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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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As the breeding season approaches, generally everyone is thinking about getting cows and heifers in shape for the breeding season. A nice, tight breeding season results in a nice, tight calving season, which generally is the most economical for producers. However, the cow is only half of the equation. Don’t forget about the bulls!

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With the onset of bull buying season, having a systematic approach to finding and identifying the “right” bull is imperative. Bull selection is the most critical factor for genetic improvement in cow-calf herds, as the influence of the bull impacts both the immediate calf crop as well as future calf crops through the performance (and costs) of his daughters. Consequently, bull selection warrants careful planning and preparation, well in advance of any sale or visit from an AI representative. Consider the following steps to assist in the bull-buying process:

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Much has been written and is well understood about the value of heterosis (hybrid vigor) in several facets of production agriculture. Hybrid corn is a mainstay in the corn industry and has provided tremendous improvements in corn yields over the past century. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture: “About 95 percent of our corn acreage now is planted to hybrid corn. We [the U.S.] produce at least 20 percent more corn on 25 percent fewer acres than in 1930, when seed of hybrid corn became available in quantity to American farmers.”

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An optimistic outlook for fall calf prices has been given by McVean Trading and Investments, along with cattle industry data giant CattleFax.

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