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, February 4, 2016

Time Presentation
12:30 pm Registration and check-in
1:00 Welcome, introductions and recognition of sponsors

Lameness disorders in cow/calf and feedlot cattle
Dr. Jan Shearer, professor, Vet Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Lameness disorders encountered in beef cows and bulls are frequently associated with injuries from mounting and fighting, slips and falls, or management and transport-related activities associated with handling, loading and unloading. Foot problems in cows include foot rot, trauma-related injury and sand cracks. In feedlot cattle, the most common problems are foot rot, white line disease, toe ulcers/abscesses and traumatic lesions, and digital dermatitis (hairy heel wart) has become a significant cause of lameness. Regardless of the lameness condition, the key to achieving a successful outcome is prompt identification and treatment.


Developmental programming: How cow nutrition and management during pregnancy impact calves long-term
Dr. Allison Meyer, assistant professor, Ruminant Nutrition/Nutritional Physiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Recent research has demonstrated that nutrition and management of pregnant cows impact calves both pre- and post-weaning. This presentation will give an overview of the concept of developmental programming, then cover the production aspects and implications of cow management during late pregnancy.

2:45 Tips and tricks speed round
3:15 Break

Concurrent session A (select one workshop)

Retrofitting retired dairy facilities for beef production
Dr. David Kammel, professor, Agricultural Building Design, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madision, WI
There are many ways older dairy facilities can be used in a beef production system. One vital need may be a cattle handling center for low stress handling and safety for both the manager and the cattle. Other buildings such as machine sheds, freestall barns, hay sheds and outside concrete lots can also be repurposed for calves, feeders, finishers, or cow/calf pairs to provide a labor efficient production system. David W. Kammel, Professor and State Extension Livestock specialist will present a variety of options that he has helped design for farmers across the state.

The value of using enhanced case definitions for the management of BRD in commercial feedlots
Dr. James Lowe, visiting clinical instructor, Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in cattle during the feeding period. Management of BRD cases relies on the observation of cattle behavioral changes by caregivers. We will discuss how the use of multiple, practical ante-mortem diagnostic technologies in combination can improve outcomes in the clinical management of BRD through improved treatment selections and improving caregiver observation skills.


Concurrent session B (select one workshop)

Managing fertility and longevity through feed efficiency
Dr. Patrick Gunn, assistant professor, Animal Science, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
One way to lower input costs and improve profitability is through a focus on feed efficiency within the cowherd. However, questions remain as to how feed efficiency may impact both fertility and longevity within the cowherd; particularly as profitability of once high-priced replacement females will come only as a result of many years of productivity. This session will focus on how feed efficiency may be able to be used as a selection tool for longevity within the breeding herd.

Heavy holstein steer performance and update on grazing and feedlot research topics
Dr. Dan Schaefer, professor, Animal Science, University of Wisconsin, Madision, WI
Holstein steers continue to get bigger. Feed efficiency is key to profitability in finishing cattle. We will present results that re- inforce known methods and introduce encouraging results for new methods.

6:00 Social time, meet the sponsors
6:30 Dinner and round-table discussions
7:30 Bull Pen
Producers will share unique and innovative practices they are implementing.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Time Presentation
6:30 am Breakfast buffet
  How will the Veterinary Feed Directive impact producers?
Dr. Dick Wallace, Senior veterinarian, Zoetis

Concurrent session C (select one workshop)

Managing higher starch diets
Erika Lundy, Extension program specialist, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Cheap corn prices and volatile cattle markets present an opportunity to re-evaluate the importance of corn particle size on cattle performance and efficiency. This presentation will focus on optimizing starch digestibility and review how to effectively utilize bunk management principles as techniques to make the most out of tight cattle margins.

Impact of crop prices on agricultural land use in the U.S
Dr. Darrell Peel, professor, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
The presentation will cover recent changes in regional crop and pasture acreage in the U.S. and will discuss implications for structural change in regional ag production.


Concurrent session D (select one)

The impact of feedlot facility design on the fertilizer value of manure.
Nicole Kenney-Rambo, Feedlot Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension, Willmar, MN "
A Minnesota study investigated the impact of feedlot facility type on the nutrient composition and subsequent fertilizer value of beef manure, including how to leverage the real value of manure, determine the potential return on investment on various manure storage and handling systems and design and operate feedlot facilities for maximized profit.

Half the cows, double the beef! Balancing inputs and outputs.
Dr. Kris Ringwall, director, Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University, Dickinson, ND
As the cow herd moves into expansion mode, it is more critical than ever to know your unit cost of production and its impact on profitability. This session will address how to monitor inputs and outputs for management and decision making.

9:45 Break

Concurrent session E (select one)

Yardage costs: Recent survey result and tools to determine your own
Bill Halfman, agriculture educator, Monroe County, University of Wisconsin Extension, Sparta, WI
The session will feature the results from a yardage survey recently conducted by UW Extension and demonstrate the newly revised and updated UW Extension Yardage Spreadsheet so participants can calculate their own yardage at home.

Making and using baleage – Reduce beef feeding costs
Dr. Dan Undersander, professor, Agronomy, University of Wisconsin, Madision, WI
How to make and preserve high quality forage by making baleage. We will also consider efficient feeding systems for baleage.


2016 cattle outlook: Opportunities and challenges
Dr. Darrell Peel, professor, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

Herd rebuilding and expectations for beef production, consumption and trade. What to expect after record prices.

12:00 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.