The 2017-2018 Florida Heifer Development Program began accepting nominations of heifers on June 1, 2017. Last year the program developed 79 head of commercial and purebred heifers for producers from Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.
The program was designed to meet the following objectives:
1) To successfully develop beef replacement heifers for cattle producers using research-based data on nutritional and reproductive management to enhance lifetime productivity of heifers in the beef herd.
2) To provide an educational resource that exposes beef cattle producers to improved animal management techniques associated with the development of replacement beef heifers and educational opportunities that focus on herd health, nutritional management, and artificial insemination.
The heifers will be housed at the North Florida Research & Education Center (NFREC) in Marianna during the 187 day development process (October 2017 to April 2018), during which they will be fed to target gains of 1.50 to 2.25 pounds per day. Heifers will be exposed to two rounds of artificial insemination to either an Angus bull selected by the program leaders, or by semen provided by the consignor, and then cleaned up with calving ease Angus bulls for the remainder of the 68 day breeding season. The cost of the program will be between $550 and $650, with the variation being accounted for by feed cost.
Nomination of heifers is currently open, with a deadline of August 1, 2017. It is a $50.00/head non-refundable fee to nominate a heifer. Consignors must be members of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. In 2017 the program will accept 100 head of heifers. Each consignor can nominate up to 10 head per operation, heifers will be accepted based on the order in which nomination forms are received. Additional consignments, over 10 heifers, will be accepted on the basis of available space and according to the order in which the nomination forms are received.
For more information about the program please call Kalyn Waters at 850-547-1108 Nomination forms and Rules and Regulations can be found online at http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/florida-heifer-development-program/.