How Much Hay Will a Cow Consume? – Drovers Magazine

This week’s snowy weather has reminded cow calf producers that winter hay feeding has begun or will begin shortly.

Estimating forage usage by cows is an important part of the task of calculating winter feed needs. Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in order to make the calculations. Forage quality will be a determining factor in the amount of forage consumed. Higher quality forages contain larger concentrations of important nutrients so animals consuming these forages should be more likely to meet their nutrient needs from the forages. Also cows can consume a larger quantity of higher quality forages.

Higher quality forages are fermented more rapidly in the rumen leaving a void that the animal can re-fill with additional forage. Consequently, forage intake increases. For example, low quality forages (below about 6% crude protein) will be consumed at about 1.5% of body weight (on a dry matter basis) per day. Higher quality grass hays (above 8% crude protein) may be consumed at about 2.0% of body weight. Excellent forages, such as good alfalfa, silages, or green pasture may be consumed at the rate of 2.5% dry matter of body weight per day. The combination of increased nutrient content AND increased forage intake makes high quality forage very valuable to the animal and the producer. With these intake estimates, now producers can calculate the estimated amounts of hay that need to be available.

Using an example of 1200 pound pregnant spring-calving cows, lets assume that the grass hay quality is good and tested 8% crude protein. Cows will voluntarily consume 2.0% of body weight or 24 pounds per day. The 24 pounds is based on 100% dry matter. Grass hays will often be 7 to 10% moisture. If we assume that the hay is 92% dry matter or 8% moisture, then the cows will consume about 26 pounds per day on an “as-fed basis”. Unfortunately we also have to consider hay wastage when feeding big round bales. Hay wastage is difficult to estimate, but generally has been found to be from 6% to 20% (or more). For this example, lets assume 15% hay wastage. This means that approximately 30 pounds of grass hay must be hauled to the pasture for each cow each day that hay is expected to be the primary ingredient in the diet.

After calving and during early lactation, the cow may weigh 100 pounds less, but will be able to consume about 2.6% of her body weight (100% dry matter) in hay. This would translate into 36 pounds of “as-fed” hay per cow per day necessary to be hauled to the pasture. This again assumes 15% hay wastage. Accurate knowledge of average cow size in your herd as well as the average weight of your big round bales becomes necessary to predict hay needs and hay feeding strategies.

Big round hay bales will vary in weight. Diameter and length of the bale, density of the bale, type of hay, and moisture content all will greatly influence weight of the bale. Weighing a pickup or trailer with and without a bale may be the best method to estimate bale weights.

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Youngsters herd 'selfie with cow contest' in West Bengal – Economic Times

Kolkata: A group of young professionals named Goseva Parivar has been travelling across West Bengal to spread awareness about the economic benefits of rearing a cow and about the financial losses a family can incur by selling or slaughtering her.

The cow protection campaign, which started with the ‘Selfie with Gomata’ contest in 2015, launched its ‘Selfie with Gomata, 2018’ on Sunday with a rider– save cow scientifically.

Slamming the use of force for “Gauraksha”, executive member of the group, Lalit Agarwal told ET, “Gauraksha using religious sermons is passé now. Exercising violence means to protect cows cannot be a sustainable way of Gauraksha. We are trying to reach farmers irrespective of cast, creed and religion and explain about the financial benefits of rearing a cow. We are also explaining what monetary loss a family would incur if they sell a cow or take her to the slaughter house. We are aiming at a complete stop of sale for slaughtering cows, but of course not through violent means.”

The contest ‘Selfie with Gomata’ had drawn at least 10,000 entries last year and crashed the group’s brand new app. “So, this year the entries would be received through Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook,” said Abhishek Singh, the in-charge of the contest.

“The primary reason of conducting this contest is to impart knowledge to people and make them aware of the benefits of protecting cows. Not for once have we mentioned any religious connection with Gomata or brought in references of Hindu gods and goddesses.”

