Production and Management


At some point in an animal’s life, it will need to be safely moved between facilities, to another farm or to a livestock market. This video provides considerations and solutions to problems that can occur during livestock transportation.

This video will provide guidelines to help the viewer determine the most ideal time for euthanasia, as well as instruction on how to choose and perform appropriate euthanasia techniques.


This report summarizes the efforts of the PA Beef Producers Working Group, a collaboration between Penn State Extension, PA Beef Council, Center for Beef Excellence, and the Pennsylvania Cattlemen's Association. Support provided by the PA Department of Agriculture.


Ag Alternative fact sheets are designed to help you evaluate all aspects of a given enterprise before you commit your time and money. Each contains information on marketing, production, enterprise budgeting and resource requirements.

Backgrounding is a beef production system that uses pasture and other forages from the time calves are weaned until they are placed in a feedlot. This eight-page publication, part of the Agricultural Alternatives series focusing on small-scale and part-time farming operations, covers selecting calves for backgrounding, calf and forage management, preventative health management, backgrounding feeding programs, and other considerations, and includes sample budgets and references for more information.

The beef cow-calf business is well adapted to small-scale and part-time farmers who have land suitable for pasture and hay production. This publication discusses marketing and preconditioning, housing and facilities, health programs, using growth promotants, conditioning and feeding, and pastures. Also included are two sample beef cow-calf budgets. The first summarizes the costs and returns of a cow-calf enterprise using a feeding program of hay and pasture, and the second summarizes the costs and returns of a cow-calf enterprise using a feeding program of silage and pasture.

Cattle feeding in Pennsylvania has been a fairly stable, but high-risk business. During some years, an operation may not recover out-of-pocket costs, so beef-feeding enterprises are not as well adapted to small-scale farms as beef cow-calf operations. This six-page publication, part of the Agricultural Alternatives series focusing on small-scale and part-time farming operations, covers getting started, facilities, grazing and backgrounding, purchasing feeder cattle, health and nutrition, and includes sample budgets and references for more information.


Presentation on Slideshare by Tom Gallagher, Meghan Filbert and Phil Trowbridge.

Presentation by Cheryl Fairbairn on selecting breeding bulls and females in a grass based system

PowerPoint by Nancy Glazier on measures to improve yield and quality in pastures


Raising beef cattle for profit can be a satisfying enterprise. However, there are several management skills that each beef producer should have to be successful. Each beef cattle enterprise has different resources: land, labor, capital, feed and management. To raise beef cattle profitably, you must manage these resources to maximize returns.

The best approach to weed control is the integrated approach. Keeping pastures healthy is the first step. Rotation is an excellent management practice to allow pastures to rest. Fertilize as needed, clip to reduce weed seeds. Use herbicides wisely. Try spot treatment with herbicides for smaller patches, before they become widespread

Throughout the Northeast, beef cattle owners are faced with implementing best management practices, as well as adhering to local, statewide and national regulations.

Check with your local municipality to find out which laws apply if you are planning to build. Some common restrictions/requirements might include: road setbacks, lot size, dimensions, signage size and placement, site plan requirements, screening, etc. Developed by Cornell University and the SARE project.

Here are some basic rules to evaluate the feed requirements of beef cows during the winter.

Feed-grade urea can be an effective source of protein in beef cattle diets.

Retaining ownership of feeder cattle beyond the traditional time of sale at or near weaning is an option some cow-calf producers may consider.

Corn gluten feed is a co-product of the wet milling process for corn.

Recent studies at Penn State have shown that 20-25% of veal and dairy-beef calves do not receive colostrum prior to sale.

The most important factor on cattle feeder's cost management checklist is final quality grade of the feed.

Early spring when the grass is growing is a dangerous time in pastures because of the hidden danger of grass tetany.

It's hard to make a profit feeding cattle especially when there are some hidden costs at the feedlot.

For those with the facilities, feedstuffs, and management expertise, custom feeding cattle is an excellent risk management tool.

This article investigates the claimed benefits of grass-fed versus grain-fed beef with regard to safety, human health, and the environment.

These rations are based on calves receiving an average grass/legume hay that is .28 mcal/lb NEg and 10% crude protein.