Daily Archives: June 19, 2007

MARC Releases 2007 Across-Breed EPD Calculations

MARC Releases 2007 Across-Breed EPD Calculations

U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) has released its table of adjustment factors to be used to estimate across-breed expected progeny differences (AB-EPDs) for 16 breeds (click on table icon below).

Using the table values, bulls of different breeds can be compared on the same EPD scale by adding the appropriate adjustment factor to the expected EPDs produced in the most recent genetic evaluations for each of the breeds.

These adjustment factors were updated using EPDs from the most recent national cattle evaluations conducted by each of the 16 breed associations. The breed differences used to calculate the factors are based on comparisons of progeny of sires from each of these breeds at MARC in Clay Center, NE. The analyses were conducted by MARC geneticists Larry Kuehn and Mark Thallman, with the assistance of Dale Van Vleck and Larry Cundiff.



Length of breeding season matters

Length of breeding season matters


The length of your breeding season affects your costs and the number of pounds of calf weaned per cow. Analyzing data from 394 ranches from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico that participated in standardized performance analysis (SPA), Oklahoma State University agricultural economists determined that for each day the breeding season was lengthened, the annual cost of producing 100 pounds of weaned calf increased by 4.7 cents, and pounds of calf weaned per cow per year decreased by 0.158 pounds. The range of breeding season in the data set was 11 days to 365 days.

You may need to register yo view this story


Prepare for heat stress

Prepare for heat stress

by Bob Larson, professor of production medicine, Kansas State University

Angus Journal

Almost every summer, at least some portion of the U.S. suffers from a period of extreme heat and humidity that can cause problems for cattle. As we move into summer, it is important to be prepared to limit the negative effects of heat stress. Cattle are more susceptible to heat stress than humans and start suffering from heat stress if the temperature-humidity index reported in many weather reports reaches 80° F or higher.


Is it Time to Consider Early Weaning?

Is it Time to Consider Early Weaning?

Dr. Thomas B. Turner, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

For most beef producers with spring calving cow herds, summer is a time to focus on other things. It seems like the one season of the year when we can reduce the hours per week spent with the beef enterprise. Things appear to be okay and they probably are “okay” but are there potential profits being lost? Consider the following:

Beef cow lactation peaks at about six weeks post calving and continues to decline.

July and August pasture growth and moisture are generally limited.

The number of cows most beef producers keep is a function of how many can be carried in July and August.

Dry cows consume significantly less feed than lactating cows. Some studies would suggest as much as fifty percent less, or the difference between 4% of their body weight on a dry matter basis during lactation versus only 2% when dry.

The combination of reduced milk production, decreased pasture and increased calf size may (and probably does) result in calves not receiving adequate energy to maximize growth during this most efficient growth period of their life.

Calves nursing cows are not efficient in converting creep feed to gain. Most studies would show that it takes 8-10 pounds of creep feed to make one pound of gain.

Early weaned calves will convert feed to gain at about a 3.5 to 1 ratio.

Early weaned calves will weigh about 100 pounds more at normal weaning time than calves left on the cow.

Calves can be successfully and relatively easily weaned from 70 to 120 days of age and started on a grain diet.

Calves averaging 100 days of age and 300 pounds take up very little barn or shed space.

If retaining ownership, calves will reach harvest weight earlier and have a higher quality grade.

Dry cows that have had their calves weaned early will enter the winter in better body condition.

Calves born in February, March and early April can be weaned on or about July 1 – the typical start of dry, hot weather in most parts of the country.

In summary, early weaning can increase calf weight significantly and decrease cow input. Therefore one could carry more cows on the same land and wean heavier calves with a smaller amount of feed to the calves.

Cattle Update: New Fast-Acting Pour-on Controls Horn Flies & Lice

Cattle Update: New Fast-Acting Pour-on Controls Horn Flies & Lice

Most potent pyrethroid on the market


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved StandGuard(TM) Pour-on for fast-acting, continuous control of horn flies and lice in beef cattle of all ages. Its active ingredient is gamma-cyhalothrin, the newest technology in the pyrethroid class of insecticides. In addition to demonstrating this new pour-on’s effectiveness through research, Elanco Animal Health is introducing StandGuard with a satisfaction guarantee, providing added reassurance for cattle producers..

“StandGuard Pour-on is the most potent pyrethroid available today,(1) which means that producers will see horn fly and lice control at a low application rate,” says Richard Hack, technical consultant, Elanco. “The best news for producers is that this powerful pour-on enables them to work with their veterinarians to update and strengthen existing integrated pest-management programs.”


Nolan Ryan Exclusive Partner with Super S Foods

Nolan Ryan Exclusive Partner with Super S Foods

Cattle Today

Huntsville, Texas, May 24, 2007 – Banking on consumers’ growing interest in natural and organic foods, San Antonio-based Super S Foods has teamed up with Nolan Ryan’s Guaranteed Tender Meats as the chain’s exclusive supplier of fresh all natural beef converting the entire fresh beef case in 46 stores to the baseball legend’s branded program.

According to a survey conducted by Midian Marketing and released at the Food Marketing Institute Conference this month, more and more consumers are showing interest in natural and organic meat. Supermarkets like Super S Foods are the primary outlet for both conventional and natural meat purchases, representing 70.8 percent of meat purchases and 48.9 percent of natural meat purchases. The reason for the increase in interest in products like Nolan Ryan’s Guaranteed Beef is recognition of better health and treatment of the animal, better nutritional values, better taste and freshness.


Cattle Producers Request COOL Meeting with AMI

Cattle Producers Request COOL Meeting with AMI


Washington, D.C. – Today, R-CALF USA responded to a June 15, 2007, letter from American Meat Institute (AMI) President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle to request a meeting with AMI – if – AMI genuinely “desires to assist its meatpacking members in seeking an effective, efficient and accurate means of verifying the country of origin of live cattle, without the burden of additional paperwork and with the benefit of minimizing errors.”

“AMI recently recommended that its meatpacker members start to ‘demand’ that U.S. cattle producers provide affidavits, access to records, third-party verifications, and indemnification of packer liability in an effort to comply with the 2002 country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law, and R-CALF is requesting that AMI rescind that notice at once,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.

Interestingly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – also on June 15, 2007 – announced a new 60-day public comment period on the 2002 COOL law.