What are the common causes of suboptimal reproductive performance in a cow-calf system? How do we manage this system proactively and holistically for continuous improvement?
New in fall 2021, University of Missouri Extension is launching a workshop series on Whole System Management of Beef Cattle Reproduction. The objective is to aid Missouri producers in improving the reproductive management of their cow-calf herds through a systems-based approach.
Jordan Thomas, state extension specialist in beef cattle reproduction, will guide participants in a full-day workshop. Relevant reproductive technologies like synchronization and artificial insemination are covered in context, but emphasis is on year-long management of the overall system. Specific topics include:
Managing for an ultra-short calving season in the cow herd
Managing cow body condition economically
Heifer selection and building a profitable heifer development enterprise
Maintaining cows in positive energy balance in variable forage conditions
Minimizing effects of stress (heat, fescue toxicosis, etc.) on reproduction
Bull management in-season and out-of-season
Workshops will include presentations as well group discussions, scenario troubleshooting, and a tour and overview of the reproductive management system at a University of Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station Research Center. All participants receive a copy of the new MU Extension manual Whole System Management of Beef Cattle Reproduction.
Participants will leave with a new perspective about reproductive management of cow-calf herds, viewing common causes of variability in reproductive performance now as leverage points for future improvement. After the workshop, participants are encouraged to schedule a farm visit with their regional livestock specialist or with a cross-disciplinary team of extension specialists (agronomy specialist, ag business specialist, etc.) to address specific challenges faced on their own operations.
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