May Calving is Now the Rule for Dickinson Research and Extension Center

For the last five years, North Dakota State University's Dickinson Research and Extension Center has been turning its bulls out in August for May calving. The reasons? May calving weather is nicer, the calves hit the ground to take advantage of the annual plant cycle, and best of all, it's good for the bottom line. Less Labor, More Money The Center decided to change to May calving back in 2012 because they just didn't have the staff to keep up with the extra work that March/April calving required. With the change, excessive calving work went away, the long pre-calving worksheets got a lot shorter, and expenses dropped as well. Meanwhile, problems with breeding in August didn't show up either. Center Director Kris Ringwall says, "All the too hot, too dry, too whatever reasons not to August breed never have materialized." And so, the bull turnout is Aug. 1 for a targeted calving start date of May 12. Grass turnout to cool-season grass is around May 1, with warm-season grasses ready for grazing around June 1. In the fall, these cow-calf pairs convert well to grazing crop residue, standing corn and cover crops as the p

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