NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — Nebraska Extension is unveiling a new and unique opportunity for beef producers across the state, with the inaugural year of the Great Plains Heifer Development Center at the Haskell Ag Laboratory, near Concord. This joint effort with SDSU Extension will allow producers to consign heifers and carry them through their first breeding season before sending them home for their productive careers as a valued asset in the cowherd.
This program aims to educate producers and industry professionals on the benefits of precision heifer development practices that increase efficiency and longevity in their herd. These goals are intended to be met through demonstrating proven management techniques aligning with the Beef Improvement Federation genetic goals to advance industry standards. Heifers will be received after backgrounding, and acclimated to a uniform diet, and run on a performance evaluation for 120 days. Data measurements will be collected throughout the program, heifers will be bred in the spring, pregnancy checked and available for pickup next summer.
Consigners will have the opportunity to work with project leaders to learn more about heifer development, while providing them with valuable data through individual consultations. Fundamental data collection will include nutritional management, genetic tools for sire selection, estrus synchronization protocols, post breeding management, and the opportunity for continued data collection once the heifers are back on the ranch as mature cows.
— University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources