Decades of data kept by USDA scientists are providing valuable information about how seasonal weather patterns affect cattle production.
These findings are the result of a series of studies by Agricultural Research Service researchers Justin Derner, Justin Reeves and others. The research could help cattle producers improve management strategies for dealing with future production challenges associated with global climate change.
In one project, the team determined the effects of seasonal weather variables on cow-calf production in Cheyenne, WY. The cattle production data they used were obtained from records kept from 1975 to 2012 on Herefords and Red Angus crossbreeds.
The scientists found that over the study period, up to two-thirds of the variation in Hereford cattle production could be explained by seasonal weather variations, with wet winters and springs increasing production.
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