Tips for Semen Storage and Handling
Joseph Dalton, University of Idaho Caldwell Research Extension Center
Artificial insemination (AI) is an efficient and cost-effective strategy to improve the genetics and reproductive performance of a herd. Reputable commercial AI studs and custom semen collection businesses, through stringent collection, processing and quality control, provide a highly fertile product to their customers.
When semen is purchased and transferred to the producer’s or professional AI technician’s liquid nitrogen refrigerator (tank), the maintenance of male fertility is in the hands of the producer, farm employees and AI technicians. In order to realize the maximal potential fertility within straws of frozen semen, the liquid nitrogen tank must be managed properly.
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BeefTalk: EPD Accuracy – Contemporary Groups
Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service
Good Contemporary Group Data Good Contemporary Group Data
A lot of data is discarded because it does not meet organizational criteria.
The easy part is data collection. The tough part is having enough cattle treated alike so the calculated number based on the data set actually means something.
A lot of data is discarded because it does not meet organizational criteria. For example, when calves are split within different management options, the performance in those different options is more than likely not the same.
Calves on different pastures do not have the same opportunity to gain weight. The utilization of the data for genetic evaluations is compromised if those management groups are not noted in the data sheets sent to the recording organization.
CAB President Calls for Balance in Brands
Premium branding shows the way to balance sustainability today with beef’s long-term consumer demand, relative to other proteins. That’s the message shared by John Stika, president of Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), during the Beef Industry Issues Forum in Reno, Nev., in February.
The Forum, a rotational session called “Driving Consumer Demand,” was part of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association annual convention and trade show.
Brands create loyalty by adding value beyond a name when they deliver on a promise. In the case of beef, that usually means taste, Stika said.
Wisconsin, South Dakota, Minnesota cattlemen band together, raise funds
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota auction yards, along with cattle producers and main-street businesses, helped raise funds for R-CALF USA at recent rollover calf sale auction. R-CALF USA is a national membership organization, which represents independent cattle producers on issues that directly impact the U.S. cattle industry.
The funds will go toward R-CALF USA’s litigation against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) OTM (over-30-month) Rule to prevent the introduction of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from Canada into the U.S. cattle herd.
On behalf of U.S. cattle producers, R-CALF USA also is working to get Congress to include in the 2007 Farm Bill a prohibition on packer ownership of livestock for more than 14 days, mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) enforcement by Sept. 30, 2008, and other issues important to U.S. cattle producers.
Romancing the steer
Driving west of Independence, Kansas, through Flint Hills where the Caney River dips and rises through endless tallgrass prairie like a sumptuous African landscape lured Bill Kurtis to return to his homeland for good. “Everybody has a place and this was it,” said the native Kansan, who also resides in nearby Mettawa and Lincoln Park.
Environmentalist and multimedia production company president turned rancher then and there. “All the oil was gone, so I got into cattle,” he said.
Ranchers want review of beef merger
Cattlemen in Wyoming concerned about a the recent merger of JBS SA, Smithfield Beef Group Inc. and National Beef Inc. want the U.S. Justice Department to review the buyout.
U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., have asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to make sure that the U.S. Justice Department closely reviews the merger, the Associated Press reported.
The senators said they wanted to ensure a fair and open market in the beef industry, the AP reported. They’re particularly concerned about $565 million in the deal that would be paid for Smithfield Beef Group Inc. That would give JBS full control of Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding LLC, made up of 10 feedlots in five states with capacity for 811,000 head of cattle.
Nu-GEN Project Enhances Santa Gertrudis Breed
Members of the Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Nu-Gen Standing Committee met at MC Ranch in Georgia on February 17-18, 2008 to discuss the Nu-Gen project and to inspect and approve two new animals resulting from the project. The animals are both 3/8 Brahman X 5/8 Shorthorn, and are representative of Phase 3 of the Nu-Gen Project.
All committee members were present as well as Dr. Burton McDaniel of MC Ranch, who has provided the financial support and on-the-ground management of the project; Joe Jones of Briggs Ranches in Victoria, Texas; Wylie Taliaferro of Double TT Ranch in Rosser, Texas; Bill Barrett of Five Oaks Ranch in Valley Mills, Texas; Richard Hood of Double Circle Ranch in Franklin, Texas; and SGBI Executive Director Ervin Kaatz. All committee members were appointed by the SGBI Board of Directors in 1995 as a standing committee which would remain in place until the completion of the Nu-Gen project. The committee was authorized at that time to approve the inclusion of offspring resulting from the mating of Nu-Gen animals to registered Santa Gertrudis into the SGBI herd books and registry records.
