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Beef Reproduction and Genetics

All Beef Reproduction and Genetics Content

Red angus cattle gathered in a feedlot in winter.


South Dakota is home to a dynamic livestock industry.

herd of beef cattle grazing in a pasture


Home to more than 1 million head of cattle, South Dakota’s producers can rely on SDSU Extension for research-based information, best management practices and resources to support healthy and profitable herds.

Diagram of an artificial insemination semen tank. For assistance reading this graphic and data set, please call SDSU Extension at 605-688-4792.

Proper Semen Handling Techniques

Proper semen handling is crucial for the overall reproductive success of an operation utilizing artificial insemination. Learn some expert tips for equipment selection, product storage and semen handling.

Red-to-orange cow lying with her newborn calf in a pasture.

Preventing Dystocia Before Calving Season Starts

Take time to understand the stages of labor and ensure best practices are in place to minimize dystocia during the calving season.

Mother cow licking newborn calf in a pasture.

Calving Distribution Affects Herd Health

When the calving season is consolidated, nutritional requirements are more synchronous across the herd, and these benefits extend beyond improved feed management.

Black angus cowherd in spring pasture.

Can Early Weaning Benefit First-Calf Heifers?

First-calf heifers pose specific challenges for cattle producers. Learn how strategic weaning decisions can impact the performance and profitability of this challenging group.

Pregnant black angus cow standing in a dry pasture.

High Nitrates and Pregnant Cows

Drought poses many challenges to the beef cow herd. Nitrates in feed is one of the challenges that producers need to be aware of, especially in the reproductive herd.

Black angus heifers in a green pasture.

Value of Pregnancy Detection of Yearling Heifers

One of the most-important traits in the beef herd is reproduction. Any female that ends up open at the end of the year is costing the operation additional money. Strategic management decisions should be made within the reproductive herd to help maximize revenue.

Several black beef cattle close together feeding.

Influence of Body Condition on Reproductive Performance of Beef Cows

Fact sheet about understanding effects of body condition score on reproductive performance.

A young man analyzing the results of a pregnancy check on an electronic device.

Preg-Checking Decisions

There is much value in preg-checking spring-calving cow herds in the fall. The most common is to cull open cows from the herd. The second reason would be to reduce the number of late calving cows in the herd.