The group claims that despite working with several organisations, it has never experienced any political influence or resistance in West Bengal while holding training camps in villages.

“We have installed 70 bio gas plants in four districts –West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Burdwan. In more than hundred villages, we have already set up camps and are also connecting city groups to farmers for better bovine trade. We are trying to make farmers understand that milk is not the only thing they can get from a cow. Cow urine and dung are the main products that they should use. Since the price of LPG gas and fertilisers are soaring, they can use bio-gas and fertilisers made from cow dung.

Even though we do not sell cow urine, we have taught them to process and filter cow urine to use it as medicine. We have got positive response from many Muslim families as well,” said Agarwal.

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Episode 875: Why Did The Cow Cross The Border? – NPR

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Cattle crossing.

Jason Beaubien/NPR

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Jason Beaubien/NPR

Lately, we’ve been nerding out about cattle. Specifically, about this one particular set of facts. Every year, the United States exports 500 million tons of beef to Mexico. But every year, the United States imports 500 million tons of beef from Mexico.

We heard this, and thought: How is that possible? Why are we trotting all these cows back and forth across the border? We sent a reporter to the border to find out. The answers to those questions explain a lot about how trade works.

Music: “Nighttime Cruisin'”

Find us: Twitter/ Facebook / Instagram

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts and NPR One.

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Ohio girl brings cow to class to highlight struggling dairy farmers –

CARROLLTON, Ohio (WKBN) – An Ohio girl surprised her school when she brought a cow to class on Friday — all to highlight a growing problem for dairy farmers.

Macey Stevens is a junior at Carrollton High School, southwest of Columbiana County.

When her government teacher assigned the class a project about interest groups, Macey knew exactly which one she wanted to talk about.

She and her partner, Shelby Rhodes, both work on dairy farms.

"The farm is my second home and I love spending time with the cows — it's never a dull moment," Macey said.

Her dad grew up on a dairy farm, too.

"It's become more than a job — it's a lifestyle," she said.

Macey and Shelby know firsthand how the decrease in milk prices affects local farmers. She said people switching over to almond, soy and other nondairy "milks" also hurts the industry.

She and Shelby named their group project "We Farm You Drink" and explained the issues dairy farmers face.

Macey hoped by bringing a cow to class with her, she could bring attention to how much local dairy farmers need support from their communities.

She said her classmates lit up when they saw Buckwheat the cow. The kids, teachers and staff got to pet Buckwheat and take pictures with him.

Even though Buckwheat is a boy and can't be milked, she said he's still a dairy cow and symbolizes the hard work farmers do every day.

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Quality in the Cow Herd – Drovers Magazine

When you think of a “quality” cow herd, I suspect you see easy-fleshing cows with 500- to 600-pound (lb.) calves, each born unassisted in a 60-day window. A dream to handle, docile in every case, never a stray missing the gate. Calves top the market and feeders fight over who will own them every year.

That’s a pretty good picture, but let’s widen the view to a quality survey reported by McKensie Harris and others in the 2106 Market Cow Report of the National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA). It does not conjure picturesque or pastoral scenes, but there are some interesting quality trends to take in.

Market cows, the culls you sell, are a key source of lean trimmings to the beef supply chain and often represent 15% to 25% of gross income. However, the decision to sell a cow is not an active management choice in most operations. Commercial cattlemen “market” cows as a byproduct of the cow’s inability to remain productive, not because they want to increase income from cull cows.

That’s certainly different from the feeder and fed cattle scene. For one thing, those cows reflect delayed genetic trends in the herd, assuming the culls are older than average. The previous market cow NBQA was in 2007, conducted prior to the significant drought and culling across the U.S. in the next several years. The 2016 report offers insight as to how genetics within the commercial herd have changed relative to type and carcass characteristics, due to management and drought-induced culling.

