BIF Recognizes Top Genetic Contributors
The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF), meeting in Colorado Springs, CO, this week, is commemorating the 40th anniversary of its founding. Among the presentations and festivities, BIF presented a number of awards.
Pioneer Awards are given annually in recognition of individuals who made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle and have had a major role in the acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle populations. Cited this year, were cattleman R.A. “Rob” Brown, R.A. Brown Ranch, Throckmorton, TX; Jim Gosey, University of Nebraska Extension beef specialist and professor emeritus; and David and Emma Danciger, Tybar Ranch, Carbondale, CO.
Consider culling earlier in this cow market
By Jason K. Ahola, Ph.D, University of Idaho Extension
Summer is shaping up to be a key time for selling cull cows or bulls before the market declines seasonally.
Your grass is green, your calves are growing, and there are a lot of grazing days to look forward to this summer. Weaning time, pregnancy checking, and marketing of calves and cull cows are a long way off in your mind. Why would you even consider making plans to send a cull cow or bull to market this time of year?
Well, if you’ve been watching cull cow and bull prices over the past few weeks and months, you might have an answer for this question. Since utility cow price hit its seasonal low last November (around $44-45/cwt), cow prices have steadily increased at a rate of about $2/cwt per month. As of late-May, cows were selling for over $55/cwt in many parts of the country, which is approximately 15-20% higher than the average year-round utility cow price over the past 5 years.
Hay Quality versus Hay Quantity
Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University
Harvest date is a very important factor that determines the quality of the hay cut from native grass meadows. Producers often strive for the best combination of quantity and quality of forage from the hay that they store for winter feed supplies. Research from Kansas State University range and pasture researchers sheds light on the optimum native range cutting dates. They harvested native grass meadows in early June, July, August, and September. The June and September dates were clearly less desirable as the June date produced about half as much tonnage as the early August cutting and the September hay quality was extremely low and produced a hay product that would be difficult for cattle to digest easily and yield little in terms of nutritional value.
Therefore the decision of cutting time boiled down to the early July versus early August dates. The July harvest produced about 2400 pounds of dry matter forage per acre compared to 2800 pounds per acre in August. The July cutting was tested at about 7% crude protein and the August cutting was about half as good for protein content (3%).
Cull Animals Based on Disposition
Clyde Lane, Jr., Professor – Animal Science, University of Tennessee
Are there animals in your herd that scare you? If so, then those animals should be culled. Each year beef producers get hurt working around animals with bad dispositions. Exercising caution and having the best equipment may not be sufficient to protect you from injury.
Most producers have a culling program based on age of animal, production, physical problems, etc. without having disposition as a component.
Each herd has at least one animal that makes it difficult to work with the remainder of the herd. Has thought ever been given to culling these animals? Other animals that should be considered for culling include those that go crazy in the working chute. Trying to perform recommended management practices on an out of control animal is difficult and dangerous. The noise created also gets other animals excited thus making the whole cattle working more difficult.
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Value-based Marketing of Cattle: More Than Just Carcass Quality
Ropin’ the Web
An increasing number of beef producers want the price they receive for their cattle to reflect their use of above average genetics in their cowherds. This is more commonplace as producers, feedlot operators and meat processors become more aware of the importance of genetics and good management practices.
Genetics not only relate to fertility and performance, but also to carcass qualities and the ability to meet the high to premium specifications for beef, as set by retailers and consumers.
A Marketing Tool
Value-based marketing (VBM) is a management and marketing tool that rewards or penalizes cattle, based on carcass merits. It provides an opportunity for producers to capture greater economic rewards for using above average genetics. If a producer raises a superior calf that yields a superior carcass, he receives a premium price. Producers who want to capitalize on premium markets need to evaluate the performance of their cattle, both in the feedlot and on the hook. To do this, producers require more information concerning the entire production process, from conception to consumption.
Microsoft funding major animal rights organization
UNITED STATES: New partnership with the Humane Society of the United States surprises Animal Agriculture Alliance.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance has learned that Microsoft, the software giant, plans to make a $100,000 donation to animal rights behemoth Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and is partnering with the vegan-led group on a pilot program called the ‘I’m Initiative.’
Through the new program, whenever a Windows Live Messenger user has a conversation using I’m, Microsoft will give a portion of the program’s advertising revenue to one of ten organizations selected by the user, states a news release. HSUS is one of the choices, and there is no limit to the amount of money that can be donated.
Other non-profit organizations, like the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, have urged Microsoft to end its support of HSUS, but the company refused. Tara Kriese, a Microsoft representative, said the program is “a great way to enable people to help causes that are important to them.” Apparently she missed the October 2006 statement from Miyun Park, HSUS’ Vice President of Farm Animal Welfare, who said that the organization’s long-term goal for the egg laying and broiler chicken industry is, ‘to get rid of the industry.’
Hoosier Hay Yields are Down
by Gary Truitt
Hoosier Ag Today
The outlook for Indiana hay production is not good for a couple of reasons. “The first being that corn acreage in the nation and in the state of Indiana has increased and some of that is from hay fields that were probably needing to be taken out anyway,” said Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage expert.