By Denise Schwab and Garland Dahlke—Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
As beef cattle producers turn their attention to weaning, the Iowa Beef Center encourages producers to consider using its 205-day weight calculator. This free spreadsheet is a tool beef producers can use in calculating standardized 205-day weaning weights. Producers enter calf identification, birth date, weaning date, weaning weight, and cow age, and the Excel-based tool will calculate weaning weights to an adjusted 205-day weight.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Denise Schwab said adjusting weaning weights to a common calf age is important for comparing cows based on the performance of the calves they produce. Weaning weights are used to evaluate differences in growth potential of calves and the milking ability of dams. “In order to evaluate differences in weaning weights, individual calf records must be adjusted to a standard basis. The Beef Improvement Federation recommends that weaning weights be standardized to 205 days-of-age and a mature age-of-dam basis,” she said. “These adjusted weights can then be used to rank the cow herd based on their productivity and sell low producing cows.”
This tool is available on the calculators page of the IBC website, www.iowabeefcenter.org/calculators.html. For more information on the calculator or how to use it in your operation, contact an extension beef specialist or the Iowa Beef Center at [email protected]