Protect your investment with proper semen tank maintenance

As calving season winds down and cow-calf pairs head off to pasture, it’s time to turn our attention to breeding season. You probably spent some time studying AI sires, their EPDs, price, and confirmation, but none of that matters if your semen tank isn’t doing its job. Semen tank maintenance is a small piece of […]

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Body Condition Scoring is Key Management Tool

Body condition scoring continues to be an important and useful management tool for beef cow/calf producers.  Unfortunately it is often forgotten about.  The current method of evaluating body condition involves visually evaluating the animal, and assigning a body condition score (BCS) that reflects the animal’s current state of condition.  It can be used as a […]

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Lush Spring Forages and Beef Cow Reproduction

After a long winter, most of us relish the first few warm and sunny days of spring.  For our beef farmers, those first spring days also signal that our pastures will be greening up soon.  Making the transition from winter feeding to spring pasture often represents our most economical and labor efficient feeding of the […]

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Bull Management 101 for Breeding Season Success

In today’s beef industry the margins for productivity and profitability are thin.  Herd reproduction and fertility are important for profitability to occur.  A successful breeding season hinges on nutrition, vaccination, sire selection, breeding soundness exams, and management protocols to control the length of the breeding season. Each of these contributes to a positive outcome within […]

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Is it time to consider shifting calving dates?

As the price of beef comes back down from record highs, we just have to be patient for input costs to decline by a similar amount.  . . Yeah, right, I also have a bridge to sell.    Cow/Calf enterprise data summarized by the Center for Farm Financial Management at UMN (FINBIN) shows that in 2000 […]

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Selecting Replacement Heifers Based on Birthdate and Age of Dam

Two research studies at the University of Nebraska by Dr. Rick Funston, beef reproductive physiologist at the West Central Research and Extension Center, suggest that the key information needed to identify heifers most likely to be successful as replacements is known the day the heifers are born. The 2012 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report “Effect of […]

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Managing New Herd Sires

New bulls need to be managed carefully between delivery and the start of breeding season to maximize the return on the investment in new genetics. New herd sires represent a sizeable investment to a cow/calf business. One of the major components of the cost of natural service is the number of years of useful life […]

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Are you prepared to select your future herd sire?

For some cattle enthusiasts, opening the pages of a bull sale catalog brings the same joy going through toy catalogs did as kids. For others it’s an overwhelming task, with a growing list of genetic indices and options. And for some there is no selection process; a bull is just a bull. Here are a […]

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Bull Buyer’s Guide

Are you sifting through stacks of bull sale catalogs looking for your next bull? While bull selection can be a daunting task, your choice will impact your herd for years to come. Thus, taking some time to think about what you need from your next herd sire is important. Here are some points to emphasize […]

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South Dakota State Extension to Host Heifer Development Webinar Series

In February 2016 SDSU Extension will host the 2nd Annual Heifer Development Webinar Series titled “Managing Bred Heifers for the Future”. This four-part webinar series begins on February 10th, 2016 and will focus on the management of bred heifers with the objective of providing producers with research-based tools they can use to effectively manage their […]

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