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The Cattle Connection

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

Tips for Calving Season

Calving season is either here or fast approaching for many Illinois cattlemen. I would just like to share a few tips that I have gathered through some of our winter meetings. Perhaps the most important tip is to have a good relationship with your local veterinarian. Sometimes the difficult decisions during calving season are best made by your veterinarian. Just a few of the basic t...

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Avoiding Acidosis

As farmers put together least-cost rations this winter, many of them will be using corn as an ingredient. For many farmers, corn stored on farm will be the cheapest source of energy. It has been a few years since corn has been this "cheap." Thus, it is worth reminding cattlemen of the dangers of acidosis when feeding higher levels of corn. Acidosis is a nutritional disease that is cause...

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Pre-Calving Prep

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. With higher prices, losing a calf can add stress both mentally and financially to your operation. Here are some things you may want to consider. In many areas of the Midwest, Selenium is deficient in th...

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Colostrum- The elixir of life

This post is authored by Dallas Duncan-Meteer, DVM, Mt. Sterling Veterinary Clinic.   Ensuring adequate colostrum intake is one of the single most important factors in producing healthy, profitable cattle. Calves are born essentially without antibodies to organisms that cause disease. Calves must rely on the dam to provide them with colostrum containing immunoglobulins. Immunogl...

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muddy cows

Mud pulls down cattle performance

The last couple weeks have been host to cool, wet weather. Resulting from that weather, muddy conditions have been very persistent. Not only is mud a hassle for farmers conducting daily chores, but it can also negatively affect cattle performance. Remember back to the last time you walked through a muddy lot (even if it was just yesterday). It is slippery, mucky, and certainly takes mor...

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Are you 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 animal care and performance to ensure a safe, quality food supply. By now, you as a beef producer realize that the beef business is a consumer-driven...

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Now is a great time to conduct a BCS on the cowherd

Cattle prices are holding at record levels so far this fall. As we head into bred heifer sale season, there appears to be a lot of interest from producers eager to re-invest profits. Prices for heifer calves have been elevated, however some have taken lofty steer checks and saved heifers back for replacements. The market for breeding cattle has been and looks to be good. Producers are seeing in...

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