Conference Program

Speakers and topics listed below are currently scheduled to appear. The planning committee reserves the right to make program adjustments based on speaker availability.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Time Presentation
9:00 am Sponsor exhibits setup begins
12:30 pm Registration and check-in
1:00 Welcome, introductions and recognition of sponsors

Cover crops and manure nutrient management
Dr Morgan Hayes, assistant extension professor, Livestock Systems Extension, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Cover crops can impact on grain production following the kill of the cover crop as they tend to tie nutrients into organic forms, which are not immediately plant available. A recent study looked to identify if manure would act differently than a commercial fertilizer (urea) when interacting with a cover crop (cereal rye).


Capitalizing on soil health with cover crops and grazing in the upper Midwest
Jim Johnson, Soils and Crops Consultant, Noble Research Institute, Ardmore, OK

This session will present principles of soil health and how to not only apply them but how to adapt them to your operation. Key tools discussed will include cover crops and livestock and integrating them into crop and pasture production systems.

2:45 Break, visit sponsor exhibits

Mycotoxins in cattle feed: Detection, consequences and preventive strategies
Dr Trevor Smith, adjuct professor, Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

A description will be given of the common mycotoxins in cattle feed including how they are detected and what their effects are on animals including additive and synergistic toxicity. Strategies for preventing toxicity post-harvest will be reviewed.


Cropping tools to prevent ear rots and mycotoxins
Dr Alison Robertson, professor and extension field crops pathologist, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Mycotoxins are produced by the fungi that cause ear and stalk rots. Mycotoxin contamination may occur in the field as well as in storage. This presentation will discuss crop production practices that can be implemented to reduce mycotoxin contamination in the field.

4:45 Tips and tricks speed round
6:00 Social time, meet the sponsors
Visit with sponsors and browse the displays. A cash bar will be available in the sponsor display area.
6:30 Dinner and round-table discussions

Bull Pen: Unique or interesting uses of cover crops
Panel moderator: W. Travis Meteer, beef extension educator, University of Illinois, Baylis, IL

Producers will share unique and innovative practices they are implementing.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Time Presentation
6:30 am Breakfast buffet, exhibits open
7:00 am

Risk management
Jamey Kohake, ag risk advisor and commodites broker, Paragon Ag, Topeka, KS


Concurrent session A (select one workshop)

Grazing supplementation for pastured stocker cattle
Dr Dan Schaefer, professor, Animal Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
What is the growth-limiting nutrient for pastured calves and yearlings? How much and what kind of supplement? Optimizing pasture management for digestible energy yield and grazing management for harvest of digestible energy is the goal.

Confining cows during the calving season
Dr Morgan Hayes, assistant extension professor, Livestock Systems Extension, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
This presentation covers the basics of cow-calf confinement focusing on the spacing and ventilation needs for these barns. Moving cow-calf pairs from pasture to a barn requires more intensive management.


Concurrent session B (select one)

Manure management and safety considerations
Dr Daniel Andersen, assistant professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Tips to get the most value from your manure and create value for your operations followed by a discussion on the do’s and don’ts of hydrogen sulfide as related to cattle manure management.

Management and vaccination strategies to produce healthy calves
Dr Christopher Clark, Extension beef field specialist, Iowa State University, Lewis, IA
What can you do to improve the health and vigor of your calf crop? Discussion will include emphasis on animal husbandry and principles of vaccination to effectively immunize calves.

9:45 Break

Concurrent session C (select one)

New insights on rumen health for profitable feedlot cattle
Dr Josh McCann, assistant professor, Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
In an ever-changing landscape of feed additives, new perspectives will be shared on strategies to benefit rumen and gut health. Nutrition and management-based opportunities to capture profit without compromising rumen health will also be discussed.

Keys to a successful pasture system
Geoff Brink, research agronomist, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, USDA-ARS, Madison, WI
Forage species and variety are often considered the keys to productive and high-quality pastures, but they are only one part of making a pasture system successful. Come hear what will make your pastures more productive, persistent, and profitable.


2018 Beef market outlook
Jamey Kohake, ag risk advisor and commodites broker, Paragon Ag, Topeka, KS

Will we see a wall of cattle? Will there be a drought? Will NAFTA provide new export business? Come listen to Jamey Kohake explain these topics and more.

12:00 pm Conference adjourns


The Driftless Region Beef Conference is a cooperative effort of the Extension services of University of Illinois, Iowa State Universtiy, University of Minnesota, and University of Wisconsin.