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Reproduction

From the earliest genetic decisions to the final protocols for calving, discover the best information to improve your herd’s reproductive performance.

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The beef world seems to love acronyms and initialism. ADG, BCS, RFI, RTS, A.I., ET … the list goes on and on. One set of letters I wish we talked more about is ROI: return on investment.

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Pregnancies matter. Reproductive efficiency is a priority in beef herds. If producers depend on natural service, then bulls contribute to at least half of reproduction and at least as much to the future of the cow herd through his daughters.

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“A cow should have a calf every year.” For most cow-calf producers this is a true statement because the cow costs the same amount of money to keep – whether or not it raises and weans a calf to sell.

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Having a majority of cows in a cow-calf operation calve in the first 30 days of the calving season is critical to profitability for ranchers. A major opportunity for enhancing profitability is in moving late-calving cows forward to calve earlier in the calving season.

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In forage-based beef systems, balancing the environment (forage quality and quantity) and cow requirements is a driver of production efficiency.

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It’s hard to count the number of wonderful things that come along with calving season: sleepless nights, spring storms, frozen ears (yours and the calves), endless chores, mean mamas, and the list goes on and on. And while in the trenches, it can seem like haying season would be a glorious break. Calving is the point at which the reproductive clock is reset for the next year within your cow herd.

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