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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies
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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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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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It's time to get BQA certified

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is a national program designed by cattlemen and cattlewomen, delivered by cattlemen and cattlewomen, for cattlemen and cattlewomen. BQA equips producers with production strategies and general skills to maintain a quality, wholesome food supply. The beef business is a consumer-driven business. Grassroots programs, like BQA trainings, are the foundation to rei...

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Corn silage too dry?

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition

I have had numerous reports of drier than normal corn silage this year. It is hard to post a blog that answers all the questions about corn silage. Nutrient analysis of corn silage, dry matter, nitrate levels, analysis of other feedstuffs, cow size, cow condition, environmental factors, and many more variables can impact the amount of corn silage you need to feed. I recommend you consult your n...

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