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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies
Tips for getting cows bred

Focus on Getting Cows Bred Early in the Breeding Season

I was speaking at a meeting one evening and I was talking about how nutrition affects reproduction. I got to the portion of the talk discussing how post-partum interval affects cows getting bred in a 60 day season. I asked the members of the crowd to raise their hand if they maintained a 60-day calving season. Very few hands went up. One of the few was attached to a gentleman that spoke up and...

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Feeding cows

Stretching an already short hay supply

Spring forgot to set the alarm clock! While we are waiting for Spring to wake up and replace this persistent winter weather with warm temperatures, many cattle owners are struggling to stretch an already short hay supply. Turning out at the first sign of grass growth has consequences. Plants need the opportunity to establish a good root base. Grazing plants too early and too often can d...

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IPT Bull Sale logo

Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale Results

Posted by Travis Meteer -

The Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale was the lead-off event of the 2018 Illinois Beef Expo held on Feb. 22 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill. The sale averaged $3,875 on 50 lots. "This sale continues to be one of the best sources for total performance genetics in the Midwest," said Travis Meteer, IPT sale manager. "During the past 50 years, the sale...

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newborn calf nursing

Colostrum: the foundation of a healthy life for calves

Growing pressure from the consumer to further reduce use of antibiotics in livestock production is a hot topic. Many times in hot topic discussions, the obvious gets overlooked. I believe colostrum and managing cows to produce high quality colostrum is necessary no matter the production practice, but we should do a better job emphasizing colostrum in today's production climate. Ensuring...

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Cornstalk DSI

FAQ: Cornstalk Grazing

Grazing cornstalks is arguably the best cost-saving strategy Midwestern cattlemen can deploy. I wanted to share some frequently asked questions pertaining to grazing cornstalks. Q: How long can I graze cornstalks? A: This depends on stocking rate and available dry matter to graze. The quick answer is "At 150 bushels an acre, approximately 1 acre of cornstalks are needed to feed...

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Start Selecting 2018 Illinois Performance Tested Bulls

Posted by Travis Meteer - Genetics

Seedstock breeders in Illinois should be identifying bulls they plan to consign to the 2018 Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale. The IPT Bull Sale is the leadoff event for the annual Illinois Beef Expo. The sale is scheduled for Thursday, February 22 nd at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The sale accepts older as well as younger bulls, with a birth date range fr...

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Looking at 2-Step Weaning

This post is authored by Kendi Sayre, intern at University of Illinois Orr Beef Research Center. It is that time of year again when producers are preparing to wean their early born calves. Other than calving, weaning can be one of the most stressful times of the year both on the calf and the cow. Minimizing outside factors that could add more stress is key, but there are also many strat...

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