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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies

Handling Early Spring Challenges with Sacrifice Paddocks

A long, harsh winter coupled with a slow start to spring has left many producers frustrated with where to put cows. Calving cows do not do very well in muddy lots that are already piled high with used bedding from the winter. Nor do pastures do very well with lots of foot traffic as they try to re-establish and become productive in the 2014 season. So… the logical thought is turn cows out, but...

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Posted by Travis Meteer at 4:40PM on 4/22/2014
Categories: Grazing

Adding Pounds = Higher Paycheck

Record high calf prices provide incentive for cattle producers to deploy management strategies to increase pounds at weaning. A couple common strategies to add pounds would be implants, creep feeding, early weaning, and backgrounding. Implanting calves is a good option for producers that are selling commodity cattle. Those that are selling calves under "Natural" or "implant free" verifi...

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Posted by Travis Meteer at 2:08PM on 4/14/2014
Categories: Calf Management

May 1 2013 turnout

Pastures Need Time before Spring Grazing

Winter was one for the record books. Spring has started cool and damp and we have seen little growth of grass so far. For these reasons, it is important that cattlemen let grass get a good start this spring before grazing. Managing pastures early is arguably more important than later in the year. Sure, keeping grass vegetative, managing seed heads, and knowing forage availability are al...

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Posted by Travis Meteer at 12:57PM on 4/4/2014
Categories: Grazing

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Reasons to incorporate Timed A.I. into your herd

There is no question Artificial Insemination (A.I.) has been a game changer into today's industry but timing could be key to your herd success. Natural service still makes up the majority of breeding in the U.S. cattle industry, however rising bull purchase prices may push more producers to use A.I. Traditionally, A.I. has been implemented in herds that synchronize estrus. This scenario...

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Posted by Travis Meteer at 11:00AM on 3/25/2014
Categories: Reproduction

Rebreeding is the key to Rebuilding

Cattle markets are setting new records, feed costs are falling, and cattlemen are anxious to stabilize and rebuild numbers. Forecasted profits for the cow/calf producer are the highest they have been in decades. While I would like to end this column right here and tell you all to go buy a new pickup, I am a realist. There is a limiting factor to your success in this forgiving market. Yo...

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Posted by Travis Meteer at 1:26PM on 3/15/2014
Categories: Reproduction

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Frost Seeding Legumes

There is no doubt that the drought of 2012 and the weather extremes of 2013 have stressed pastures. Maintaining a productive stand in your pasture is crucial for animal performance, holding feed costs down, and making the most of the productive soil you have invested in. Frost seeding clover is a good strategy to deploy to fill in wholes and weak stand areas in pastures. Red clover is t...

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Posted by Travis Meteer at 10:34AM on 3/7/2014
Categories: Grazing

IPT Bull Sale Results

The Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale was the lead-off event of the 2014 Illinois Beef Expo held on Feb. 20 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill. The sale had the highest overall average in the 46 year history at $3,840 on 51 lots. "This sale has developed into one of the most reliable sources of performance bulls in the Midwest," said Travis Meteer, IPT sale...

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Posted by Travis Meteer at 12:33PM on 2/25/2014
Categories: Genetics