Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in Nebraska Beef Cattle Report 1998, published by Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Effects of summer calving versus traditional spring calving were investigated over three years. Calving dates were: 1) March to April (beginning March 18) for spring calving and 2) mid-June to mid-August (beginning June 18) for summer calving. Spring-born calves were weaned in October, while summer-born calves were weaned in November or January. Summer calving cows were bred either on native range or subirrigated meadow. Birth weights were higher for summer-born calves, although weaning weights were lower. Pregnancy rates for spring-calving cows bred on native range were similar to summer-calving cows bred on subirrigated meadow or native range. Summer calving reduced the amount of hay necessary to winter the cow herd by about 3,150 lb/hd/year. The amount of supplement fed/cow/ year was similar for spring and summer calving cows. Summer calving offers significant feed and labor savings for cow-calf producers.