Developing heifers is always a challenge, but with tight cattle supplies, cow-calf producers might be thinking expansion.

Producers interested in building their herd will need to have a plan, says Byron Leu, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist.

He says the number of beef cows in Iowa in the past decade has decreased by 145,000. Missouri numbers are down 195,000 head.

“Heifer retention continues to erode, but sometime that is going to stop,” Leu says.

The regrowth of the cowherd will be based on several factors, including location, resources, capital availability, producer interest and the potential for profit.

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