brahman heifers

Preparing your replacement heifers for breeding and evaluating the success of their first breeding season is essential for the profitable management of a beef cattle operation. Credit: Mario Binelli, UF/IFAS

Dr. Mario Binelli, UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences


The Know Your Heifer Program is a service available to beef cattle producers provided by UF/IFAS Extension. In the 2020-21 breeding season, we enrolled over 2,000 heifers from more than 20 beef operations across Florida. We confirmed that half of all immature heifers were still open at the end of the breeding season. Participation in the program enabled producers to make cost-effective management decisions, such as culling or delaying breeding, based on the evaluation of their heifers. Additionally, we established a statewide system to collect, summarize and compare information on the reproductive potential and performance of replacement beef heifers. Beef operations were ranked, and producers could see how they measured up. For more information and to enroll, go to

Program enrollment is now open for Florida ranchers for the 2021-22 breeding season.  Ranchers that enroll will receive two technical evaluation ranch visits.

First Visit: approximately 10 to 20 days prior to the beginning of the breeding season heifers will be evaluated for reproductive potential.  Exams consist of an assessment of age, breed composition, body weight (if a scale is available), body condition score and reproductive tract score (RTS).  RTS is a powerful and accurate indicator of the reproductive potential of individual heifers.  Based on the RTS and other assessments, ranchers will be equipped to make informed management decisions based on the reproductive potential of their heifers.

Second Visit: approximately 30 days after the end of the breeding season. Heifers will be evaluated for their reproductive performance.  Heifers will be submitted to a pregnancy test, and producers will know which heifers became pregnant or remained open. Alternative dates for the pregnancy test are possible.


  • Record of individual animal data (ID, body weight, BCS, breed composition, date of birth)
  • Analyses and report on individual and herd reproductive potential (RTS, First Report) and reproductive performance (pregnancy test, Second Report)
  • Opportunity to connect with many ongoing livestock extension programs
  • Recommendations on implementation of reproductive technologies
  • Benchmarking through an anonymous comparative analyses to other herds in Florida at the end of the breeding season (Final Report and Florida Ranking)

For more information, visit the program website, contact your local county extension ag agent, or Dr. Mario Binelli.

Florida Know Your Heifer Program
Florida County Extension Offices

Dr. Mario Binelli
UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences
Phone: (352) 359-1888