Latest Posts

Stay up to date with the latest news, updates and information from the Beef Cattle Research Council.

Top 6 Blog Posts for Cow-Calf Producers Heading into Fall

As Fall arrives, here are our top 6 articles for cow-calf producers that you may have missed, or are worth a second look.

Keep everyone’s stress levels to a minimum

1. Try these weaning techniques for more productive calves this fall

Weaning is known to be a stressful time for both cows and calves, and stressed calves are known to underperform.

This article outlines some practical techniques producers can use to reduce stress at weaning, which will improve the bottom line.

Keep costs down and herd health up

2. Vaccination: Can you afford not to?

Photo credit: Terry Grajczyk

When deciding which vaccines to use, arguments like “it costs too much” or “vaccines don’t work” are often used. The fact of the matter is, failing to vaccinate results in your herd having a lower ability to combat diseases, which can lead to higher illness rates, death loss, and treatment costs.

This article details the costs of vaccinating versus not vaccinating, and offers some tips to help make sure your vaccines are effective.

To keep or to sell?

3. Calculator: what is the value of preconditioning calves

Preconditioned calves have a lower cost of gain at the feedlot because the animals’ stressors (weaning, vaccination, transport, etc.) are spread out. But does it pay YOU to precondition your calves? Probably.

Check out our calculator where you can easily calculate whether preconditioning in your herd has a net profit.

Feeding cows for more economical calves

4. Does cow nutrition during pregnancy affect gene expression in the calf?

Photo credit: Stacey Domolewski

There is growing evidence suggesting that nutrition of the cows may have direct impact on gene expression. This means that making sure you are feeding your cows enough energy throughout pregnancy can play a positive role in the expression of the genes. Researchers continue to study the effects of cow nutrition on economically important traits in offspring.

Are your cows getting enough?

5. Save costs by fine-tuning mineral supplementation: two new videos

When cattle’s mineral needs are not met, it can result in costly problems such as decreased performance, disease resistance and reproduction. Mineral requirements vary depending on the animals’ expected performance, the feed and water available to them, and their location.

These videos outline some of the basics for mineral supplementation, the economic advantages that come from well-managed mineral supplementation, and tips on getting it right for your cattle.

Knowing what’s in there saves costs and helps reach production targets

6. Have you had your feed tested?

6fp1380 small

The small fee for feed testing is worth it. Knowing the quality of your forages helps you to minimize over or under feeding nutrients, allowing you to achieve production targets and save on supplemental feed costs.

This article outlines the importance of feed testing and how to use the results to develop economical feeding strategies for your herd. The nutritional requirements for cows and heifers in each trimester, and links to feed testing labs across the country are also listed.

Click here to subscribe to the BCRC Blog and receive email notifications when new content is posted.

The sharing or reprinting of this BCRC Blog article is welcome and encouraged. Please provide acknowledgement to the Beef Cattle Research Council, list the website address,, and let us know you chose to share the article by emailing us at

We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. Contact us directly or generate public discussion by posting your thoughts below.

Leave a CommentReply