Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beef cattle record-keeping book available in 2 Ozarks counties

By David Burton
University Extension

The popular pocket-sized beef cattle Red Book is now available from University of Missouri Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri for $5.

The pocket-sized book contains the regular calendar in the back half. The front includes gestation table, codes for death loss, calving ease, calf vigor, body condition scoring (BCS) and Beef Quality Assurance National Guidelines.

“There are also spaces for inventory numbers, pasture usage and guides for various performance measures. There is space for nearly 800 calf birth records or about one-half that if you need two pages per calf,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The Redbook originated in Idaho in 1985 as part of their Integrated Resource Management Program. It is now widely accepted as a valid method of tracking production information on beef cattle operations.

In the last few years the Redbook has been developed into an Excel spreadsheet. The book itself can be used in the field and kept in a shirt pocket or on the dashboard of the truck and eventually transfer the data to the computer spreadsheet.

More information on the Redbook record system may be found at

“Once farmers use the book they get hooked on them and wouldn’t be without one the next year,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “These books even make nice stocking stuffers at Christmas.”

Sponsors of the Redbook vary from area to area. Those handled by University of Missouri Extension are co-sponsored by Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers, Inc.

County offices charge a fee of $5 or more for the Red Books and they must be picked up in person at either MU Extension Center in Lawrence or Cedar counties.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102 or Dona Goede in Cedar County, (417) 276-3313.

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