Agriculture News 

by Jason Garrett, UT Extension Agent

Are you a beef producer that has experienced reproduction problems in your cattle herds? If so, here are a few problems that one can keep in mind to look out for and also means of prevention to consider. Remember, the most important thing in beef production is reproduction. Beef producers must have calves to market to maximize profit. Here is a list of reproductive problems one may encounter in beef herds.

• Nutritional: Cows must have adequate nutrition to keep a good body condition score to cycle, breed, and stay bred. To correct this problem, make sure cattle have good grazing and good quality hay and always plenty of both. Supplement feed when needed. This also goes for the bulls!

• No minerals: Cattle need certain minerals to ensure overall body health, cycling and conceiving. If you are not on a mineral program, consider starting.

• No pregnancy checking cows and heifers

• Diseases: Always give recommended vaccinations to all breeding livestock and keep the herd healthy. Include Leptospirosis in your vaccination plan. Remember to always give Lepto vaccine to the bull. He can spread it if he comes in contact with an infected cow.

• Heat Stress: Breeding is not recommended in hot, humid conditions. Start a breeding program that focuses on the cooler time periods.

• The Bull: Always conduct yearly breeding soundness exams on bulls to ensure reproductive efficiency. Always purchase proven sires with passed BSE exams. Bulls can get injured, experience poor nutrition, disease and stress which will limit or kill his reproductive means.

• To much of one breed in herd- If you have a straight bred herd, consider crossbreeding. Heterosis will improve reproductive efficiency.

And it’s a good practice to have a controlled breeding and calving season.

For any questions on beef production please call Jason at Overton Extension at (931) 823-2735 or email at jgarre34@utk.edu.

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