Farmers hearing beef focus talks at the Missouri Livestock Symposium will take home tips to use. Beef is just one track in the annual meeting, which will be Dec. 6-7 in Kirksville.
Farmers attending the meeting should bring a notebook, advises Zac Erwin, University of Missouri field specialist, Kirksville. “More tips will be given than can be recalled a day later," he says.
Here is the lineup of speakers:
Eric Bailey, MU beef specialist. Nutritionist Bailey will dispel feeding myths about calving. Bailey may start on the myth that cutting feed slows unborn calf growth. Producers think less feed makes for easy calving. The opposite happens. An underfed heifer may not have energy to push her calf out at birth. That makes more “pulled calves.”
Bailey says a pregnant heifer, still growing, needs feed for growth, plus feed for her unborn calf.
By December, spring-calving cows may be on poor rations, if they aren’t grazing stockpiled pasture. Instead, they may be on poor-quality hay. Diets may need supplements.
Jordan Thomas, MU beef specialist. Thomas will discuss reproduction themes for Show-Me-Select heifers and management of all cows. A reproduction specialist, Thomas says farmers should know where every cow ranks on profits in their herds, but few producers keep detailed records. When tough times hit and a herd needs culling, rankings ensure the losers — not winners — are sold.
Thomas says, “Most industries keep records of profits and losses. Too few herd owners do that.” At Show-Me-Select heifer sales, Thomas sees both buyers and sellers who benefit with quality beef.
David Lalman, Oklahoma State University. Lalman will talk about cow size, which affects upkeep costs and hits return per cow. Lalman, who graduated from MU, knows Missouri cows. He’s seen changes in cow size and knows the research.
Missouri ranks No. 3 in cow numbers. But based on cows per acre, Missouri is No. 1, Thomas says. A profitable enterprise this big helps the whole state.
The symposium starts at 4 p.m. Dec. 6 and runs through Dec. 7. Opening night starts with a beef dinner.
Temple Grandin, known for animal welfare work, returns for the keynote speech Friday night.
The Missouri Livestock Symposium is free. No registration is required. For information, visit missourilivestock.com or call MU Extension in Adair County at 660-665-9866.