Beef education program
University of Wisconsin-Extension Beef Cattle Specialist Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler and area county Extension agriculture agents are offering a pilot beef distance education program.
Several groups including the Extension Beef Team have initiated educational programming through the Internet as an alternative means to reach clientele, Extension agents said.
“Whether it’s podcasting, Webinars or Webcasts, enhancements in technology are occurring that make it easier for experts to reach larger audiences,” Extension agents said.
Consult with Vet to Insure Appropriate Antibiotic Use
Heather Smith Thomas
The primary reason antimicrobial drugs are given to beef cattle is to treat or control respiratory disease, though other conditions (such as foot rot, pinkeye, wooden tongue, diphtheria, etc.) are also treated, to help the animal fight off bacterial infection. Kelly Lechtenberg, DVM, PhD (consulting veterinarian at Midwest Veterinary Services in Oakland, Nebraska) specializes in bovine medicine and has worked with many issues regarding use of antibiotics. “The BRD (bovine respiratory disease) complex is a syndrome that is usually a bacterial infection combined with viral infection and various stress factors,” he says. Viruses are not affected by antimicrobial products, but antibiotics are usually given to the sick animal to control or prevent secondary bacterial infection.
USDA renews funding commitment for Johne’s Disease Coordinated Agriculture Project
USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service awarded the Johne’s Disease Integrated Program $4.8 million in renewed funding of four years to control and ultimately eliminate the disease.
“Johne’s is a serious disease affecting large numbers of beef and dairy cattle and accounts for more than $200 million in economic losses,” said Gale Buchanan, USDA under secretary for Research, Education and Economics. “The continuation of this research will help develop practical solutions to ensure a safe and healthy food supply and stable economy.”
Johne’s disease (pronounced “YO-knees”) is an intestinal infection caused by bacteria most often seen in ruminant animals. It causes weight loss, decreased milk production and reduced fertility. Current estimates indicate that up to 70 percent of U.S. dairy herds, and a smaller percent of beef herds, are infected with the disease.
Money Invested In Ky. Agricultural Diversification
The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, chaired by Gov. Steve Beshear, approved $1,279,254 in agricultural diversification projects across the Commonwealth during their monthly board meeting Friday, March 14, at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Ky.
State and County Agricultural Development Fund projects approved for funding at the March meeting include:
-$4,000 Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
The Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce, Inc. was approved for $4,000 in Simpson County funds to be used for the Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund Horse Conference.
-$28,000 South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation
The South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative was approved for $28,000 in state funds to commission a study for the feasibility of a beef processing facility that would be located in Kentucky.
TB fears prompt Wisconsin to tighten livestock import rules
The Country Today
Wisconsin livestock health officials are beefing up animal import requirements in an effort to keep bovine tuberculosis from jumping the border from Minnesota.
The new rules will take effect when federal officials downgrade Minnesota’s bovine tuberculosis status, probably by early April.
“We now have relatively high rates of TB on both sides of us – in Michigan and Minnesota,” Wisconsin State Veterinarian Robert Ehlenfeldt said in a news release.
Most of the new import rules, which apply to cattle, bison and goats, are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Stocker Cattle: Hold On To Your Grass
The growing season of 2007 brought much needed range recovery in many areas of the country. To characterize the improvement of some rangeland from poor to very good within a single growing season would be an understatement in many cases. The amount and timing of the rainfall in 2007 was very unusual and very infrequent for most areas. Some of the same locations that benefited from above-average annual rainfall last spring and summer have been suffering under drought conditions since fall. Knowing that it is unlikely that we will have another spring and summer like 2007 and that drier conditions are more likely the situation that will prevail, it becomes paramount that managers of rangelands do everything that they can to maintain the condition of the range.
Conditioned for Conception
Give your heifers the best of everything – reproduction efficiency, health and nutrition
By Jerilyn Johnson-Houghton
If you’re serious about genetic improvement, your replacement heifers should be among the most valuable animals on the farm. A few important steps can help you make sure they’re bred on time and set up for a long, productive life as a brood cow.
Here are 10 ways to get more from your replacement heifers.
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Montana ranchers seeking beef for food banks
High Plains Journal
HELENA, Mont. (AP)–The Montana Cattlemen’s Association Foundation has launched a “Beef on Every Table” drive to supply packages of hamburger to many hungry Montanans through food banks and Indian reservations across the state.
“We came up with the idea to get cattle producers to donate older cows or bulls that they were going to sell,” said the foundation’s president, Dennis McDonald of Melville. “In our small way, we’re trying to help out a bit.”