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Updated: October 18, 2021

Getting Your Herd Ready for the Breeding Season

In Maryland, May and June are the ideal breeding season for spring calving herds – pastures are looking good and the high heat and humidity of the summers here hasn’t hit yet, making for lower stress cattle handling. With each breeding season, it’s important to look back on past years – stick with methods that have worked and also learn from mistakes that were made.
cattle on pasture
Updated: October 18, 2021

Water: The Forgotten Nutrient

As summer heats up, water becomes more important for cattle. An animal’s body is comprised of 70% water and adequate water consumption is required to maximize performance. It’s no secret that withholding or restricting water can decrease feed intake and reduce gains. Yet many producers often forget to assess whether or not their animals have optimal access to high quality water. An animal’s water requirement is met through consumption of feed and drinking. Many feeds, such as silage and grasses, contain a large proportions of water that help cattle meet their water requirement. Additional requirements are met through drinking.
Beef Cow drinking water
Updated: October 18, 2021

Estimating Winter Forage Needs of the Cow-Calf Herd

As winter approaches and cool-season grass growth begins to diminish, cattle producers should start thinking, if they haven’t already, about how much forage they will need to maintain their animals through the winter.
Cow standing in a pasture during a snow storm
Updated: October 18, 2021

Feeding the Gestating Cow

As fall progresses, spring-calving beef producers should be thinking about how they will maintain their pregnant cows throughout the winter. The nutritional requirements for gestation increase during the second and third trimesters, which coincides with colder temperatures and decreased forage availability from pasture.
Beef cows
Updated: October 14, 2021

Maryland Beef Webinar Series

This new webinar series will focus on timely topics related to beef production in our region. Webinars will be held from 7:30-8:30 pm. on the first Thursday of each month.
Cattle with calves
Updated: September 8, 2021

Are Your Cattle Cool? Tips for Managing the Summer Heat

There is no question that heat stress can negatively impact animal performance. Exposure to heat stress reduces daily gains, milk production, and reproductive efficiency, though specific impacts on production varies depending on the magnitude and duration of heat exposure. Prolonged exposure to heat stress is much more detrimental than short-term heat stress and its effects linger long after temperatures drop back below the heat stress threshold.
Dairy heifers grazing triticale
Updated: September 2, 2021

Cattle Tales Livestock Newsletter-May 2021

Cattle Tales Livestock is a quarterly newsletter published by the University of Maryland Extension that focuses on bringing timely, relevant information to Maryland's livestock producers. Topics in this issue (May 2021, Edition 1) are: Body Condition Score is a Critical Management, Tool for Cow-Calf Producers, Determining your Pasture Stocking Rate, Getting your Herd Ready for the Breeding Season, Considerations for Improving Hay Quality, Culling considerations for beef cow-calf herd, Controlling Flies and Ticks in Your Livestock, Implanting Pre-weaned Calves, and When should I deworm my sheep/goats?
Updated: September 2, 2021

Weaning Tips and Vaccination Programs for Beef Calves

Weaning is one of the most stressful times for calves, and it doesn’t help that it’s also the most common time to give vaccinations. No one wants to work their cattle more than necessary. The WHEN of weaning: Generally 6-8 months of age; though calves can be weaned as young as 3 months. As long as your cows have good body condition and you have ample feed, there is really no reason to wean early. In Maryland, the majority of farms wean in the fall: September through early November.
Calf feeding on cow
Updated: August 4, 2021

Preparing for Fly Season

Although the weather has been unseasonably cool through April and May, it’s not too early to start thinking about fly control.  There are three major types of flies with economic significance to the U.S. beef and dairy industries.  These include horn flies, face flies, and stable flies. Often, a combination of fly control measures will be the most effective.  If one method does not seem to be working, double check to make sure that it is the right approach for the type of flies you see on your cattle.  Make sure the proper dose of insecticide is being administered to the animals at each application.  Furthermore, implement cleaning procedures to regularly remove decaying organic matter from sacrifice or feeding areas. 
Flies on cattle
Updated: June 29, 2021

Culling Considerations for the Beef Cow-Calf Herd

Producers should make culling decisions based on what is best for their farm’s profitability and what is best for animal well-being. In short, market cattle while they are in a condition that processors prefer before they become a transportation risk and their value declines.
Beef Cattle feeding