Most cattle producers who have heard University of Missouri Extension livestock specialists speak in recent years know specialists stress the value of records in managing their cow-calf or stocker operations.

“You can’t determine how your cattle and pastures are performing if you don’t use records,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

Since the mid-1980’s a reliable record book, known as the Redbook, has provided the basic records for a number of cattlemen across the region to enhance their management.

The Redbook is actually a national, pocket-sized booklet that’s geared towards gathering field data.  The data is then transferred to a more permanent system, either a notebook or to a computer program.  The latter, according to Cole, is preferred for permanent records and analysis.

There are several sources for obtaining the books including the University of Missouri Extension livestock specialists.  There is a $6 fee per book but there is a limited supply.

The book provides space to enter up to 400 calves, to keep track of breeding dates, treatments for sickness, pasture activity for management intensive grazing systems and animal performance data.

“Many farmers develop innovative ways of recording a variety of activities in their book,” said Cole.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Lawrence County, (417) 466-3102; Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551; Dr. Randy Wiedmeier, in Douglas County at (417) 679-3525; or Dr. Patrick Davis in Cedar County at (417) 276-3313.

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