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Tag Archives: producer education

Carcass Quality

 

By: Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement

This has been a year of new experiences for everyone and has really shown the resilience of the agriculture industry. The year started calm and then COVID-19 happened, and we saw shortages of all sorts of products from toilet paper to meat. One thing that never had a shortage was fake meat, which proved that consumers want good old-fashioned beef. As cattle producers it is our job to make sure that we help put the highest quality safest product on the table of consumers. In the US beef industry, there are different quality grades of meat and those higher quality grades demand a premium price. The grades are Prime, Choice, Select and Standard, with Prime being the highest quality grade.  These grades are based on marbling and age, marbling is the intramuscular fat. Because of this premium and demand for higher quality beef, it […]

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Noble Research Institute Moves to Demonstrate Heterosis in Their Cow Herds

ARDMORE, Okla. – Heterosis is an often-overlooked production and financial advantage that many commercial cattle producers are not utilizing. Maternal heterosis can be measured in several ways: stayability of the cow, cow lifetime productivity, increase in calving and weaning rates, increase in calf weighing weight, and a subsequent increase of weaning weight per exposed cow. Developing and maintaining a deliberate maternal heterosis program is easy to talk about but difficult in practice to accomplish. Furthermore, small- to mid-sized producers find it difficult to manage the logistics of managing several distinct breeds on their operation to develop a cross-breeding program.

The Noble Research Institute determined they would utilize Beefmaster and Hereford genetics to take advantage of cross-breeding and maternal heterosis in their predominately commercial Angus-based cow herd, which is comprised of approximately 550 mother cows.

The decision to utilize Beefmaster genetics in the research herd was made in part based off of the […]

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Moving Forward with AI and ET

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement

My last article was about how to use breeding decisions to move forward. This article I will expand on ways to expedite those breeding decisions and make improvement at a more rapid pace. Using all the tools available to improve a herd of cattle is the best way to go. Some of these tools are new, while some are older and have been improved over time. Two tools that are not exactly new but have been improved and used more and more in recent years are: artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer (ET). Both tools allow for rapid genetic improvement of a herd. Using both tools in conjunction with breeding decisions can really help move a breeding program forward.

Artificial insemination has been around since 1780 and has been continually improved upon since. AI is a way to incorporate sires with good genetics into your […]

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New Reproductive EPDs

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement

Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) is releasing new reproductive Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs).

Beefmasters are known for being a maternal breed and these new EPD tools will help us to select for more maternal animals. The first new Beefmaster EPD is Age at First Calf and the second new EPD is Stayability. Age at First Calf (AFC) is for heifers and Stayability (STAY) is a lifetime measurement.

Age at First Calf is defined as the difference between a heifer’s birthdate and the birthdate of her first calf. When looking at this number, a lower number is more favorable indicating that a heifer is having her calf at a younger age. Contemporary groups for this are broken by utilizing yearling weight groups and the service type with a 120-day calving window. This helps to separate animals that are bred to calve at 24 months from those bred to […]

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Animal ID Prefix FAQ

 

ANIMAL ID PREFIX SELECTION FORM

 

Q: What is an Animal ID Prefix?

A: An Animal ID Prefix is a combination of letters and numbers that precede the name or ID number of an animal. For example: CRO 15/22 or CRO Big Red

 

Q: How short or long does the Animal ID Prefix need to be?

A: This prefix must be a minimum of two (2) characters and up to a maximum of eight (8) characters (including spaces). Your Animal ID Prefix can only be a combination of letters and/or numbers, symbols or punctuation are NOT allowed. Please remember that animal names are limited to 25? characters, including the Animal ID prefix.

 

Q: Why has the Animal ID Prefix been established?

A: To help recognize and maintain recognition of the original owner of an animal.

 

Q: I have been using an Animal ID Prefix for many years now, do I still need to submit the form?

A: Yes, every […]

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Q&A with Brian Fieser, Beef Field Nutritionist

 

Brian G. Fieser, Ph.D., Animal Nutrition – ADM Nutrition – Archer Daniels Midland Company

Brian specializes in seedstock production and cow calf operations. He has been with ADM since 2007 as a field nutritionist. Brian is a fifth-generation farmer and raises cattle on his family’s farming operation in south-central Kansas.

BS in Agriculture (Animal Science and Industry) from Kansas State.
MS (Ruminant Nutrition) from University of Kentucky
PhD (Animal Nutrition) from Oklahoma State

 

What are the advantages of working with a nutritionist?

Working with a nutritionist gives you an opportunity to work with a specialist: someone who does this job day in and day out. A nutritionist knows the right questions to ask to ensure your operation has what it needs to succeed. The industry is trending towards feedlots and large ranch operations to work with nutritionists.  These customers understand the value these experts will provide in improving performance and managing resources on their operation.

What is […]

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Purpose of an Index

 

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

In previous articles I have mentioned that the purpose of the seedstock industry is to continually advance and make animals that fit into the commercial industry and make them more profitable. I have also mentioned the tools that are available to producers to help them make informed breeding decisions that should lead to increased returns. A key component to informed decisions is that a producer should never select on just one criterion, in other words avoid single trait selection. When looking at Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) it can sometimes be difficult to avoid single trait selection because a producer may become too focused on one trait, such as birth weight. To help producers avoid this, many breeds including Beefmaster, have implemented one or more indices that weight EPDs appropriately for different production systems. The use of index selection has been […]

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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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