A short calving season is the first herd management practice that a cow-calf producer should either have in place or work to develop, says Jim Neel, University of Tennessee Extension beef specialist and professor of animal science.

“Without a short calving season, it will be difficult for a producer to realize a profit from the cowherd. Producers should also work to have as many cows as possible drop their calves early in the season,” Neel says.

Neel says the best practice is to manage replacement heifers so they calve early. “If they calve late, they will always calve late, and there is the strong likelihood they will eventually move out of the calving season. Research done at Texas A&M reported that heifers that calved early the first time produced a positive return on investment.”

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