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The Cattle Connection

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

Time and thought devoted to bull selection is worth it

Posted by Travis Meteer - Genetics

Have you ever looked beside the recliner of a cattleman during bull sale season? Catalogs stacked deep and scattered in every direction, pages saved, lot numbers circled, EPDs highlighted, and a dozen empty coffee cups littering the scene. Bull selection can be a consuming task, but cattlemen realize future profitability is very dependent on the next herdsire. It is important to make so...

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Calving Season Tips

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 things...

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Makin momma cows: Part 4 of 4

This topic is not broken down into four parts for fun. Heifer development takes careful thought and precision-like execution. Previous blogs have talked about the steps leading up to breeding. This post will discuss options in breeding replacement heifers. Recent research has shown the importance of heifers conceiving early in the breeding season. It is proven that heifers that conceive...

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hfr pair on grass

Makin momma cows: Part 3 of 4

Posted by Travis Meteer - Nutrition

Nutrition plays a vital role in the success of a heifer development program. This crop of heifers may be some of the most nutritionally challenged heifers in recent memory. Drought has forced many producers to feed lower quality feedstuffs. On the other end of the spectrum, some producers are sitting on more corn silage than they have ever had, due to harvesting a failed corn crop as corn silag...

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Makin momma cows: Part 2 of 4

Have you ever been out in a pasture looking at cows and after asking "How old is she?" you hear "She is a '08 model." I believe that is why I think of heifer development as "manufacturing" mother cows. Just like the pickup you drive, the quality and dependability is based on the manufacturer. As cattlemen we are responsible for designing and manufacturing replacement heifers. When it co...

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heifer development

Makin Momma Cows: Part 1 of 4

Where will your herd be in 5 years? The answer to this question relies heavily on how you develop heifers. Not only are they the future of your operation, but they are also the future of the US beef herd. These heifers will be the cows that the industry is so desperately calling for to replenish record-low cow numbers. The ultimate goal is a heifer that gives birth to a healthy calf at...

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