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The Cattle Connection

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

Tall Fescue: A love/hate relationship

Posted by Travis Meteer - Grazing

Tall fescue is a grass specie that dominates many pastures in the state of Illinois, especially the southern half. When talking to producers about pasture management, many times management of tall fescue is a major component. There seems to be a love/hate relationship with tall fescue. As producers, we love the early spring yields, the stockpiling potential in the fall, and the hardiness of the...

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hay bale

Makin' Hay

Posted by Travis Meteer - Hay

This past week's weather was dry, sunny, and low humidity. You couldn't ask for much better weather for "makin' hay." The dry weather has been abnormal for an Illinois spring, but then again, what hasn't been abnormal about the weather this year. Hay work hasn't been near as challenging as it usually is in early spring. We have the dry weather to thank for that. We also must realize that yields...

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Breeding Cattle by Appointment

When I was a kid, the barber shop in town was "walk-ins only." Some days you would get lucky and get directly in the chair. Other days were not nearly as fortunate (weekends before holidays were brutal). As the barber got older, he decided to switch to "appointments only." Some customers fought the change, but guess what I never ended up spending the whole afternoon waiting in line anymore. The...

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Bull pic

Natural service vs. Artificial Insemination

Wow! We sure have seen some high prices paid for commercial bulls this year. The cattle market as a whole is pretty good, but prices for breeding stock seem to be pushing top dollar. With these higher prices, I think it is worth looking at the value of Artificial Insemination (AI). It is a must-use practice for the seedstock guys, but the commercial cattlemen can find value in it too. T...

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Body Condition Scoring: Low Cost Profit Booster

The ability to accurately Body Condition Score (BCS) cows is one of the most valuable skills a producer can acquire. As we enter breeding season, BCS of the cows will be a large determinant in achieving desired conception and pregnancy rates. Numerous studies (Selk et. Al., 1988; Pruit & Momont, 1990; Houghton et al., 1990) have shown that BCS plays a role in subsequent pregnancy rates. Cow...

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Hello from the Orr Beef Research Center

Posted by Travis Meteer -

Hello! My name is Travis Meteer. I joined University of Illinois as a Beef Extension Educator this past year. I am working out of the Orr Beef Research Center. The Orr Center is located in Pike County in western Illinois. Orr is home to a herd of SimAngus cows that fluctuates from 160 to 200 head of momma cows depending on research needs. Orr is part of a cooperative research effort...

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