Plan adequately for spring calving cows

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By Steve Moore

Several of our commodity groups hold their annual meetings and educational conferences in the early part of the year, and 2014 opens with lots of opportunities to get needed information and networking. The Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference and Trade Show will take place Jan. 6 through Jan.7,at the Embassy Suites Hotel near the old UK Coldstream Farm on Newtown Pike in Lexington. Details and registration information are available at http://bit.ly/1bZjBpI.

The Kentucky Cattleman’s Association, the Kentucky Equine Association, and the Council for Burley Tobacco all have their conferences on Friday, Jan. 17, at Heritage Hall in downtown Lexington. The trade show contains vendors and booths for all three groups, and has been a popular educational opportunity for many Henry Countians. Contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811 for further details.


In last week’s column, I mentioned hay quality and possible supplementation. We need to plan an adequate winter program for spring calving cows to be at least body condition score 5, carrying enough flesh to cover the ribs, before the calving and breeding season. This will help them to breed early in the spring. Don’t let cows lose weight/condition.

Begin feeding the lowest quality forage to dry cows, which are in good condition during early winter and save the best hay for calving time or for weaned calves.

Order and number eartags for next year’s spring calf crop this winter.

For fall calvers, the fall breeding season starts. Breeding can best be accomplished on stockpiled fescue pasture. These cows shouldn’t be allowed to lose body condition either.

Consider putting down geotextile fabric and covering with gravel in feeding areas.

Complete soil testing pasture to check for fertility and pH.


The Henry County Extension Office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s for the holidays. We wish you a pleasant and peaceful holiday season.


Our 2014 Cattle Management Calendars came in last week. They are chock full of useful forage and beef management tips and guidelines, and contain gestation due dates. They will be available by visiting the Extension Office at your convenience.