Developing heifers can be tricky business, and producer success largely depends on management decisions along the way. While genetic selection plays a huge role in the quality of a beef cattle herd, a bigger factor that impacts the bottom line is heifer fertility and reproduction. This was the topic of discussion at the 2010 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio, TX, where Rick Funston, University of Nebraska (UNL) presented his speech, “Nutritional Management of the Breeding Herd and Influences on Reproduction.”
There is nothing more important in a beef cattle herd than reproduction, and that was the take home statement from Funston during his session at the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Workshop offered at the convention. He explained that a huge factor influencing reproductivity is body condition in the females. So, naturally, feeding and meeting nutritional requirements is critical.
As Funston described the importance of making sound management decisions in developing heifers, he also stressed the need for a balanced nutritional program to adequately meet the requirements of the heifers. You can listen to a portion of Funston's speech below, where he offers sound management considerations for producers to consider when developing heifers.