Ben Beckman - Extension Educator

Ben Beckman

faculty
Work
PO Box 368 101 E Centre Hartington NE 68739-0368
US
Green alfalfa field
Evaluating your alfalfa stand in the spring is key to planning management and setting expectations for this year.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Evaluating Alfalfa Stands, Fertilizing Cool-season Grass

March 26, 2024
Recommendations on getting an accurate assessment of alfalfa stands this spring and fertilizing cool-season grass pastures and hayfields for optimal forage yields.

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Alfalfa field
Even before plants begin to green up, individual plant assessments can be done. While assessment before green-up occurs may seem a bit preemptive, pre-scouting now can focus scouting efforts to problem areas later on when time becomes precious during spring planting.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Strategies to Increase Alfalfa Health, Productivity

March 19, 2024
Extension educators review options for interseeding grasses into alfalfa and assessing alfalfa stand health.

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Cattle grazing pasture under storm clouds
While most areas in Nebraska have received good snowfall or rain this winter, there is always some uncertainty for spring and summer precipitation. So, the key first step in devising a successful spring and summer grazing and forage strategy is to develop or adjust a good drought plan for your operation.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Understanding Fall Dormancy in Alfalfa, Planning Summer Grazing

February 27, 2024
Extension educators share growth impacts of fall dormancy in alfalfa and recommendations for building your spring and summer grazing and forage plans.

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Gated fence on Nebraska pasture
Drought adds another layer of complication to the process of establishing fair pasture rental rates. Landowners renting pasture in severe drought-impacted regions might consider pricing leases based on grazing animal unit months or rent per head per month of grazing, rather than flat rates per acre or cow-calf pair.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Pasture Leasing Rates and Alfalfa Winter Survival

February 22, 2024
Extension educators share insights on establishing pasture rental rates and selecting alfalfa seed for winter survival traits.

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Hereford cow and calf in field eating hay
A cow's energy requirements increase about 30% and protein needs nearly double after calving. Because of this, it's important to use your best quality forages with any needed supplements to provide adequate nutrition.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Considerations for Feed After Calving, Adding Legumes to Pastures

February 12, 2024
Tips on meeting nutrient requirements of cows after calving season and improving pasture production by frost seeding or interseeding legumes.

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Cattle eating hay during winter
Properly testing hay and adjusting mineral and livestock diets during the winter are important steps in minimizing the risk of issues like tetany and nitrate poisoning.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Considerations for Pasture Leases and Winter Hay Nutrition

January 30, 2024
Extension educators review factors that affect the success of pasture grazing leases, and how to avoid toxicity and malnutrition through livestock feed during the winter.

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Oat field in summer
While taking stock of your operation for the new year, it’s also a good time to start planning spring annual forages. While oats are probably the most common cool-season annual forage planted in Nebraska, spring triticale or spring barley are also good options, with comparable forage yield and quality.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Preparing Your Operation for 2024, Planning Spring Annual Forages

January 23, 2024
Winter brings time to take stock of our current operations and plan for the future, which can make a significant impact on success in the upcoming year. 

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Cattle in snow
While water demands in the winter may be less than summer, keeping water available can be difficult. Having animals eat snow may be tempting but requires an experienced herd, plenty of fresh snow and healthy animals.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Winter Insect Mortality and Livestock Water Needs

January 16, 2024
Extension educators review the effects of subzero temperatures on overwintering insects and whether snow can adequately be used as a water source for cattle. 

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