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Evaluating producer decision making surrounding calving date in the U.S. Southern Plains

Upton, Amanda J.
Calving date directly impacts cow-calf producers' profits, and indirectly effects the entire beef cow industry. January and February calving puts calves at risk for severe cold exposure. A calf exposed to winter weather can experience challenges related with growth and is more susceptible to diseases and lung problems. Frost damaged ears, tails, and legs may result in discounts at the sale barn.
This study evaluates cow-calf profit under varying calving dates using information from the perspective of producers, veterinarians, and feedlot operators. Researchers found March and April calving was more economically profitable than January and February calving. However, discounts for frost related issues were low in general. Though frost morbidity is not currently a major concern for Oklahoma producers, it may be more prevalent in the future with fluctuating weather patterns.