Today, the percentage of Angus-type fed cattle hovers around 67%, a comparable number to the 2016 market cow report that suggests 68% of cows and 67% of bulls were Angus type. That’s a sizable increase in Angus influence, considering the 2007 report from John Nicholson and others indicated 44% of market cows and 52% of market bulls were predominately black hided—just 9 years earlier.

The genetic trend for marbling has increased for most breeds regardless of hide color. While neither market cows nor bulls are managed to express genetic potential for marbling, the 30-unit increase in average marbling score (about 1/3 of a quality grade) from 2007 to 2016 confirms the commercial cow herd has improved in quality potential. Besides that 30-unit marbling increase, distribution of marbling scores also improved, moving a greater percentage of cows toward higher scores.

While skewed toward quality, cows fit every marbling category. There were 2.8% with enough to grade Prime, between slightly abundant to abundant marbling. It’s hard to argue the Prime target is too lofty a goal for fed cattle when nearly 3% of cull market cows achieved that level of marbling for prime. Remember, they likely represented a delayed genetic trend, and the report is already two years old. Market cows cannot qualify for Prime due to advanced maturity, but today’s overall genetics and herd management signal the potential for continued increases in average quality grade. NBQA herd changes were not limited to marbling potential. Market cow carcass weights increased by 50 lb. over the 9 years, with ribeyes increased by 0.45 square inches. That’s a product of the larger carcass rather than more heavily muscled cows.

Cows can still get better, obviously: 21% of them were marketed at a light muscle score, reducing beef yield and increasing the chance of harvest lameness. The fall season offers benefits for a short-term feeding period in which cows can put on weight quickly and generally move to a more favorable marketing window. Keep in mind, feed efficiency tends to worsen with the older cows and the longer they are fed, so have a marketing plan in place.

Before entertaining a cow-feeding enterprise, check two things: 14% of the market cows in the NBQA had worn or broken teeth, which makes them poor feeding candidates. Better candidates but perhaps wrongly classified were the 17% of cows pregnant when sold. A short feeding period may not only improve cull-cow quality, but also offer a chance for one more pregnancy check before marketing. If these late-discovery bred cows don’t fit your ideal 60-day calving window, they certainly have more value for somebody as bred rather than thin, open cows.

Cull cows can serve as a good indicator, given the NBQA data, of where the beef community has improved and what challenges remain. In your herd, cull cows are a reflection of what doesn’t work in your system. Understanding how she got there offers a path to a higher quality cow herd.

Related Links:

Cull Cow Marketing Decisions

Marketing: Don’t Forget Your Cull Cows

Market Highlights: Cull Cow and Bull Prices Seasonally Falling

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Rankin's best photograph: a supermodel in a cow mask – The Guardian

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The Guardian

Rankin's best photograph: a supermodel in a cow mask
The Guardian
We used a cow barn, a pigsty, and a sheep field. This one is from the barn, where we also set up a white studio. I shot the cow with Polaroids, both sides, to make it look hyperrealistic. But I also used the Mamiya RZ67 I had back then. I do that

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Filmmaker Says, 'It's Not the Cow's Fault' and 'Millennials Are Our Only Hope' – Forbes

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes or Google Play.

In a wide-ranging conversation with author and filmmaker Josh Tickell, 43, he shared two key observations. First, he said that cows get a bad rap for their contribution to global warming. Second, he says millennials are key to solving climate change.

Tickell, a self-described environmentalist, is the author Kiss the Ground and The Revolution Generation. Films by the same titles are also pending release. Tickell’s first film, Fuel, still available on Netflix, won him a Sundance Film Festival award.

As a social entrepreneur, co-founder of Big Picture Ranch, his production company, he says his four-person team operates the business on a break-even basis. You can watch my full interview with Tickell in the video player at the top of this article.

Josh TickellCredit: Big Picture Ranch

In Kiss the Ground, Tickell looks at soil’s potential to sequester carbon. He notes that each acre of agricultural land has the potential to store up to 10 tons of carbon. Extending that across 10 billion acres of farmland, there is tremendous potential to store carbon there.

