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Associated Press, Published March 18 2013

Calving under way in earnest in region

A torrent of twin calves at a Sharon, N.D., farm is a sure sign that spring calving is under way in earnest across the Upper Midwest.

At one time, many cattle producers in the region began calving in late February, in part because it allows them to finish in time to start planting their fields.

These days, many ranchers have pushed back the start of calving until mid-March. Doing so allows them to better match cows’ nutritional needs.

Last year, 34.3 million calves were born in the U.S., according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of those calves, South Dakota accounted for

1.7 million, Montana 1.5 million, North Dakota 870,000 and Minnesota 790,000. Texas led the nation with 3.9 million calves born in 2012.