GFM Network News


With the arrival of spring turnout, it’s a good time to consider your herd health program.

Practise cattle and people health management at turnout time

Now is a good time to evaluate vaccination and herd health management protocols

Spring turnout to the pasture is a good time for producers to review their cow-calf health management plans, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock experts. They note that a number of factors can impact cow-calf health, including slow grass growth and moisture conditions that may delay grazing readiness and result in prolonged feeding.

For the past decade, North Dakota State University has conducted field research on bean yields versus plant population and row size.

Dry beans respond to row spacing and plant population

Trials on black and navy beans show a slight advantage to narrow spacing and higher plant population

Narrower row spacing and higher plant populations have some advantage in dry bean production, according to research by North Dakota State University. For the past decade, NDSU has been conducting field research examining the response of black, navy and pinto beans to different combinations of row spacings and plant populations to identify optimum seed yield. Research focused on black and navy beans grown


The key to treating a calf with scours is to identify the problem and treat the animal early.

Diarrhea can be deadly for calves

A number of different factors can cause this serious issue

Cattle producers need to be on the lookout for calf diarrhea, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock experts. The majority of scours, or diarrhea, cases occur when calves are three to 16 days old. Untreated calves essentially die of shock from a loss of fluids and electrolyte imbalances. “Calf scours is most often

North Dakota land values hold steady

Below the border, North Dakota cropland values and cash rents remain flat, says Bryon Parman, North Dakota State University agricultural finance specialist. “Despite the lower commodity prices of the last several years, the longer-term averages have been aided by low interest rates, farm programs and ad hoc payment programs designed to help farmers meet cash

Getting ready ahead of time can help ensure a successful calving season.

Prepare for spring calving

A few simple steps can set your operation up for success

Planning and preparing for the calving season can help not only minimize calf losses but also improve calves’ performance, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists. The nutrition status of the calving herd is one issue to consider in preparing for the upcoming spring calving season. “Although this should be an earlier concern,


Corn is testing on the lighter side this year, leading to producer concern.

What factors influence corn test weight?

Drying can increase the number, but drying at too high temperatures can limit the gain

Poor growing and harvesting conditions this year have producers concerned about the test weight of their corn. “Many factors influence the measured test weight of corn, including the physical characteristics of the kernel such as size, density, shape and surface of the kernel,” says Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer. Hybrid differences

Dry bean trials at NDSU showed pinto beans respond to phosphorus-based starter fertilizer.

Bean trials respond to phosphorus-based starter fertilizer

Seed-placed fertilizer can also cause bean stand reductions in dry, coarse-textured soils or with high fertilizer rates

Phosphorus-based starter fertilizer can increase pinto bean seed yield, North Dakota State University studies have shown. That finding is the result of nearly a decade of NDSU phosphorus-based starter fertilizer trials conducted at the Carrington Research Extension Center. “The published research summary should assist… farmers as they make pinto bean plant nutrition plans for the

Protect the health of the youngest members of your herd by keeping a close eye out for scours.

Keep an eye out for scours

Reduce the risk of scours and other early-life problems for calves with these tips

Protect your calves from scours, especially during the first days of life. The majority of scours, or diarrhea, cases occur when calves are three and 16 days old. Untreated calves essentially die of shock from a loss of fluids, say production specialists from North Dakota State University. “Calf scours are most often associated with infectious,


A nursing cow needs to have enough nutritional value to share the wealth with her calf.

Make sure rations are adequate for lactating cows

The first 60 to 90 days post-calving are the most nutritionally demanding period in the production cycle, and the expectations for a cow at this time are many

Calving season is in full swing, and the first 60 to 90 days post-calving are the most nutritionally demanding period in the production cycle, according to two North Dakota State University animal scientists. “The expectations for a cow at this time are many,” says Janna Block, livestock systems specialist at the Hettinger Research Extension Center.

Hair loss in the neck, across the shoulders and withers, and in the udder area is an indication that cattle have lice.

Persistent lice in cattle a potent problem

As winter wears on, many cattle producers are faced with a continual lice infestation in their herd

Some producers have treated more than once and still are seeing the effects of lice in their livestock. “We are experiencing lice populations that are apparently much more difficult to control than previously,” says Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian. “We cannot be sure as to the reason for reduced lice control, but