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Beef Reproduction and Genetics

All Beef Reproduction and Genetics Content

A newborn calf with its mother in a snowy field

Beef Cow Nutrition During Calving and Early Lactation

Calving season has started or will be starting in the near future for most producers. Nutritional management of the cow herd is more important during the periods of late pregnancy and early lactation than any other.

Black Angus bull standing with a group of Angus and Charolais crossbred heifers in a spring pasture with an overcast sky.

Ensure Herd Bulls Are Ready for the Upcoming Breeding

Percent of calf crop weaned on any operation is the single largest factor influencing profitability. Subsequently, herd bulls influence herd fertility more than any other single animal.

Black Angus crossbred cow standing to the right looking at the camera with two cattle grazing in the background with blank area to the left

Using the Estrus Synchronization Planner

The Estrus Synchronization Planner has been available since 1998, developed by Iowa Beef Center. It has evolved over the years, proving to be an effective and easy tool to help select and implement synchronization protocols.

Close-up of the heads of curious Red Angus cattle during feeding time in an outdoor pen - dust from the hay and outdoor enclosure swirl in the air around their heads.

2020 Beef Cow Synchronization Protocols

The Beef Reproduction Task Force, composed of representatives of A.I. and pharmaceutical companies, veterinarians and university reproduction specialists, has developed recommended synchronization protocols for beef producers that will provide optimal pregnancy rates based on research and field use.

A small herd of cattle grazing in snow-covered, spring pasture.

Bunch the Cow Herd

Reproduction is one of the biggest drivers of economic success. Cows stressed by cold, wind, snow, and mud will put energy resources into body condition maintenance and lactation prior to recycling.

herd of beef cattle grazing in a pasture

Beef Management & Reproduction Report Card

SDSU Extension tool for producers to track the critical management factors that affect reproductive success in beef cattle.

A heard of cattle grazing in a snowy pasture.

Nutritional Needs Prior to Calving

Nutrition during late gestation plays a large role on the future calf as well as the dam. It is during the last 60-90 days of gestation, or the pre-calving period, that impacts the calf’s survivability, long-term health and overall production.

A red angus cow with two unweaned calves attempting to suckle from it.

Alternative Calving Considerations

Structuring a calving program that best suites farm and ranch operations can be challenging. Of primary concern are: weather, labor, market timing, and animal health considerations, with weather possibly being the most volatile factor, as it ranges from challenging to catastrophic in some years.

A black, crossbred calf standing in a feedlot.

Choosing Beef Genetics for Use in Dairy Herds

Combinations of new technologies and economic challenges often usher in sweeping changes and opportunities. The use of beef genetics on dairy cows is the most-recent example.

five beef cows standing in a pasture

Using Estrous Synchronization in Natural-Service Breeding Situations

Estrous synchronization is typically associated with artificial insemination (AI) programs, and is therefore often viewed as impractical or impossible to use within natural-service herds.