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milk epd cowcalf pair

Drought Is Causing A New Focus On Milk EPDs

Commercial cattlemen [3] are looking hard at milk EPDs these days. Nearly every breed continues to show a relatively strong upward trend in milk EPDs, but the drought has caused producers to look long and hard at the level of milk production from a maintenance requirement [4]standpoint. Numerous industry research papers show that cows with higher genetic levels for milk not only have increased maintenance requirements while nursing, but increased maintenance requirements when they’re dry.

The drought [5] has forced many producers to adopt early-weaning strategies [6], and many will continue to early-wean their calves because milk is an inefficient delivery system for weight gain of a calf. And, in an era of higher feed costs, putting weight on cattle in the most efficient manner equates to more profitability.

The dilemma that producers are struggling with is finding the optimum leve [7]l for their environment. They try to determine a range based off the sires of the females they have in production that raise a good calf, and yet get bred early in the breeding season.

 

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