Cow/Calf producers gathered on December 6th for the third session of the Beef Production Audit Series. Beef cow reproduction was the topic of the day.

Dr. George Perry, SDSU Extension Beef Specialist was one of the featured speakers. Dr. Perry focused on the understanding of reproductive efficiency within the cow herd. There are several measures of efficiency within reproduction. He explained that pregnancy rates are how many animals become pregnant per a day during the breeding season. Calving rate was defined as how many animals calve per a day of the calving season.

In addition, he highlighted that past data has shown that 33% of the total numbers of cows are culled from the herd due to failure to become pregnant (Table 1). The average age of 15.6% of the cattle culled was less than 5 years of age and 31.8% were 5 to 9 years old, showing the importance for producers to focus on cow herd longevity to improve operational profits. Dr. Perry then presented research and information on estrus synchronization and reproductive management to help improve reproductive efficiency.

Beef production audit series: Cow reproduction session

Dr. Perry was joined by Robin Salverson, the cow-calf field specialist from SDSU Extension’s Lemmon Regional Extension Center. Robin spoke on replacement heifer development. Within Robin’s talk, research from the SDSU experiment station near Buffalo, SD was shared. They found that heifers that were developed on range pasture from weaning to breeding typically will outperform the confinement heifers.

Kalyn Waters, the cow-calf field specialist from the Winner Regional Extension Center was the final speaker. She presented information on the postpartum cow. Waters explored management considerations to help producers control the length of the postpartum interval to ensure that cows produce a marketable calf every 365 days. In addition, she also presented data on the impact of the suckling effect and nutrient partitioning by the cow.

For more information on any of the topics presented during this session of the Beef Production Audit Series contact Dr. George Perry, Robin Salverson, or Kalyn Waters.

Cattle producers are invited to attend one or all the sessions of the Beef Production Audit Series. The first session is free. Additional sessions are $25 each or $100 to attend all six sessions. To register for one or multiple sessions, please contact Will Walter or Jack Davis or call, 605-995-7378.