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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies
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Too Late for Frost Seeding?

Posted by Travis Meteer - Grazing Hay

The first week of March is traditionally when many in central and northern Illinois are frost seeding clover. However, this year has brought a dry, mild winter and the grass as even started to green up. It feels like spring, and the plants feel it too. The question has come up quite a bit in the last two weeks, "Is it too late to frost seed or overseed clover?" My reply is… it depends....

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IPT Bull Sale logo

2017 IPT Bull Sale Results

Posted by Travis Meteer - Genetics

The Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale was the lead-off event of the 2017 Illinois Beef Expo held on Feb. 23 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill. The sale averaged $3,400 on 54 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 49 years, the sale...

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IPT Bull Sale logo

IPT Bull Sale is the Source for Total Performance Genetics

Posted by Travis Meteer - Genetics

Commercial cow-calf producers and seedstock breeders interested in purchasing a total performance tested bull will want to attend the 2017 Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale. The sale will be the leadoff event of the Illinois Beef Expo. There are 67 bulls cataloged with 27 being longer-aged 2015 mature bulls and 40 yearlings. A breakdown of the breeds includes 42 Angus, 20 Simmental and SimA...

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Preparing for Calving Season

There is nothing like a healthy new born calf to make your day. However, it is important to remember there are several factors that can influence the health and vigor of new born calves. Here are some things you may want to consider. In many areas of the Midwest, Selenium is deficient in the soil. As a result, pasture, hay, and grains that are grown from Midwestern soils will share the...

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What is your ideal cow?

One of the most popular questions I get asked is "What is your ideal cow?" This question always spurs quite the debate. Factors like breed, cow size, milking ability, and a long list of phenotypes are discussed. Comments like "We don't want to go back to that kind of cattle" typically dominate the conversation. While I enjoy listening to the stance of different cattle breeders and cattl...

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Winter ration considerations for beef cows

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition

Feed costs represent over half the total cost in a cow-calf production system. The majority of feed costs are from feeding cows during the winter season when most grasses are dormant. As a result of this, producers can greatly impact the profitability by managing winter feed costs. This article will discuss and illustrate options for developing a least-cost ration on your farm. Die...

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commodity bay storage

Budgeting feed needs for the winter

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition

The dry fall weather has been optimal for farmers harvesting crops. However, it has left pastures without needed moisture to grow fall forage. As a result, it is becoming glaringly evident that cattle producers need to inventory feeds and make sure they have the needed amounts of stored feed in case they are forced to start feeding cattle earlier than expected. Hay A co...

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