OSU Livestock and Forages Newsletter for March 2022

Skip to first unread message

Teresa Matteson

Mar 29, 2022, 2:12:59 PMMar 29
to Announce (bswcd-announce@googlegroups.com)



From: Livestock and Forages Program (OSU Extension Service) <livestoc...@email.oregonstate.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2022 12:02 PM
To: Teresa Matteson <tmat...@bentonswcd.org>
Subject: OSU Livestock and Forages Newsletter for March 2022


Information from the OSU Extension Service Western Oregon team

View as a web page



Western Oregon Newsletter
March 2022

clover and grass field close up


Credit: Sheryl Watson - stock.adobe.com


Matching nitrogen application to expected yield and legume content in pastures

Fertilizing efficiently is of utmost importance this year with forecasted drought and high input cost. One way to ensure you are following the latest recommendations is to use the OSU publication Nutrient Management for Pastures: Western Oregon and Western Washington.

There are several nutrients and lime considerations, all based on research done in western Oregon for agronomic, economic fertilizer and lime management. One of the easiest is for nitrogen applications. Unlike other nutrients, you do not need a soil test to guide you. This is because N is used for pasture growth or moves through the soil profile more quickly than we can measure soils levels for use in pasture fertilizer recommendations.

Instead, we use the production potential (annual yield) of the field to estimate the amount of N that can be used by the system. Low productivity fields should only get about 50 lb. N/acre, while highly productive pastures can use up to 200 lb. N/acre. We adjust this for amount of clover in the field because rhizobia bacteria that colonize the roots of legumes can fix atmospheric N. That N is first used for legume growth but over time it is released for use by grasses. Clover dominated fields need very little N, while pure stands of grass need the most.

However, the N fixation cannot occur under very acidic soils. Make sure your pH is at least 5.5 to improve this system.

See a comparison photo (Figure 2) and yield potential of the field (Table 1) at the link below for guidelines on pasture composition and recommendations for N applications. 

Access the publication


Sheep and lambs gathered to begin weaning time with sun setting


Credit: Cherie - stock.adobe.com


Evaluation of flock production

Lambing season is winding down for many producers. Now is a great time to double-check your record keeping making sure you are collecting data that will help you evaluate your flock. This will allow you to see where improvements might be made in your production calendars to improve efficiencies.

Many sheep producers have counts on their flock by month and this is the basic information that can be converted to percentages or averages to be used in the evaluation of flock production. The different calculations include the average weaning weight and the percent of:

  • Ewes exposed that lamb
  • Ewes that settle on first cycle
  • Lamb crop born of ewes exposed
  • Lamb crop born of ewes lambing
  • Lamb mortality from birth to weaning

Each of these calculations has an impact on production efficiency. Study your results and read about how to improve each point.

Find out more


Educational Programs and Announcements


cattle looking forward and laying in field


Credit: Extension Communications Slide Collection


Douglas County Livestock Association Spring Livestock Conference

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 12 – 8 p.m.
Winston Community Center

  • Beef Quality Assurance (BQA): Cattle transportation (includes a pizza lunch): 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Educational sessions: 2:00 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Tri-Tip dinner: 5:30 p.m.
  • Keynote presentations: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Free to Douglas County Livestock Association members and $20 for non-members or join the association at the door.

RSVP for BQA lunch and evening dinner



Lane County Livestock and Forages Breakfast

Second Monday each month at Elmer's Restaurant in Springfield

April 11, 2022: Shelby Filley, OSU Extension Service on developing and using pastures

May 9, 2022: Terry Cowart, Lebanon Auction Yard

biscuits and scrambled eggs with coffee at restaurant


Credit Breakfast at Bryant's by ilovememphis is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


sheep and lambs in field


Credit: Lynn Ketchum

Shepherds’ Group

First Wednesday each month
Roseburg in-person and on-line

Join in for small group sharing and learning opportunities.


goat eating blackberry vine through a fence


Credit: Shelby Filley

Small Ruminant Webinar Series

April 12, 2022 Online

Bridging the gap between meat goat hobby and commercial meat goat business.


goat eating blackberry vine through a fence


Credit: Kathleen - stock.adobe.com

Linn County Livestock Association Spring Dessert Meeting

April 30, 2022, 6– 8 p.m. in Brownsville
Email Lynden Brown or call 541-258-8263

Update on the federal predator control program and the new trapper in Linn county, among other agenda items. Everyone is welcome to come and share information and ask questions. Cake, cookies, coffee, tea and water provided. Association dues are $20.



Developing a Successful Agritourism Business in Oregon

$20 Online, access any time

This new online course is for Oregon producers considering agritourism.

Registration is open through March 31, 2022.

pumpkins and flowers in field


Credit: Oregon State University


Calves in the rodear are captured by head-and-heel roping, as was traditionally done before corrals were prominent.


Credit: Audrey Marchek


Study evaluates methods to reduce calf stress during processing in unweaned bull calves

Across the western U.S., cattle processing is a standard procedure performed by cow-calf operators. It is a stressful event that occurs within the first three months of a calf's life when they are earmarked, branded, vaccinated, dehorned and when bull calves are castrated. Producers use this time to both provide a necessary form of identification and boost overall herd health.

When taking into consideration the sheer number of beef cattle that populate the rugged terrains and vast expanses of western rangelands, it is not uncommon for the general public to come across ranchers processing their calves. Because it is commonly in public view, traditional practices associated with calf processing are subjected to increased scrutiny that have the potential to either enhance or damage cattle producers' image through the lens of urban America.

Oregon cow-calf operators skillfully implement practices supporting sustainable operations by implementing practices that are economically viable, socially diligent and environmentally responsible.

Incidentally, many of these practices are consistent with best management practices highlighted by the National Beef Quality Assurance (NBQA) Program, which provides science-based and common-sense curriculum to ensure producers are implementing practices that result in a wholesome and quality beef product. Today, the NBQA Program is implemented at the state level, which allows BQA trainers to use science and local understanding to identify best management practices that are consistent with the broader NBQA context.

Unfortunately, there is limited science-based information characterizing the best management practice during calf branding and processing. The most common scenario across the western U.S. is to use horseback to rope and secure calves prior to branding and processing — either with or without the cow. Interestingly, these effects on calf stress have not been formally reported within the scientific literature, which is to say that producer intuition has gone largely unvalidated.

Read this update in the Oregon Beef Council Report (pages 17-20) on a 2021 OSU research project looking to study this further.

Read the report



Contact the OSU Extension Livestock and Forages team for Western Oregon


Cassie Bouska

Agriculture, OSU Extension Service

Contact Cassie and learn more about her work

Shelby Filley

Regional Livestock & Forages Specialist, OSU Extension Service
Contact Shelby and learn more about her work

Gordon Jones

Agriculture Specialist, OSU Extension Service

Contact Gordon and learn more about his work


Find more on our Extension website


Oregon State University Extension Service
Regional Livestock & Forages | Douglas County
PO Box 1165, 1134 SE Douglas Ave, Roseburg, Oregon 97470

OSU Extension Service prohibits discrimination in all its programs, services, activities, and materials. This publication will be made available in an accessible alternative format upon request. Please contact Regional Livestock & Forages Program.

If you no longer want to receive e-newsletters from the Livestock & Forages Program, please click Unsubscribe.

Copyright 2022 OSU Extension Service. All rights reserved.


Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages