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  • Cattle producers should plan for drought conditions well before the growing season begins, then monitor drought conditions during the next few months as well as their grazing practices. (DTN file photo by Scott Bauer, NRCS)

    Make a Drought Plan for the Ranch Now

    Planning out how to graze during a drought is an important consideration. Having access to less grass should be expected, and producers need to be flexible and use different grazing methods and alterative forages in case rain doesn't fall during the...

  • Calf-raisers will soon have a new tool to help them promote and improve health and husbandry practices. (DTN/Progressive Farmer file photo by Jim Patrico)

    Calf Quality Assurance Program

    One of the goals of the new Calf Care and Quality Assurance (CCQA) program is to help consumers understand how calves are cared for by calf-raisers in the U.S.

  • Some plants, as well as infectious agents, can cause abortion in the cow herd. (DTN/Progressive Farmer file photo by Jim Patrico)

    Ask the Vet

    Even in the best-managed cow herds, a 1% to 2% abortion rate is considered normal.

  • As coronavirus vaccines become more widely available, there are steps farmers can take to encourage employees to take advantage of the new availability. (DTN photo by Elaine Thomas)

    Ask HR: Vaccine Incentives

    There are no legal restrictions on incentives employers can offer to encourage their workers to get vaccinated. DTN's HR Coach offers tips on how to establish an enticing program, create appropriate policies to handle any potential side effects or...

  • Scott and Sara Die-McElfresh have only been in direct beef sales since 2019, but they've already made a big impact. (Progressive Farmer photo by Becky Mills)

    Little Idea, BIG Response

    A well-timed event and a willingness to be there for the community allowed this operation to start an unexpected direct-sales business.

  • In some cases, COVID restrictions have limited conversations between veterinarians and pet owners. (Progressive Farmer photo by Victoria G. Myers)

    Ask the Vet

    Clear communications are key to have the best outcomes when pets have problems.

  • While most livestock producers have worked with animals for many years, it's important to remember safety around livestock. (DTN photo by Jim Patrico)

    Livestock Safety Considerations

    Livestock producers need to keep safety in mind when handling their animals. Proper equipment and facilities are necessary when working with livestock, as well as understanding how to handle livestock in a low-stress manner.

  • Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on March 1, 2021. This is the second-highest March 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    USDA Cattle on Feed Report

    Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on March 1, 2021. The inventory was 2% above March 1, 2020, USDA NASS reported on Friday.

  • Scott Barao aims for cattle to gain 1.8 to 2.2 pounds a day on forages at his Maryland farm. (Progressive Farmer photo by Becky Mills)

    Direct Sales

    Scott Barao aims for cattle to gain 1.8 to 2.2 pounds a day on forages at his Maryland farm. (Progressive Farmer photo by Becky Mills)

  • Black farmers say they have faced long-term debt challenges with Farm Service Agency loans that would be wiped away with a provision in the $1.9 trillion aid package that President Joe Biden signed into law on Thursday. The provision offering debt relief for socially disadvantaged farmers would benefit other minority groups as well. Native American farmers in states such as Oklahoma also will see debt relief. (DTN file photo)

    Biden Signs COVID-19 Relief Law

    President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief aid package. A provision estimated at $4 billion or so in aid to "socially disadvantaged" farmers is also part of the overall package. The aid would pay off FSA direct and...

  • Several alfalfa insect pests and diseases can affect the crop, which limits overall yields and lowers forage quality. (DTN/PF photo by Dan Miller)

    Look Out for Alfalfa Pests, Diseases

    Alfalfa producers need to keep a close eye on insect pests and diseases during the growing season, as these can rob yield and lower the quality of the forage. Scouting and management practices are important steps to preventing crop losses.

  • A spring release date was expected for Corteva's ProClova, a broadleaf herbicide that preserves white clover. (Progressive Farmer photo by Becky Mills)

    Pasture Boost

    Herbicide options will expand this year, working alongside proven management tactics to help boost pasture productivity.

  • Ruminant nutrition is extremely complex, with any feed companies producing rations balanced for different production goals. (Progressive Farmer photo by Boyd Kidwell)

    Ask the Vet

    Beef protein is high quality, containing all nine essential amino acids needed for the growth and maintenance of our bodies.

  • Animal feed is a key growth area for insect protein and is one reason capital continues to pour into the sector. (Chart courtesy of Rabobank 2021)

    Eating Bugs

    There are two faces to the business of insect protein, one focused on using it as a source of protein in animal feeds and one focused on human consumption of edibles. The growth area, for now, is primarily around animal feed.

  • The State of the Industry Report noted several "wins" for NCBA's Capitol Hill team and a lengthy list of challenges to come in the next year. (Logo courtesy of NCBA)

    NCBA: Ag No Place for Partisan Extremes

    The National Cattlemen's Beef Association's virtual annual meeting will try to keep the industry connected and informed, as the yearly in-person meet-and-greet was rescheduled for Aug. 10-12, 2021, due to COVID-19 concerns.

  • Think twice before keeping a female in the herd with an eye problem, as the condition can be heritable. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Joe Link)

    Ask the Vet

    She may have a nice heifer calf, but do you want a cow with cancer eye to stay in your herd? It can be a hard choice, but you have to think about the generations to come.

  • Spot-trade volumes in the beef industry have been discussed for years, but solutions everyone could agree on have been evasive. (Progressive Farmer photo by Mike Boyatt)

    Cattle Market Transparency

    Attempts to force more transparency into cattle markets with mandated thresholds and buying requirements would have an impact on the free market, but no one can say just what that impact would be.

  • Vice President Kalama Harris presided over the swearing-in of Tom Vilsack as Agriculture secretary on Wednesday. Vilsack spoke to reporters Thursday about the department's early priorities. (White House photo)

    Secretary Vilsack Lays Out Early Agenda

    USDA will extend enrollment for the latest round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Additional Assistance, dubbed CFAP-AA. Signup will continue, though payments under the program remain frozen. Trade and filling vacancies at USDA agencies...