Application of Ultrasound for Genetic Improvement in Beef Cattle
Iowa State University
Real-time ultrasound offers beef producers a means to make genetic improvement in body composition traits. Ultrasound data is useful in identifying animals that are superior or inferior for a particular trait of interest. Breed averages can be useful for characterizing a specific breed for body composition traits and how those traits may be incorporated into a crossbreeding program to complement each other. Collecting ultrasound data is also a much cheaper and more efficient means of evaluating carcass traits on breeding animals relative to progeny testing and carcass data collection. Current research at ISU is investigating the potential for using a combination of ultrasound and carcass data to be used in carcass EPD calculation.
Did Synchronizing Cows Just Get Simpler?
By Mel DeJarnette, reproduction specialist, Select Sires
Catching cows in heat has never been an easy job, but in today’s large, high-producing dairies, it sometimes seems all but impossible. To combat these estrous-detection problems, researchers have developed even more sophisticated methods of synchronizing cows for fixed-time A.I. in the absence of observed estrus. However, with each new step and improvement often comes increased expense and complexity. The “hassle factor” of some protocols is often simply too great for the herd management to implement. This may result in producers “tweaking” the protocol into a system that the management can “handle” or failure to implement any protocol at all. Either option likely results in less-than-optimal reproductive performance.
TSCRA: School For Successful Ranching
Participants in Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s 2008 School For Successful Ranching will have the opportunity to join the great debate and decide for themselves what’s in a name when it comes to generic versus name-brand herbicides.
Dr. Wayne Hanselka, professor of ecosystem science and management at Texas A&M University and range specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will lead a session on herbicides designed and labeled for rangeland use at the school, to be held March 14-15 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.
Tennessee Beef Agribition Features Best, Latest in Cattle Industry
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One of the largest cattle exhibitions, sales and tradeshows in the Southeast will be held in Murfreesboro, Mar. 7 – 9 at Middle Tennessee State University’s Tennessee Livestock Center.
The Tennessee Beef Agribition will feature new products and the latest information with a focus on the future of the cattle industry. The annual three day cattle show and sale event also includes a tradeshow that will be held Mar. 7 – 8, and a Junior Show that will be held Mar. 9.
“This year’s show again will provide information to producers on how to qualify for cattle genetic and handling equipment cost share assistance through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program,” said Charles Hord, livestock marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “The show is also great way for producers to find out the latest trends and opportunities in the cattle industry.”
Selection For Scrotal Circumference Should Not Influence Carcass Traits
Several segments of the cattle industry are interested in finding management techniques that will increase the percentage of cattle that grade Choice. Cattle breeders have recently questioned whether selection for scrotal circumference of bulls has an adverse impact on carcass traits of the calves they sired. A Kansas State University study specifically looked at relationships between scrotal circumference of Angus sires with ultrasound predictions of important carcass traits in the calves that these bulls sired. The American Angus Association provided expected progeny differences (EPD) for 290 Angus sires and performance records from 332,162 progeny of these sires and their contemporaries. The Kansas State University scientists calculated the correlations between ultrasound intramuscular fat EPD, carcass marbling score EPD, and yearling scrotal circumference EPD in Angus cattle.
International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare May 28-30 at K-State
K-State Beef Cattle Institute
Animal welfare is one of the fastest growing concerns among consumers throughout the country, according to Dr. Dan Thomson, a Kansas State University veterinarian and expert on the impact of beef cattle production practices on cattle well-being and health.
The Beef Cattle Institute at K-State will conduct an International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare, May 28-30, on the K-State campus.
“The symposium is designed to provide a venue in which all stakeholders in beef cattle production can meet and discuss the many welfare-related topics concerning the raising, feeding and harvesting of beef cattle,” Thomson said.
Diseases: Bovine Tuberculosis
Iowa State University
Bovine tuberculosis is a significant zoonosis that can spread to humans through aerosols and by ingestion of raw milk. In developed countries, eradication efforts have significantly reduced the prevalence of this disease, but reservoirs in wildlife make complete eradication difficult. Bovine tuberculosis is still common in less developed countries, and economic losses can occur in cattle and African buffalo from deaths, chronic disease, and trade restrictions. Infections may also be a serious threat to endangered species.
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