Thin cows can be economically devastating as beef producers head into spring calving season, says Purdue Extension beef specialist Ron Lemenager.

"Spring-calving cows need to be in moderate body condition at the time of calving because it has a pretty significant effect on how quickly these cows will return to estrus after calving, and subsequently, when or if they conceive," he says. "If cows are thin at calving, producers can expect long postpartum intervals, which means they will calve later the following season."

That means instead of having a 365-day calving interval, producers may face 13- to 14-month intervals and, ultimately, a loss of productivity.

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