Page 15 - MWC 3-31-2022s
P. 15

Calving Season Benchmarks
                                                                                                 The Midwest Cattleman · March 31, 2022 · P15

                                                                            By Olivia Amundson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist

                                                               Breeding  following the breeding season  equate recovery time following
                                                             back    first or calve late in the calving sea- calving. Others may challenge
                                                             calf  heifers  son. Correct management of  their heifers by allowing only
                                                             and 3-year- heifers is imperative to main- a short (30-day) breeding peri-
                                                             old females  taining herd longevity. Proper  od to push selection pressure
                                                             can be a  reproductive management of  on reproduction. Ultimately,
                                                             challenge  young females may include  young females are still grow-
         Cows that calve on time are     and can disrupt the bottom  breeding 2-3 weeks prior to  ing and have higher nutrient
      the number one indicator that      line if those females are open  the mature herd to ensure ad-
      cattle within that operation fit                                                                                      continued on page 30
      the managerial program. This
      happens simply from timely
      reproduction.      Reproductive
      performance of an operation is
      important  to  the  overall  suc-
      cess and bottom line of that op-
      eration. Benchmarking may be
      beneficial as it can help focus
      limited management  time on
      critical areas of an individual’s
      beef cow business.  This year
      may provide opportunity to de-
      fine an operation’s bottom line
      through outlining the calving
      Mature Cow Herd
         Calving  distribution  is  one
      way producers can evaluate
      their herd’s reproductive per-
      formance from the previous
      year.  The North Dakota Beef
      Cattle  Improvement Associa-
      tion Cow Herd Appraisal Per-
      formance Software program
      (CHAPS) put out production
      benchmark data for  calving
      distributions. According  to
      CHAPS, 63% of the mature
      cow herd should calve with-
      in the first 21 days, 87% by
      42 days, and 96% by 63 days
      of the calving season. If cows
      calving in the first 21 days is
      less than 60% and cows calv-
      ing in the second 21 days of the
      calving season is greater than
      25%, re-evaluation of the herd
      needs to occur.
      First Calf Heifers
         Heifers are traditionally
      bred to calve prior to the cow-
      herd. Benchmarks related to
      first calf heifers include: 42%
      of heifers calving prior to their
      scheduled calving date, 76%
      of heifers by 21 days, and 88%
      of heifers by 42 days. The one
      group failing to meet these
      benchmarks are 3-year-old fe-
      males. While every other age
      group has the largest percent-
      age calving in the first 21 days,
      3-year-olds have a larger per-
      centage calving in the second
      21-day period.
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