Iowa Beef Center

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Cow-calf Operations

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Environmental
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Feed/Corn Coproducts

Feedlot Operations

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Iowa Beef Center
313 Kildee Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-3150
Phone: 515-294-BEEF (2333)
Fax: 515-294-3795
beefcenter@iastate.edu

last updated: November 26, 2014

 

Heifer Development 1: Rebuilding our Future

With the cow herd at the smallest level since 1962, recent moderation in grain prices, and optimism for growth in domestic and export demand, the stage is set for expansion of the national beef cow herd. This optimism has resulted in increased heifer retention numbers over the past two years; however, recent droughts in many areas of the U.S., coupled with increased feed prices and land prices has undoubtedly hampered realization of true expansion to date.

However, with both fed and feeder cattle markets at record levels, it appears the national cow herd is now ready to expand. Undoubtedly, the recent price boom in all sectors of the beef industry translates to increased value (and cost) of replacement breeding stock. Given the opportunity cost as well as developmental costs associated with developing a heifer to breeding age, and in order to maximize return on investment, it is imperative to maximize reproductive efficiency for those enterprises that are looking to expand.

In 2012, the Iowa Beef Center, in conjunction with the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, performed an extremely successful state-wide educational program entitled “Heifer Development: Rebuilding Our Future.” In this program, best management practices from weaning to pregnancy-check were outlined.  As multiple requests have been made to again make this information available, we have taken the 2012 curriculum and developed eight short YouTube videos that highlight these best management practices and where additional information can be found. We hope your operation finds value in this program and we welcome any and all feedback.

video

more information

Raising vs. Buying  Heifers for Beef Cow Replacement -- Lee Schulz, ISU Extension livestock economist

Raising vs. Buying Heifers for Beef Cow Replacement

Raising Versus Buying Heifers for Beef Cow Replacement

 

 

 

Nutrition of Developing Beef Heifers -– Russ Euken, ISU Extension livestock program specialist

Nutrition of Developing Beef Heifers

 

 

Target Weights of Replacement Beef Females -- Denise Schwab, ISU Extension beef program specialist

Target Weights of Replacement Beef Females

 

Bull Selection and Genetic Considerations for Replacement Beef Heifers  -- Joe Sellers, ISU Extension beef program specialist

Bull Selection and Genetic Considerations for Replacement Beef Heifers

Genetic (bull) selection

Phenotypic Selection of Replacement Beef Females -- Beth Doran, ISU Extension beef program specialist

Phenotypic Selection of Replacement Beef Females

 

Health Management of Replacement Beef Females -– Chris Clark, DVM, ISU Extension beef program specialist

Health Management of Replacement Beef Females

 

Benefits of Estrous Synchronization and Artificial Insemination in Beef Heifers -- Patrick Gunn, ISU cow-calf specialist

Benefits of Estrous Synchronization and Artificial Insemination in Beef Heifers

Estrus Synchronization Planner

Beef Reproductive Task Force

Bull Breeding Soundness Exams and Considerations for the Breeding Season -– Grant Dewell, DVM, ISU Extension beef veterinarian

Bull Breeding Soundness Exams and Considerations for the Breeding Season

Preparing Bulls for the Breeding Season

Trichomoniasis in Beef Cattle

 

Resources

IBC Growing Beef Newsletter |Subscribe|

IBC Research & Publications

IBC Software

ISU Beginning and Young Livestock Producer Network

ISU Resources

Water Quality Initiatives for Small Iowa Beef and Dairy Feedlot Operations (IMMAG)

Cattle Industry Resources

Applied Beef Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle

eXtension Beef Cattle Community

National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium

National Program for the Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency of Beef Cattle

University of Nebraska--Lincoln Beef Extension Program