Cattle producers should consider the economics of retaining replacement heifers in their herd.

Kathy Larson is the Beef Economist at the Western Beef Development Centre at Lanigan.

She told producers at the Foraging into the Future Conference, this week in Swift Current, that it’s important to look at the numbers:

"It's about $1300 for a bred heifer confirmed pregnant next fall. Two years ago with 2014's high prices, to get a bred heifer confirmed, it was approaching a little over $1900.

So you need to know those numbers and what the costs are and what your calf prices will be, so you can have an understanding of how many calves you need to get out of that heifer to recoup your investment," she said.

Larson says producers should dress for the cold as they will be touring two field site one on swath grazing cereals.

"The one on swath grazing actually is looking at different stages of maturity for when you're cutting the crops.

So it's barley, triticale, and oats being swathed at two different stages.

Then we put cows out there to graze it to see if leaving the crop to mature a little bit more improves the digest ability and the yield out there," she said.

She notes the second field site focuses on grazing whole plant corn comparing 3-day to 9-day allocations.

Larson was one of the keynote speakers for this week’s Foraging into the Future Conference.

Larson notes producers can go to the WBDC website and download the excel calculator spreadsheet to help calculate the costs.

She also reminding producers about the winter field day coming up next Tuesday from 12:30 to 4:30 at the Western Beef Development Centre.

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