that day, it was the recipe for a perfect storm. The fire burned over 41,000 acres within a matter of hours and was deemed the 5th largest fire on record in South Dakota history.

    Read More »

    2017 Pest Management Guides Released

    The South Dakota 2017 Pest Management guides are available online as free PDF downloads or as hard copies at SDSU Extension Regional Centers, offices, and events. The guides provide recommendations for herbicides, insecticides, seed treatments, and fungicides that are available in South Dakota to control weeds, insects, and diseases in a variety of crops.

    Read More »

    Prairie Dog Management in South Dakota

    Prairie dogs are highly social animals belonging to the squirrel family. There are five species of prairie dogs in North America. It is the black-tailed prairie dog with its tan color and short black tipped tail, that resides in South Dakota.

    Read More »

    Give the Gift of Conservation This Christmas

    The SDSU Natural Resources Management Department and SDSU Extension would like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and remind everyone that if you are shopping for a late holiday gift, consider giving the gift of conservation to yourself or someone else.

    Read More »

    Strategic & Scenario Planning in Ranching: Conducting a Ranch Inventory - Part 2

    Following up on "Strategic & Scenario Planning in Ranching: Conducting a Ranch Inventory - Part 1," this article discusses the three remaining categories of the ranch inventory: financial, human and physical resources. Knowing the financial condition of the ranch is critical when negotiation new operating notes, new loans for diversification, or possibly making room for a son or daughter returning to the ranch.

    Read More »

    Welded connections and shallow bury pasture pipe offers alternative to above ground systems

    Above ground systems offer a great amount of flexibility in delivering water and options for changing pasture designs over time or space. They have also become increasingly popular with the advances in solar water and fence technology along with an increasing number of producers preferring to rotate livestock more often. Quick compression fittings and a variety of adapters for several thread types allow for excellent flexibility. However, some producers do not desire to maintain as much flexibility in their systems, and for those individuals more permanent options exist without going to a deep-bury system.

    Read More »

    Recent changes in above-ground pasture pipe requires matching pipe and fittings correctly

    Above ground water systems have become a very popular tool to deliver clean water from reliable sources to pastures across South Dakota. Recently, there have been some changes in manufacturing and suppliers that are worthy of note as producers and suppliers design systems. We wanted to share an example of a recent above ground pasture pipe installation project SDSU Extension assisted with.

    Read More »

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