10 Tips for Picking Heifers
by By Boyd Kidwell
A set of matching heifers grazing in your pasture is a beautiful sight-especially when they all have robust calves. Here are 10 tips to help you pick great heifers for your beef herd.
1. Shop for heifers with calm dispositions. Don’t buy nervous, high-strung animals. Many sales and reputable producers cull heifers that are hard to handle.
2. Buy crossbred females (unless you raise purebred seedstock). They benefit from heterosis and usually remain in production a long time. If you are in a hot area (along the Gulf Coast or south Texas), you probably want a percentage of Brahman blood in your cows.
Should You Supplement Cows?
“Normally, feeding supplemental protein is necessary and justifiable when the available diet does not meet an animal’s nutritional requirements,” says Ed Huston, an emeritus beef cattle nutrition professor from Texas A&M University.
That typically occurs when grass pastures become dry and dormant, and protein content in the plants drops off. Protein supplements also can be important with winter grazing. Dormant winter range forage is usually very low in protein, making a protein supplement beneficial, according to Houston.
NCBA: Research – A Cornerstone Of The Beef Industry
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Dec. 20, 2006) – The topic of research may sound a little academic, yet it has been the cornerstone of nearly every decision that impacts the beef industry. Without research, there wouldn’t be a Flat Iron Steak, or monumental improvements in beef safety or even the unforgettable ad tagline, “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.”
A new Web site, http://www.beefresearch.org, showcases checkoff-funded research in fact sheets and summaries, graphics, extensive resource listings, related Web sites, staff contacts and even glossaries of terms. The site is basically reader-friendly, presenting facts and findings in layman’s terms.
CAB Cattle Update: Growth Promotion Can Impede Quality
Implants can negatively affect quality, if you let them.
Growth implants are commonly used in the cattle industry with little regard to how they influence marbling, the “taste fat,” says Gary Fike, feedlot specialist for Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB).
“For every dollar invested in an implant, the return could be more than $6 in increased weight and efficiency in today’s marketplace,” he says. “Most producers can’t afford to leave that kind of money on the table, but if the implants aren’t used properly, they could cost significant dollars in lost grid premiums.”
New Extension beef specialist starts in Miles City
By Carol Flaherty
Montana State University
BOZEMAN — Rachel Endecott has been hired as the new Montana State University Extension beef cattle specialist for eastern Montana.
Endecott will have an office at the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Lab at Miles City.
Endecott grew up on a cow/calf operation near McAllister in Madison County. She received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from MSU, and master’s and doctoral degrees in range beef cattle nutrition from New Mexico State University.
Where’s the beef? Brazil
By BARRY SHLACHTER
Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)
VERA, Brazil – James King Carr De Muzio started cattle ranching later in life. But the easy-mannered 53-year-old Brazilian doctor and rancher feels as comfortable in the saddle as he does wearing surgical scrubs.
De Muzio – who says his mixed ancestry, unusual even in Brazil, includes Alabamans who joined a colony of Confederates after the Civil War on one side and a “tossed salad” Spanish-Italian-African heritage on the other – counts himself among producers enlarging their cattle holdings as the country’s beef industry continues a seemingly insatiable growth.
Forage Breeding Program May Have Impact on Livestock
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation recently teamed with Forage Genetics International in a joint plant breeding program that has the potential to impact agricultural producers in more than one-third of the continental United States.
“This joint effort will advance the breeding programs of each institution, as well as create new research opportunities for both organizations,” said Mark McCaslin, President of Forage Genetics, which is a subsidiary of the Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes, Inc. “The relationship also models how non-profit and for-profit entities can work hand-in-hand to benefit agricultural producers and agriculture production in our country.”
The new plant breeding program will focus on the development of new cultivated varieties of alfalfa suitable for use in forage and livestock systems in the southeastern portion of the United States from the east coast to Oklahoma and Texas. The improved alfalfa cultivars will have intended uses in both beef production and dairy operations.