Beef cattle producers may now purchase the popular pocket-sized herd record book from University of Missouri Extension livestock specialists.
The book is used throughout the United States following its origin in Idaho in 1985. Originally the "Red Book" was used as the primary record keeping tool for the Integrated Resource Management Program. Missouri adopted the book in 1987 as a tool for progressive cattlemen to use for gathering data on their herds and pastures.
In Missouri, several different groups distribute the Redbooks besides Extension. Co-sponsors with MU Extension include the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer program and the new Quality Beef by the numbers program.
Similar books are also distributed by veterinarians, feed companies and pharmaceutical firms with their name and logos on them.
The "Red Book" provides space for a variety of entries such as breeding dates, calf birth data, cattle weights, pasture rotation schedule, vaccination dates and types. It's up to each user's imagination as to how they use the data.
Some like to put rainfall amounts, dates and places along with temperatures in the regular calendar section.
Ideally the "Red Book" is not the only records kept. The book is best used for field data gathering and it is transferred to a permanent system such as a computer program.
The cost for the book from southwest Missouri Extension specialists is $5. Check with the nearest Extension center if interested in one for personal use or for a gift.