Your Ag Newsroom


Second Annual SDSU Extension Heifer Development Webinar Series

January 20, 2016

When cattle values escalated to unprecedented levels in 2014, U.S. beef producers responded by retaining more replacement heifers and expansion of the U.S. cowherd began. To help answer producer’s questions during this time of expansion, SDSU Extension held a webinar series in January 2015 providing extensive information on management, nutrition, genetics, health and reproduction of replacement heifers. However, as the market in 2016 returns to more normal conditions, to be successful during this part of the cattle cycle producers will need to plan accordingly to manage risk while tending to their young herds, specifically bred heifers.

In February, SDSU Extension will host the 2nd Annual Heifer Development Webinar Series titled Managing Bred Heifers for the Future. This four-part webinar series begins on Feb. 10, 2016, and will focus on the management of bred heifers with the objective of providing producers with research-based tools they can use to effectively manage their herds in today’s cattle market. The webinar series will run Feb. 10, 17, 24 and conclude on March 2. All sessions will start at 12:30 PM CST/11:30 AM MST and run for one hour.

Schedule for Webinar:

Session #1: February 10, 2016
Topic: “Nutritional Management of Bred Heifers: Focus on Late Gestation and Early Lactation”.
Presenters: Ken Olson, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist and Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Understanding nutrient requirements during each stage of production is important no matter the age of the animal. However, bred heifers are still growing while experiencing their first pregnancy and therefore require additional nutrients to meet both their own growth requirements, but also the growth, development, and health of the fetus. This session will discuss how to provide the best nutritional management to bred heifers during the last trimester of gestation and into early lactation for optimum performance by both the heifer and the newborn calf.

Session #2: February 17, 2016
Topic: Health Management: Preparing Bred Heifers for Calving
Presenter: Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian & State Public Health Veterinarian.

Applying a good herd health program to a heifer development operation can be the first step to decreasing the chances of calving difficulty and minimizing death losses throughout the calving season. This session will focus on health preparation of bred heifers prior to calving, as well as their health performance through the calving process and then post-calving management.

Session #3: February 24, 2016

Topic: Heifer Development Marketing Options and Budgets
Presenters: Tim Petry, NDSU Extension Service Livestock Marketing Economist and Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.

Knowing cost of production is critical to profitability in a cow/calf operation. Especially during this time of downward price pressure, areas of profit leaks need be identified and minimized to maintain profitability on the ranch. This session will identify and discuss areas of risk management and budgets for bred heifers which producers can use to develop plans to deal with market challenges.

Session #4: March 2, 2016
Topic: Reproductive Management: Rebreeding 1st Calf Heifers
Presenters: Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist and George Perry, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist.

Pregnancy status is the number 1 reason cows are culled from the herd annually. Young females are commonly the most difficult to re-breed and keep in the herd due to nutrient competition to meet requirements for maintenance, growth, lactation and reproduction. This session will discuss postpartum management strategies to prepare 1st calf heifers for successful rebreeding and the importance of calving interval on herd longevity.

A one-time registration fee of $25 is required for access to webinar sessions. To register please visit the event registration link for “Managing Bred Heifers for the Future” under the Events Tab on iGrow. If you have questions, contact Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at 605.995.7378 or by email.

Source: Taylor Grussing, South Dakota State University