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Red Book for Cattlemen Available at County Extension Offices

MU Extension “Red Books” have been used by producers to record information on their cattle. Learn why these books are so important and how to get a copy at your nearest county extension center. Photo courtesy University of Mo. Extension

Get your Red Book Now

MT. VERNON, Mo. — The versatile, shirt-pocket sized, beef field record book is now available at many University of Missouri Extension Centers. The price is variable depending on delivery charges. Generally, the base price is $6 per Redbook when picked up at extension centers.

The record book was introduced to Missouri cattle producers in 1987 as a means of retrieving production data from cooperating herds.

“It became apparent after the first year that producers valued the contents of the beef so highly they didn’t want to share it,” said Eldon Cole, livestock field specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “There are other small record books, but none compare to the Redbook.

The calf information section in the book contains ten boxes to enter cow identification, calf ID, birth date, birth weight, sex, calving ease, etc. There is space for around 425 head of entries.

Other features include calving ease scores, body condition scores, calf death losses, international year/letter code for animal ID, Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) best practices, pasture usage, herd health activity and more.

Although the book is not intended as the sole form of records, many users rely heavily on it that way according to Cole. Ideally, the book is for gathering data in the field or pasture then transferring it to a secure set of records in the farm’s office or better yet enter the data in a computer records system.

“Remember pocketbooks may fall out and be eaten by the stock dog, fall into the water tank or even the iodine container used for navel dipping,” said Cole.

The National Cattleman’s Beef Association produces the Redbook each year and in Missouri, Show-Me-Select Replacmenet Heifers Inc. and University of Missouri Extension co-sponsor it.

There is a limited number available so contact an Extension center to reserve a Redbook.