Concerns for smaller or medium feedlots were covered during an Eastern Iowa Forum put on by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Friday, March 22 at the Jones County Youth Development Center in Monticello.
An afternoon session covered heat stress and water status for the coming season.
Among the speakers in that session was Iowa State University Extension program specialist Dan Huyser, who offered tips for managing water supplies.
Huyser suggested farmers determine their supply risk, estimate water needs, consider using surge tanks to manage slow supply, finding alternate sources if available, and finding ways to conserve water.
Denise Schwab of the Iowa Beef Center discussed heat stress, and said the two biggest factors in reducing heat stress are sprinkling and shade.
She pointed to studies from two days in July 1995, in which temperatures reached 104 degrees. The studies showed how death loss in extreme temperatures was reduced by using sprinking and shade.
In sprinkling, Schwab said, the use of large droplets is important, since mist can only increase the problem due to increased humidity.
Another tip is to pasture the heaviest and darkest cattle on east/southeast slopes, since those areas are best for shade and those cattle are most susceptible to heat stress.
Earlier feeding can be another valuable tool, as the digestion process adds heat to cattle, she said.
Earlier sessions covered Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Natural Resources topics, corn stalk treatment, and an ICA update and traceability discussion.
More tips and information are available from the Iowa Beef Center at www.iowabeefcenter.org.
PHOTO: Dan Huyser of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach addresses farmers during an Iowa Cattlemen’s Association beef forum March 22 at the Jones County Youth Development Center. (Photo by Pete Temple)