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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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Most progressive producers have their cows examined for the diagnosis of pregnant versus not pregnant (or “open”) at some time point prior to calving, most commonly around the time of weaning. There are some potential advantages to performing this examination earlier – approximately 90 to 100 days following the start of the breeding season.

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Yearling heifers can often be a conundrum when it comes to getting bred. No matter how big they are or how pretty they look, there’s always the chance they just won’t settle. There are a variety of reasons, but the fact remains: They are open when preg-checked in the fall.

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At a time when prices for inputs are uncertain and markets waiver significantly, there is one incredibly important way to increase the profitability of any cattle enterprise – by using genetic improvement.

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It’s that time of year again when cattle are itching to graze fresh new pastures and young calves have a newfound freedom running through green grass.

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Selection used to be entirely phenotypic. Everybody was an expert in structural evaluation and based decisions off what was seen by the naked eye. Then came the performance movement of the 1960s and ’70s, and the industry shifted to modern evaluation systems and selection tools such as expected progeny differences (EPDs) as a large part of their selection.

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The young lactating heifer has and will continue to be a rancher’s biggest nutritional challenge in the beef herd. If the young cow’s mature bodyweight is between 1,200 and 1,300 pounds, she likely only weighs a little over 1,000 pounds the first month after calving.

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