Genetic Implications For Beef Heifers
Genetics play a vital role in the successful development, reproductive performance, and future productivity of beef heifers. As the factory of the beef enterprise, profitable females have the following attributes:
-Reach puberty early, calve at 2 years of age, and then annually thereafter with no calving difficulty
-Wean a calf annually which fits demands of marketplace and meets consumer expectations
-Highly adapted to environmental and managerial resources
-Generate high revenue at low cost over a long, productive life
CAFO’s and People Coexisting
MFA Health Track
I just read a press release regarding the Marion County’s Board of Trustees decision to “revoke and rescind” a previously approved health ordinance restricting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s). It would be an incredible understatement to say that this is a complicated issue. The debate will not be over for some time, but occaisionally something is said that bears repeating.
Cows that Work mean Calves that Grade
Many beef producers struggle with priorities when it comes to genetic selection. One part of them knows the market rewards a focus on the end product. After all, consumers are the ultimate customers.
Then their skeptical side kicks in: “Yeah, but the most important thing is to get as many live, healthy calves as possible each year, so the cows can earn their keep.”
Those torn by this conflict of the mind can take heart in an updated research paper by Twig Marston, Kansas State University.
Its long title indicates a comprehensive approach. “The Relationship Between Marbling and Other EPDs with Implications When Making Beef Cowherd Breeding and Management Decisions” discusses how carcass quality is related to reproduction.
Cattle Preconditioning: Prep Calves Before Weaning
Weaning is stressful for calves and producers alike. In cattle, that stress can lead to bacterial infections, bovine respiratory disease (BRD), and extra labor and expense for the producer, says Dr. Joe Dedrickson, Director of Merial Large Animal Veterinary Professional Services. But, he says, by vaccinating for Pasteurella and minimizing stress, producers can help their calves make the transition with a clean bill of health.
Dr. Max Mekus of Mount Ayr Veterinary Clinic, Mount Ayr, Iowa, agrees. He works with many cow/calf producers and calf backgrounding operations, and has seen the toll Pasteurella and BRD can take on calf health and producer profits.
“Weaning is often the most stressful time in an animal’s life,” Dr. Mekus explains. “Stress weakens the immune system, opening calves to Pasteurella infection.”
Report cattle illnesses to keep disease under control
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio producers who suspect their beef or dairy cattle are showing signs of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) should report those symptoms to their local veterinarian.
Bill Shulaw, an Ohio State University Extension veterinarian, said that the recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and bluetongue in the United Kingdom should remind producers that reporting signs of illness or unusual behavior is important to keeping foreign animal diseases under control.
“Though EHD is a non-reportable disease in Ohio, and typically causes very mild symptoms in cattle, the disease is very similar to other diseases, such as bluetongue, which is a reportable illness,” said Shulaw, with the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. “Producers are encouraged to report any suspected cases of EHD.”
Symptoms in cattle include lameness, salivation, cloudy nasal discharge, swelling of the coronary band (growth area of the hoof), mouth lesions, conjunctivitis and a decrease in milk production.
Angus Associations to Conduct “Partners in Profit” Meetings
The American Angus Association and Missouri Angus Association will sponsor four educational programs, “Partners in Profit,” Oct. 8-11, 2007, in regions throughout the state of Missouri. The program will focus on resources and tools that are beneficial to producers involved in commercial beef production. Each program will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Ty Groshans, director of commercial programs at the American Angus Association, will review the extensive survey report, Priorities First, authored by Tom Field, Colorado State University. Priorities First highlights management priorities to increase profits in the commercial cow-calf sector.
Bill Bowman, the Association’s director of performance programs, will discuss “Selection Tools for Profit” that will include the use of the genetic tools generated by the American Angus Association. Calving ease direct (CED) and birth weight (BW) EPDs and how they are used on virgin heifers and mature cows will be discussed. Bowman will also cover how to make directional change in a cow herd utilizing expected progeny differences (EPDs), dollar value indexes ($Values) and general use of EPDs in the commercial industry.
Make bull choice carefully
By GARY TILGHMAN
Glasgow Daily Times
When deciding on a new bull for your cattle operation, remember that there is no one-size fits all approach. Buying a bull that fits your needs and operation is very important and decisions will be different for every farm.
Looking at all the traits for each bull you are considering and determining which one best fits your needs is the right approach. Using tools such as Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) will help in the decision-making process. Two traits often mentioned by Kentucky producers among the most important are calving ease and temperament.