Kentucky Beef IRM  
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Beef Integrated Resource Management Calendar

Beef IRM Coordinating Committee

Les Anderson, Extension Beef Specialist; John Anderson, Extension Agricultural Economist - Co-Chairman; Darrh Bullock, Extension Beef Specialist; Roy Burris, Extension Beef Specialist, Co-Chairman; Jimmy Henning, Extension Forage Specialist; Benji Mikel, Extension Beef Specialist; Patty Scharko, Extension Veterinarian; Doug Shepherd, County Extension Agent for Agriculture; Curtis Absher, Assistant Director for Agriculture; and Roger Sparrow, Extension Area Program Director

General Assumptions

 Spring calving cows are bred to calve beginning March 1 with first calf heifers beginning approximately 20 days earlier.
 Fall calving cows are bred to calve beginning September 1.

Herd Health Assumptions

 Local veterinarians should be consulted for the correct vaccines and health products to be used.
 All practices should be carried out according to label recommendations.
 Four general working opportunities should be considered:
 Pre-Breeding, Pre-weaning, Weaning, and Mid-Summer

Economic Considerations

1. Have employees complete I-9, K-4, and W-4 forms on their first day of employment

2. Beginning of business year:

Arrange for a line of operating credit for the beef enterprise. A monthly cash flow estimate will be useful in determining the line of credit.
 Inventory the resources (land, labor, capital, management) available for the beef enterprise. Prepare a budget to determine the cost of producing a calf. This will assist in marketing the calves at a profitable level.
 Set goals that include the financial and production aspects of the beef cow/calf enterprise. Keep financial records on a monthly basis to monitor profitability and cash flow.
 Determine the annual quantities needed of feed, medicine and other inputs. Negotiate an annual price for each of the inputs needed and then schedule different delivery dates when the products are needed.
3. Every Month
 Record all cow deaths, purchases, sales and movements among pastures.

4. End of Year

 Prepare an income statement and balance sheet as of the last day of the business year. Determine if the financial and production goals set forth in the beginning of the year were met.
 Put insurance on assets to protect against wind, fire, theft, flood, lightning, liability, collision, etc.

Customizing Your 2001 Beef IRM Calendar


The following instructions will guide you through the process of customizing your Beef Integrated Resource Management calendar. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's Extension Service publications referred to in this calendar are available at your local county extension office.


Keys to Maximum Benefit from the Beef IRM Calendar

Having a planned breeding/calving season plus the availability of handling or working facilities are very important to getting the most from the Beef IRM Calendar. Neither are essential for using the calendar. Both a planned breeding/calving season and handling facilities would be good goals if they are lacking on your farm.


General Assumptions For Recommendations in the Beef IRM Calendar

Spring calving cows are bred to calve beginning March 1 with first calf heifers beginning approximately 20 days earlier. Fall calving cows are bred to calve beginning September 1.


Setting Goals and Finding Limiting Factors

While not necessary for customizing your Beef IRM calendar, spending some time on the following will help to develop a stronger farm plan. As a result, the planning done on this calendar will be more focused on the specific areas that most need improvement.

1. Set Personal & Business Goals

2. Determine limitations to meeting your goals and getting the maximum benefit from your beef/forage operation. The following are some but not all areas to consider:

a. Cattle Limitations: herd health, genetic potentials, nutritional status, reproductive status, and marketing.

b. Forage Limitations: soil type, fertility, land use, forage resources, hay quality, grazing system, and match of forage resources to monthly animal needs.

c. Financial and Management Limitations: available credit, knowledge of financial position, and management skills

STEP 1. Fill out the 2001 Calendar User Survey at the back of this calendar.

This information is needed to define the beef cattle industry and common practices in your county and in Kentucky. Filling out this survey and returning it to your county agent will also guarantee that you will receive a notice of the 2002 Beef IRM calendar. This data is helpful to assessing the value of this calendar. If you are a repeat calendar user and you have filled out an initial users survey in the past, you do not need to fill it out a second time. If you used the Beef IRM calendar in 2000, please fill out the '2000 Calendar Followup Survey.'


