A website from UGA Cooperative Extension

News, events, and happenings in Colquitt County agriculture.

In this issue


Things to Do in December

The Impacts of Using Shade on Beef Cattle Performance in the Florida Panhandle.

Hot Off The Presses!

How to Improve your calf crop.



Things to Do in December

  • Do not graze winter annuals closer than 4″. Overgrazing can reduce winter forage production.  Allowing plants to develop a root system will improve drought tolerance and improve forage production over the long term. Delay grazing cool season annuals until they reach 6-8” in height and try not to graze plants shorter than 2-3”. The plants will survive if they are grazed too early, but they will never fully recover.
  • Provide a high magnesium mineral supplement for cows on winter grazing.
  • Treat for lice if not already done.
  • Keep a close eye on cattle when grazing on crop residues and residual summer grass. Quality will decline rapidly now.
  • Evaluate your winter feed supply. Consider the amount of grazing planted, condition of grazing fields, and hay quantity and quality. There is still time to buy supplemental feeds at fall prices.

Think about Hay Storage

  • Vitamin A supplementation might be needed if frosted grass or weathered hay is the primary forage source (a 1,000 lb cow requires 35,000 IU/day).  Below is information on beef cattle minerals.


Spring Calving

  • Move heifers into dry, clean pastures and check frequently. They should begin calving in December.
  • Tag calves at birth. Record birth dates, tag numbers and cow IDs.
  • Castrate, dehorn and implant at birth.
  • Check breeding dates on cows. Watch closely as due dates approach.
  • Feed requirements increase about 10-15% during the last 30-45 days prior to calving. Do not underfeed in an effort to reduce birth weight.
  • Check with your veterinarian about suggested pre-breeding vaccinations for cows.

Fall Calving

  • Check cows frequently. Be ready to assist with calving if necessary.
  • Castrate, dehorn and implant calves at birth.
  • Tag calves at birth. Record birth date, tag number and cow ID.
  • Start breeding heifers about a month before the cow herd. (They should weigh 2/3 of expected mature weight.)
  • For a high percentage of cows to rebreed early, they must be in moderate to good condition. You probably need to start grazing or feeding your best hay now. Supplement as needed according to forage test results.
  • Check bulls’ semen before turning in with cows.


The Impacts of Using Shade on Beef Cattle Performance in the Florida Panhandle.

Below is interesting research on the impacts of using shade on beef cattle performance in the Florida Panhandle.


Hot Off The Presses!

Have you noticed bronzing on your bermudagrass? It may appear as drought or frost-damaged fields, but it could also be the bermudagrass stem maggot. Since the first appearance in Georgia in 2010, producers have been wondering how to combat this pest. If this includes you, check out UGA’s most up-to-date recommendations in the new guide Managing Bermudagrass Stem Maggots! This new management guide walks the reader through the problems associated with the bermudagrass stem maggot, how it damages the crop, and what can be done about it. This exotic, invasive insect pest reduces yields by more than 50% in some varieties late in the season. Managing bermudagrass stem maggots is crucial to maintaining economical bermudagrass forage production in the Southeast.



How to Improve your calf crop.

The number of calves sold is a major source of income from a cow/calf operation. A high percent calf crop increases profit. Reproductive efficiency is the first factor to consider in a breeding program. A beef cow must conceive in the first 40 to 60 days of the breeding season, have a live calf unassisted, breed back to calve every 12 months, and raise a calf that is heavy enough to be profitable. To accomplish this, she must be managed correctly. Management factors that influence reproduction include:

  • Proper Nutrition
  • Adequate Body Condition Score
  • Healthy Herd
  • Crossbreeding
  • Sound breeding practices
  • Annual culling and replacement

The following is a step-by-step program to increase the reproductive efficiency of the herd it is below.


Posted in: