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Data Collection Tips #2

 

We recommend that our members and Beefmaster breeders do the following at weaning time…

Collect weaning weight on calves

– Calves should be between 140 and 270 days old when weaning weights are recorded

– Contemporary groups are formed by calves born within 60 days of each other

 

Collect mature cow weight and Body Condition Score on cows (this should be recorded with BBU when completing the calf’s registration)

 

Submit and record weaning weights with BBU using the online system or weaning worksheet

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Data Collection Tips #1

 

We recommend that our members and Beefmaster breeders do the following at calf’s birth…

Birth Weight:

Take the weight of the calf within 24 hours of birth
Use a consistent weighing method and have the same person weigh calves

Use a scale or tape, do not guess weights

Report all weights on calves to avoid biased data

Calving Ease:

Record calving ease at the same time Birth Weights are collected
Use the scale provided on the BBU Reference codes form

No difficulty/No assistance
Minor difficulty/Some assistance
Major difficulty/Calf puller used
C-Section
Abnormal Presentation

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Performance Article Series: Purpose of Technology

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

In the past couple of decades technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in almost every industry. With new technology we have more access to more data faster than we ever have before. The cattle industry is no different and technology is rapidly increasing and helping producers to make even more informed decisions than they have ever been able to before. Many people think that the cattle industry is behind the times when it comes to technology, but this is far from the truth. First producers took and recorded weights on their cows and calves, then other measurement technologies came along such as, ultrasound carcass scanning and now even measurements of feed intake and efficiency. These measurements have all gone into the calculation of EPDs, and EPDs have advanced more with the advent of DNA testing. What is the purpose […]

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Organize that paper trail

 

By Gilda V. Bryant for Progressive Cattleman – original article

Today’s seedstock producers face the daunting task of organizing massive amounts of data from veterinary records, animal marketing reports, as well as collection and sales of semen and embryos.

While many purebred producers utilize spreadsheets and custom-designed computer software, this approach may not work for breeders with small herds.

Craig Bieber runs Bieber Red Angus Ranch near Leola, South Dakota. Lorenzo Lasater raises Isa Beefmaster cattle outside San Angelo, Texas. Jonathan Perry, general manager of Deer Valley Farm, raises Angus cattle near Fayetteville, Tennessee.

These producers share the filing systems that work for them, the various paperwork challenges they have faced and advice for other producers.

Q. How do you keep veterinary health records, sales and other information organized?

Bieber: We think electronically is the best way. We scan everything but keep and […]

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Performance Article Series: Purpose of the Seedstock Industry

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

Last month I wrote about breeding with a purpose, and I think that in order to breed with a purpose it is vital to understand the purpose of the Seedstock or Purebred industry. While it is nice to sell bulls for $20,000 and females for $10,000, the purpose of the Seedstock industry is not that, it is to produce cattle that will help the commercial producer become more profitable in what they do. Whether it is a small producer that just sells calves by the pound at the local auction barn or a large producer that sells pot loads of steers or even retains ownership of the cattle. Seedstock producers need to know their target audience and produce a product that will help the bottom line of their commercial customers.

A Seedstock producer needs to be in touch with the commercial […]

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Performance Article Series: Breeding with Purpose

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

It’s the front end of 2019 and by now most people have either stuck with their New Year’s Resolution or it was abandoned by the second week in January. I didn’t make a resolution this year, instead I was encouraged to come up with a word for the year. I decided that the word I would use is “purpose”. Purpose is a word that makes you stop and think about why you are doing what you are doing. Whenever I do something, I ask myself why and find the reason for that activity, granted some activities have the sole purpose of just allowing me to relax. I think that purpose is something you need to have when breeding cattle, from a broad sense, all the way down to making breeding decisions. I feel that my purpose for this breed is […]

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Performance Article Series: Part 7 Using EPDs

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

As discussed in the previous article EPDs are Expected Progeny Differences, and the calculation of EPDs was discussed. In order to effectively use EPDs as a tool you must understand how to use them correctly, you wouldn’t use a screw driver instead of a hammer to put in a nail. EPDs are to be used as a tool to compare animals to each other or to compare against an average. EPDs are an estimate, based on pedigree and performance, of how an animal’s progeny should perform on average when compared to the progeny of another animal or against a breed average. They offer a quick and efficient way to compare how an animal’s progeny should perform because of genetics. They are not the only tool that you need to use in cattle evaluation, but they […]

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Performance Article Series: Part 6 EPDs

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

The past articles in this series have all been leading up to this, a basic overview of Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs): what they are and how they are calculated. EPDs are designed to be used to show differences in the genetic potential of an animal when compared to another animal or to an average. EPD calculations take into account an animal’s individual performance, the performance of related animals and the estimated relatedness of animals. The environment is factored out of an EPD because of the manner in which they are calculated. The calculation of EPDs is based on C.R. Henderson’s Mixed Model Equations, which utilize a method called Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP). The key word in BLUP is unbiased, an EPD is an unbiased prediction based on the information that is used in the genetic evaluation.

The first part of […]

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Performance Article Series: Part 5 Contemporary Groups

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

Starting with this article I will discuss the other factors that go into the calculation of EPDs, other than the measured traits that have been mentioned previously. These factors are what allow us to take out environment and estimate relatedness, in order to calculate EPDs. The first factor that I will discuss is contemporary groups, and basically a contemporary group are animals of approximately the same age and sex that have been managed the same. By properly forming contemporary groups the environmental effects can be taken out in the calculation of EPDs. In the calculation of EPDs the difference of the measured trait against contemporaries is what is important. For example, if there is a 50 pound difference between weaning weights of two animals it does not matter if the weights are 550 pounds and 600 pounds, or 750 […]

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Performance Article Series: Part 4 Ultrasound Carcass Data

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

The end goal of the cattle industry is to produce beef to feed a growing population.  At harvest there are many measurements that are taken to determine the value of a carcass.  Some of these traits are; rib eye area, marbling and fat thickness.  These traits are all higher in their heritability (0.4-0.6) than many of the other weight and production traits that are measured (0.1-0.4).  This means that you can make fairly rapid genetic progress for carcass traits.  However, it is hard to measure carcass traits without harvesting an animal, so we use ultrasound to estimate REA, intramuscular fat (IMF), as well as rib and rump fat.  The ultrasound will have to be done by a certified ultrasound technician and should be done between 320 and 550 days of age for the data to be included in the genetic […]

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