Livestock and Forages

Insights from January 2024 Cattle Inventory Report

Submitted by: Matthew Fischer, Clemson Extension Livestock Economist and Brian Beer, Clemson Extension Area Livestock and Forages Agent The 2024 January Cattle Inventory Report was released by the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) on January 31, 2024. Below are some insights from the report. As of January 1, 2024, the US cattle inventory totaled 87.2 […]

Managing Horses in the Summer Heat

horses eating watermelon

Submitted by: Amber Starnes, CUCES Livestock and Forages Agent South Carolina summers mean high temperatures and humidity. With an increase in both temperature and humidity, there are several factors to take into consideration with equine management. Equines use sweat to cool their bodies during the summer. Just for maintenance horses need a minimum of 5 […]

On Farm Poultry Processing: Does it Pay?

Two chickens on the yard

Submitted by: Steve Richards, CUCES Agribusiness Agent Whether you are a homesteader raising backyard chickens or a chicken producer looking to sell ready-to-cook chickens at the farmers’ market, you have probably wondered how much it costs to raise, process, and sell chickens from start to finish. This is a complex question, as many different costs […]

Small Ruminants Beating the Heat

goats in pasture

Submitted by: Lauren Knight, CUCES Summer Intern Nicole Correa, CUCES Livestock and Forages Agent As warmer summer temperatures are quickly approaching, it is important to be sure your small ruminants are staying cool. Small ruminants such as goats and sheep can show signs of heat stress in temperatures as cool as 75 degrees.1 Producers must […]

Summer annual forages options for South Carolina

Author: Liliane Silva, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Forage-Livestock Systems, Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Clemson University In the Southeast, most livestock operations are based on perennial grasses, such as tall fescue and bermudagrass. Summer annual forages are high-quality, fast-growing forages that can supplement forage production and quality to support animal performance. They are planted from […]

Planning for Livestock Water Needs

There are a myriad of resources available to livestock owners discussing grazing options. Rotational grazing, intensive grazing, paddock sizing, and forage varieties are all covered extensively. The one critical topic that is often overlooked is the livestock water supply. Different species of livestock obviously require different amounts of water. A 1,200-pound cow will undoubtedly need […]

What Cuts the Premium?

Submitted by: Matthew J. Fischer CCA Clemson Livestock and Forage Economist  Long held tradition (and fact) states that feeder bulls will be discounted to feeder steers, obvious reasons.  Does this always occur and is it consistent?  It depends.  Observing USDA-AMS sale barn data from South Carolina between 2009-2023 for September marketings, when many calves are sold in the state, […]

Understanding forage quality and its importance for livestock-based systems

Mixture of cool-season forages. Credits: Liliane Silva, CUCES.

Submitted by: Liliane Silva, Clemson University Forages Specialist Forage quality is commonly defined as the nutrient concentration and digestibility of forages. It is important to emphasize that in the technical literature, forage quality is defined by forage nutritive value and intake. The nutrient concentration of forages directly impacts individual animal performance (e.g., growth, milk production), while […]

Stockpiled bermudagrass systems help to fill the forage gap

Submitted by: Liliane Silva, Forages Specialist, Clemson University Stockpiling is a management practice that defers forage availability for use later. This practice helps to decrease costs associated with feeding hay in livestock operations. In the southeast U.S., perennial grasses such as bahiagrass and bermudagrass are used to close the forage gap in early fall and extend […]

National Farm Safety and Health Week

September 17-23, 2023No One Can Take Your Place Submitted by: Marion Barnes, County Extension Agent, Clemson University Anyone actively involved in farming can tell you about the hazards and risks encountered while providing the food, fiber and fuel this country and the world is so dependent upon. Just as consumers sometimes overlook the important role […]

Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices in Forage-Livestock Systems in South Carolina

Figure 1. Number of enrolled cattle operations by county in South Carolina.

Submitted by: Olivia Mathis, Liliane Silva, Ana Thayer Overview of Forage Systems in South CarolinaThe beef livestock industry is one of the most important agricultural activities in South Carolina. Forages are the primary feed source for livestock due to favorable climatic conditions, a wide range of adapted forage species, and local access to nutrient sources, such […]