Once you know where you are, you can start to plan where you would like to go. Do you want your calves to be heavier at weaning? Are you interested in more uniform coat colour so your calves fit into a certain market? What other goals and objectives do you have for your beef cattle herd?
Genetic change in cow-calf operations can occur both through sire selection and through replacement female selection in conjunction with cow culling. While some of your goals will be influenced by your production practices, other goals such as higher weaning weights will be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors (such as nutrition, stress, health problems, weather and others).
A new seven-part online course will walk you through the process of tracking genetic improvements through practical record-keeping. Turn information into action, as you learn how to collect and save data so it can be analyzed and used to make better decisions.
The Cow-Calf Record-Keeping Course for Tracking Genetic Improvements includes:
black cow and white calfLesson 1: Crossbreeding and hybrid vigour
Lesson 2: EPDs and heritability
Lesson 3: Using records to select replacement heifers
Lesson 4: Using records to select replacement bulls
Lesson 5: Using records for cow culling decisions
Lesson 6: Bull selection and calving ease data
Lesson 7: Post-weaning gain and yearling weight
This course is the third in a series of record-keeping courses. Other courses include Animal Health and Performance and Forage and Grasslands. A final course on farm financial records will launch later in 2024.