Successfully shortening a calving season to capture the benefits suggested by John Grimes may require more than simply pulling the bull(s) on a predetermined date. If the goal is to get as many cows bred as possible to calve within a 60 day or less window, then shortening the calving season revolves around managing and/or manipulating estrus, breeding dates, and conception rates. While this may take a commitment of time, some expense, and certainly a different level of management for some, every scrap of research we have suggests results which offer additional net profit returned to the beef herd. So, how do we get there?
Last winter during the first session of the Ohio Beef Cattle School, Mike Day offered the results of his latest research on synchronizing estrus and timed artificial insemination of the cow herd. For those of you who might have missed it, or who attended one of the locations which experienced audio issues, you will find Dr. Day's 40 minute slide and audio presentation on-line under this link: http://go.osu.edu/Day . Entitled "The Next Step in Estrus Synchronization: Fixed-Time Insemination", Day describes how they are consistently experiencing conception rates of 60+/-% with time AI.
In these times of highly valued feeder calves as feed costs reach levels not seen before, getting a live calf from every cow on the farm in a timely fashion has a huge impact on the bottom line!
Source: Stan Smith, Ohio State University Extension PA, Fairfield County