Two surprising keys to carbon sequestration in the soil include tilling—actually, not tilling—and running cows over the land.

Tilling is a great way, Tickell says, to release stored carbon into the atmosphere and damage the soil. Modern farming tools and techniques allow for no-till farming methods, where a slice is cut in the ground, seeds are inserted and the open wound in the land is immediately sealed in a fully mechanized way. This isn’t 19th-century farming.

He notes in his book that it isn’t enough to be an organic farmer. Organic farmers who are tilling their land are failing to sequester carbon and build healthy soils just like traditional farmers.

Much has been said in recent years about the methane production of cows and their impact on global warming. Tickell says the problem is in the concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs, where about 78% of beef cattle are raised. These factory farm operations do produce tremendous amounts of carbon.

That said, when cows graze in a pasture as a mob, moving from place to place, most of their emissions are stored in the soil–they are constantly converting grass into compost. Not only do they help, but Tickell says, “that’s the only way to really create the soil regeneration that’s necessary.”

“Not only is it not the cow’s fault but for better or worse we can’t really build the kind of soil carbon we need without them,” he says.

In The Revolution Generation, Tickell takes a look at millennials and their politics.

“Most people don’t realize this, but the millennial generation has the largest voting bloc in U.S. history,” he says.

With respect to solving climate change, Tickell says, “Not only are they the only potential solution. They’re our only potential hope.”

He notes that millennials are over 50% independent and that they don’t feel like there is anywhere for them to vote. “The Revolution Generation looks at how can we create new systems that are going to empower young people to make a difference,” Tickell says.

Generation X and the Baby Boomers and become “ideologically infatuated,” he says. “So, if our party believes XYZ we believe XYZ even if that is scientifically not true. So, we have become a party before science society and that’s what happens to empires before they fall.”

There is something different about millennials, however. “Regardless of whether they’re Republican Democrat or Independent the majority, vast majority, 70 to 80 percent believe that climate change is human-made.” Simply understanding the nature of the problem is critical to solving it, Tickell argues.

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Tailored Brands: A Stable And Misunderstood Cash Cow – Seeking Alpha

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The Cardinal Weekly

Tailored Brands: A Stable And Misunderstood Cash Cow
Seeking Alpha
Tailored Brands Inc. is a growing and stable business with only moderate leverage, yet its stock has a free cash flow yield in excess of 16%. Since 2016, TLRD has reduced its leverage from 5x to 3x EBITDA, and it has paid down $460 million of debt.
Factors of Influence in 2018, Key Indicators and Opportunity within StoneMor Partners, Catalyst Biosciences …GlobeNewswire
Men's Wearhouse Grows Custom ProgramsPR Newswire

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Tripura govt to give 10,000 cows to farmers thru bank loans:CM
Agartala, Nov 5 (PTI) Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar
Deb has said that his government will soon launch a project to
provide 10,000 cows to 5,000 farmer families through bank
loans to generate employment and meet the demand of milk in
the state.
Under the project, farmers will have to buy cows with the
help of bank loans, interest of which will be paid by the
state government, Deb told a meeting of BJP’s peasant wing
‘Tripura Pradesh Krishak Morcha’ here Sunday.
Villages will be identified and beneficiaries selected
from those villages, he was quoted to have said in the
meeting, a statement issued by state BJP spokesperson Nabendu
Bhattacharya said.
"The government will provide 10,000 cows to 5000 farmer
families .. to help solve unemployment problem to some
extent, fulfil the demand of milk and help crushing
malnutrition," the chief minister said.
The government will also take measures to procure milk
and arrange marketing, he said adding that the project would
be operational by December this year.
The chief minister also said that the Food Corporation of
India (FCI) would soon buy paddy directly from farmers.
He alleged that the previous Left Front government did
not pay any heed to the problems of the farmers and many
cultivators indulged in producing cannabis in the state.
"We have stopped it and now they are cultivating pulses,"
he said. PTI JOY PR

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