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Iowa cattle farmers working to rebuild the beef herd

Last week, Dan Hanrahan was waiting on the final cows of his herd to calve on pastures of his Madison County farm.

"There’s just a handful of cows I’m still waiting on," Hanrahan said.

The calving season has been going well for Hanrahan this year. And that’s a good thing, not only for Hanrahan, but also for the cattle industry that’s trying to grow its national herd.

Calving season started on the Hanrahan farm near Cumming at the end of February. Though cold, Hanrahan didn’t have to deal with much mud as he checked on his cows and their calves.

"Knock on wood, everything’s been going really well," he said last week, the beginning of May Beef Month.

A strong cattle market is certainly an incentive for Hanrahan and other cattle raisers across the nation to keep more cows on their farms, but Hanrahan said he’s dealing with higher costs, too.

"I think the excellent crop prices we’ve had over the last few years have kind of...




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