Animal science


At NCROC, our Animal Science Department is much broader than the hundreds of cows and calves we manage on a daily basis. NCROC is one Research and Outreach Center among six locations that together create the University of Minnesota’s Beef Team. The Beef Team is composed of three different areas of study: Reproductive Management, Beef Cattle Nutrition and Beef Quality. At NCROC, Reproductive Management and Beef Cattle Nutrition are our two main areas of focus.

Reproductive Management

Reproductive Management research includes investigation focused on improving reproductive efficiency through the use of synchronizing estrus in replacement beef heifers and postpartum cows, embryo transfer and determining the influence of diet and body composition on reproductive responses. We also focus on:

  • Beef cow/calf management to improve synchronization of estrus in postpartum cows
  • Management practices to improve estrus synchronization in replacement beef heifers
  • Evaluation and development of estrus synchronization in replacement beef heifers and postpartum cows.
  • Economic assessment and analyses of beef cattle estrus synchronization

Beef Cattle Nutrition

Beef Cattle Nutrition research includes investigation of optimizing nutrient utilization for growth and reduced environmental impact, as well as the evaluation of alternative feeding and management practices in beef cattle systems. At NCROC, a major area of focus has been on the effects of rotational grazing systems on cattle performance. We also focus on:

  • Economic and cattle efficiency considerations in feeding of crop byproducts
  • Evaluation and development of economical fall grazing systems
  • Evaluation of management practices to improve calf nutrition status and growth
  • Economic assessment and analyses of beef cattle feeding systems