STEP 2. Define the Calving Period You Expect for 2001.

These dates are based on the breeding season that you used in 2000.

 Place "Calving Season Begins" on calendar
 Place "Calving Season Ends" on calendar


STEP 3. Define the Calving Period You Want for 2001-2002.

Define your desired calving period for 2001-2002. Find these 'due dates' using the Gestation Table at the end of this calendar. For example, if you want your calves to begin coming on March 1, you will find this 'due date' corresponds to a breeding date of May 23. Therefore you should begin your breeding season on May 23, 2000. Some dates are included in the calendar itself for convenience. (Caution: you should not go from year-round to short season calving in one year. See ASC 58: 'A controlled season cattle breeding program' for help in going to a controlled breeding season.)

 Place "Put Bull With Cows" sticker on calendar
 Place "Calving Season Begins" on calendar
 Place "Remove Bulls from Cows" sticker on calendar
 Place "Calving Season Ends" on calendar


STEP 4. Take care of bull/semen needs.

At least 30 days prior to breeding season, purchase bull (tested for breeding soundness) and/or order semen. Get a Breeding Soundness Evaluation on farm bulls.

 Place "Buy Bull(s)" sticker on calendar
 Place "Buy Semen" sticker on calendar
 Place "Breeding Soundness Evaluation for bulls" sticker on calendar


STEP 5. Prepare for heat synchronization and/or artificial insemination.

Set up the the feeding and injection schedules for your particular synchronization product. Follow the product directions. For example, if you are using MGA, start feeding 34 days prior to synchronized breeding and feed for 14 days - then inject prostaglandin 19 days after discontinuing MGA feeding. Artificially inseminate on estrus - 1 to 6 days after prostaglandin injection. For more information on estrus synchronization products refer to ASC-32 and ASC-108.

 Place "A.I. Cows" sticker on calendar
 For the herds in the calendar, this should be on May 20 (spring herd) and November 1 (fall herd)
 Place "A.I. Heifers" sticker on calendar
 Consider starting 3 weeks earlier than cows for head-start calving


STEP 6. Decide how many times and when you will work cattle.

Suggested working periods
Prebreeding or turn-out (most important working, but can be done at any time prior to putting the bulls with the cows)
Mid-July (good time to deworm and implant)
Preweaning* (Usually done 3 to 4 weeks prior to weaning)
Weaning* (unless you sell at weaning)
Place the appropriate sticker on the calendar (e.g. Preweaning working) along stickers with your selected management practices.

STEP 7. Forage Planning

Place appropriate forage-related stickers on calendar (suggested month(s) in parentheses).
Soil Test (Fall),
Apply fertilizer (March/April or October/November, except for N for stockpiled fall pasture, see below),
Nitrogen application for fall stockpiled pasture (Late August to early September),
Sample hay for quality (August to October),
Pasture renovation with clover (February for frost-seeding or later if drilling, see AGR-18, AGR-26),
Remove cattle from grass fields to be fall stockpiled (Late August to early September),
Set first cutting dates for alfalfa and other hay (First cutting of grasses and legumes usually should come in the first 2 weeks of May),
Set last cutting date for alfalfa hay (usually before mid-September)
Start feeding higher quality hay for last trimester (January 1 for March calving cows)

STEP 8. Economic Practices

Place economic stickers on calendar
Inventory Cattle Herd (usually January)
Estimate Annual Quantities of Inputs (January)
Arrange for Line of Credit (January - March)


STEP 9. Final Customization

Look at remaining stickers and see how they might help coordinate/plan your beef management this year.

Use blank stickers to write in customized items (e.g. attend production meetings, field days, family vacation, tobacco jobs and other farm enterprises)

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