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The Cattle Connection

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A swarm of flies congregate on a bull's back

Effective Fly Control Methods Can Save Money

Written by Payton Block As June begins, flies are ready to bother cattle all summer long. It is important to plan an effective fly control system to limit the chances of reduced grazing time, spread of disease, and increased stress. Observing herds and combining different prevention methods...
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A collection of small ticks gather on the end of a leaf

Livestock recommendations for the Asian Longhorned Tick

Recently, the Asian longhorned tick was found in west-central Illinois. This invasive species can pose challenges to cattle populations in the area. It is important for cattle producers in Illinois to train themselves to identify the tick and be aware of the risks this pest brings to their...
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Details matter when artificially inseminating beef cows

As breeding season for spring-calving cows’ approaches, now is a good time to refresh on semen handling practices. Often, semen handling gets overlooked as we focus on estrus detection, synchronization, and semen placement. However, proper handling is just as important and cannot be overlooked....
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Watching your cows

Observation and reflection seem to be a lost art in a world dominated by phone screens, data sets, and short attention spans. I challenge you to observe and reflect when watching cows graze. Below are just a few of many observations that I have made when watching cows graze in the spring/summer...
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Angus cow standing with a calf in a pasture.

Tips for getting cows to breed early in the season

There are many reasons to maintain strict breeding windows and shorter calving windows. A tight 60-day calving window can aid in programming cow nutrition, concentrate labor, and certainly create a more uniform, marketable calf crop. If you have a spread-out calving season, consider breaking cows...
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Person paying attention to cattle feeding at a feed trough in a feedlot.

Cattle handling reminders

Isn’t it fun to watch people that are good at handling cattle? I love it. We all aspire to be better stockman and handling animals correctly is a big part of that goal. Investing time in animal handling skills improves quality of life, safety, health, and performance… for both animal and human....
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A person standing to think while staring at a far off herd of cattle in a pasture.

Planning your cattle journey

I have been traveling recently. I hop in the truck, load the navigation app, and off I go. Within seconds, I know exactly how to get to my destination and how long it will take. If I get off course, the app tells me how to get back on track. Finding your way in the cattle business would be easier...
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Group of cattle standing around cement waterer and shade in a pasture lot

Four pasture management tips

Here are four tips for better managing pastures. Rest Keeps Roots Resting plants allows them to recover leaf tissue without robbing the root base. Continuous grazing will result in animals overgrazing as they will continue to graze down the most palatable plants. Overgrazing...
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Angus bull picture

Start selecting 2024 Illinois Performance Tested bulls

Seedstock breeders should be identifying bulls they plan to consign to the 2024 Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale. The IPT Bull Sale is the leadoff event for the annual Illinois Beef Expo. The sale is scheduled for Thursday, February 22 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield....
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Small group of black and white Simmental cows grazing in cornstalks.

Can I graze cows on cornstalks?

Grazing cornstalks is arguably the best cost-saving strategy Midwestern cattlemen can deploy. The cost of grazing cornstalks is low; first because the cows graze and harvest their own feed and second, because all costs to produce the plant for grain production are attributed to the row-crop...
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