To say that we have been receiving adequate rainfall in southern Illinois would be an understatement, as it is raining again as I prepare this report. Recent high temperatures have grass growing in the southern part of the state. I just made a trip to our main University of Illinois campus at Urbana this week, and it was considerably colder than at the DixonSpringsAgriculturalCenter.
Following pregnancy checking the cows in the research herd at DSAC, open cows were sent to market, or will be sent to market at the next sale date. Prices were up mostly due the availability of grass, and some of the open cows being purchased by producers who will put them in their spring cowherds.
The research cow herd at DSAC is a fall calving herd and bulls are used in December through February. At other U of I beef research locations, the cows are calving in the spring. Therefore, some of the bulls at DSAC have been transferred back to Urbana and the OrrBeefCenter in western Illinois for use in their breeding programs.
Summer interns are due to arrive at DSAC at the end of May. Projects are being designed and pastures are being identified to conduct heifer research trials this summer involving the interns. A second year of a graduate research project involving cows being fed diets containing varying levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids will begin later this summer at DSAC. Results from year one are suggestive of differences in performance of cows, as well as, differences in the feedlot performance of their offspring.
For more information on beef cattle research at the DixonSpringsAgriculturalCenter, contact our main office at 618-695-2441.