Beef cattle producers should have their hay sampled and tested before spring calving to ensure cows and heifers are getting proper nutrition. So says Rory Lewandowski, ag and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension.

“We have some poor-quality hay out there this year, and that’s not what you should be feeding cows in late gestation – or if you do, you need to supplement it,” he says.

Research has shown that, during the last seven weeks of gestation, cows and heifers need feed with 9-10% crude protein and 57-60% or higher total digestible nutrients, especially in bad weather. If lab results show the feed doesn’t meet those standards, consider supplementing, he says.