The Dairy Cattle Reproductive Council says one of the top 10 places successful reproductive managers focus their time is on heifer raising.

Reproductive success starts long before the two-year-old enters the milking string. Although top managers know fresh cows are important, they also know that the road to a successful reproduction program starts long before maternity.

The ration is key to reproduction when it comes to heifers. Fat heifers have trouble getting bred while energy-deficient heifers may not show signs of estrus. Much like the lactating herd, ration plays a large role in getting heifers bred. Focus on nutrition and heifer rearing so heifers are ready to be bred between 13 and 15 months.