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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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Performance Article Series: Part 3 Other Traits Measured at Birth and Weaning

 

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

There are several other traits that are measured either at the time of birth or when calves are weaned. These include a calving ease score and udder scores at birth, then mature cow weight at weaning. These traits are important for the survival of the calf, the longevity of the cow and the efficiency of the cow. A live calf every year is the goal of most producers and having low maintenance cattle that are able to produce calves for many years are very valuable. By measuring these traits there is information provided for calculating both direct and maternal calving ease, as well as the development of new EPDs for udder scores and mature cow weights. These are all traits that are important for maternal ability and can possibly be incorporated into the calculation of $M index.

Calving ease is an [...]

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BIF Celebrates 50 Years

By Lisa Bard, BluePrint Media | BIF Sponsor

The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) is celebrating 50 years in 2018. Themed “Elevating the Industry,” the Annual Meeting and Research Symposium is poised not only to celebrate the last 50 years but launch into the next 50.

BIF was officially founded in 1968, but its formation began the previous January during a meeting at the National Western Stock Show. At that time, a group of producers and researchers – spearheaded by Colorado cattle producer, lawyer and performance evaluation advocate Ferry Carpenter, and Frank Baker, the federal Extension livestock specialist in 1967 – met with the goal to move the cattle industry from its historical basis of visual appraisal to one of evaluation based on performance.

Thus began a very powerful and intentional “performance movement” in the cattle industry that continues and thrives today. Fifty years later, the 2018 BIF Annual Meeting and Research Symposium [...]

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Performance Article Series: Part 2 Weight Traits

 

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

The traits of birth weight, weaning weight and yearling weight are all economically important to cattlemen. Birth weight is one of the leading causes of dystocia in cattle and can cause the loss of cow and/or calf. This leads many cow-calf producers to look for bulls with low birth weights. The majority of calves in the United States are also sold at weaning and are sold by the pound, so weaning heavy weaning weights are important to these producers. Other producers will retain ownership of calves through the feed yard and yearling weight can be an indicator of how well they will perform there. By measuring these weights on your cattle and recording the weights with the BBU registry system, you provide more information for the calculation of EPDs.

Birth weights are the first weights that should be recorded and should [...]

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Frequently Asked Questions: New Online Registry System

 

With any new system, comes many questions. Here are some pointers/reminders and our answers to the most common questions we have received about the new online registry system.
How do I login?

Before you can login you must have a temporary password. To receive your temporary password, email Donna your name and membership number at dhenderson@beefmasters.org. You must submit request by email, if you call the office the staff will direct you to send an email. Here is a video on how to login and register an animal.

How do I register an animal?

View this video tutorial

Make sure to switch the “Calving Year” at the top of the “My Calving” registration page so that is matches the year of birth of the calf you are adding.  If you are registering different year calf crops at one sitting, you must make sure to change the “Calving Year” at the top.

Why am I [...]

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Performance Data, EPDs & Indices: Part 1

 

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

Since the domestication of animals, humans have been on a quest to improve animals for specific purposes. For example, breeding dogs for hunting or working livestock, as well as developing oxen for work or food. Different methods of improvement have evolved over time with improvements in the areas of science and technology.

Initially animal selection was made based solely on phenotype or visual evaluation. For work purposes, the larger more fit animals were selected and for milk purposes the animals who looked to produce the most milk were selected. This visual evaluation is still a part of the selection process today, but many other tools have been developed to provide more information to the breeder.

Pedigrees were used by people once they realized that animals tended to resemble their parents and other relatives. People selected certain sire and dam combinations to improve [...]

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