Daily Archives: December 4, 2008

Tool Time: A review of the tools in a breeding kit, the variations in tools and how to properly use them.

Tool Time: A review of the tools in a breeding kit, the variations in tools and how to properly use them.

Mel DeJarnette, Reproductive Specialist Select Sires

Tim Allen will tell you that a quality repair job depends on having the right parts and tools for the job. If you’re like me however, your most frequently used tool is the hammer (even for repairing electronics). If a hammer is not within arm’s reach, a crescent or pipe wrench will suffice.

The consequences of improper use of common tools are not usually serious. However, misuse of tools stored in an A.I. breeding kit can have significant effects on reproductive performance in your herd. There are several variations of common A.I. breeding tools. For the most part, one tool will perform as well as another if properly used. Let’s discuss some of the differences in common breeding equipment.

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Marketing Cull Cows

Marketing Cull Cows

Dillon M. Feuz, Ag Economist, University of Nebraska

Cull cow receipts account for approximately 20 percent of income from most cow-calf enterprises. However, some producers give little attention to this source of income and ways of enhancing it. For many producers, cull cows are sold at the time culling takes place, and much of this culling is done in the late fall soon after calves are weaned. Is it most profitable to sell cows when they are culled, or should they be fed for a period of time?

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Hey Doc, How Can I Keep My Mineral Costs Down?

Hey Doc, How Can I Keep My Mineral Costs Down?

Dr. Dee Whittier, Extension Veterinarian, VA Tech, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Costs have skyrocketed in most areas of cattle production.  One of the big “sticker shock” areas is mineral costs.  Feeding a free-choice mineral product at the high end of the cost scale can result in an annual mineral cost that may represent 10% of the value of a calf.  The obvious question is whether decreasing mineral costs will have significant effects on production or health.

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Improving The Value Of Feeder Cattle

Improving The Value Of Feeder Cattle


There have been studies over the years where people have sat in auction markets and recorded type and price on every sale over several months to determine the factors that affect price. One of those was done in Kansas in 1986, Oklahoma followed up with a similar study in 1997 and Arkansas has done the same thing in 2005. Prices have gone up over the years, but a few simple management practices have been shown over and over to improve the value of feeder cattle.

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Lawrence Grathwohl Memorial Herdsman Awarded to Greenhorn

Lawrence Grathwohl Memorial Herdsman Awarded to Greenhorn

Cattle Today

The 2008 Herdsman of the Year was honored with a trophy buckle in memory of Lawrence Grathwohl and sponsored by the Shorthorn Foundation, during the North American International Livestock Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. Two members of the Grathwohl family, Nancy Heter and Becky Bacon, were in attendance as well as Jack Ragsdale, on behalf of the Shorthorn Foundation, to present the award during the selection of the Grand Female of the 2008 National Shorthorn Show to Josh Greenhorn, Waynesville, Ohio.

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SPCA Faces Hard Time Adopting Horses

SPCA Faces Hard Time Adopting Horses

Center Has Taken In More Than 30 Horses


The SPCA for Monterey County normally takes in five horses a year, but with this year’s economic downturn they have taken in 30 and the number continues to climb.

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Fifth annual Southwest Beef Symposium set for Jan. 13-14 in Midland

Fifth annual Southwest Beef Symposium set for Jan. 13-14 in Midland

Steve Byrns

Southwest Farm Press

For the fifth time in as many years, Texas and New Mexico Extension agencies will hold their annual “Southwest Beef Symposium.” This year’s meeting is set for Jan.13-14 at the Horseshoe complex in Midland at 2002 Cotton Flat Road.

Dr. Bruce Carpenter, Texas AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist at Fort Stockton, said the symposium is tailored for southwestern beef producers. The event centers on three educational sessions and a trade show. It alternates between locations in West Texas and eastern New Mexico. 

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Environmentally minded cowboys run a green ranch in Arizona

Environmentally minded cowboys run a green ranch in Arizona

Jina Moore


At two ranches near the Grand Canyon, they try to raise cattle in a way that doesn’t sully the sensitive southwestern landscape.

John Heyneman has a problem. It’s late January, and some of his cows are missing. They’re stuck on the Kaibab Plateau, a 9,000-foot high Ponderosa pine forest just north of the Grand Canyon. Most of his 400 cattle made it safely from the forest, their summer home, to the valley below, where they winter. But the stragglers wandered off on land that lacks a cowboy’s most important tool – fences – and now they’re lost, stranded knee-deep in snow.

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‘Cow tax’ may or may not be proposed by EPA

‘Cow tax’ may or may not be proposed by EPA

Kevin Pearcey

Greenville Advocate

Frenzied speculation last week that a government agency was about to saddle American farmers with a “cow tax” to regulate greenhouse gas emissions was unwarranted and extremely irresponsible, said the head of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association.

“Cattle producers should stop a minute and consider the facts in this case,” said ACA Executive Vice-President Dr. Billy Powell. “Our stance has always been to base our policies on science and documented facts…neither of which seems to be the basis for this scare over a ‘cow tax.’”

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Improve Time Management On Your Cow-Calf Operation

Improve Time Management On Your Cow-Calf Operation


In tough economic times, many people become overwhelmed with things they have little control over such as high prices for feed, fuel and fertilizer. Although those things are important, perhaps it is time to focus your attention on things you can influence, such as operational efficiency and time management. Applying these two principles can result in more productive management while minimizing the waste of valuable time.

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Ionophores for stocker calves

Ionophores for stocker calves

University of Georgia

Ionophores improve feed efficiency and daily gains in cattle. Cattle typically exhibit a 15% increase in ADG (0.15 to 0.3 lb/d) when fed ionophores while grazing winter pastures. Ionophores work primarily by decreasing energy losses from methane, which increases ruminal propionate production. This results in improved feed efficiency. It also decreases occurrences of bloat and acidosis.

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Organic beef growing in popularity among ranchers, consumers

Organic beef growing in popularity among ranchers, consumers


The Dallas Morning News

Carl Meyers sees the pasture through the mesquite trees blotting his 213 acres.

If all goes well, Mr. Meyers will clear the scraggy trees and develop ranchland that will sustain a small organic beef production and allow him to eat healthier, he said.

Mr. Meyers, 56, is in the process of applying for approval to raise his cattle organically on his acreage near Maypearl, southwest of Waxahachie. He plans to build a slaughterhouse and sell his beef onsite to customers. If his dream holds up, he’ll supplement the business by selling organic vegetables from his garden and maybe serving home-cooked meals.

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Braunvieh Exceed Feedyard Owner’s Expectations

Braunvieh Exceed Feedyard Owner’s Expectations

Mark Nelson

Cattle Today

Nebraska feedyard owner Fred Schroeder focuses on premium opportunities in managing all aspects of his 1,000 head feedyard. Grid premiums, age verification, targeting seasonal markets, sourcing quality supply, and watching costs keep him a very busy manager. His feeding style and procurement of good cattle is the key to profitability for the quality driven grids he uses.

Like many “farmer-feeders” in the industry Schroeder has come to rely on these grid premiums to offset the advantages the larger feedyards realize through feeding volume. Schroeder feeds a lot of his own corn, and he looks for ways to compete in an industry which is becoming dominated by large yards who can feed cheaper by averaging costs our over tens of thousands of cattle turned several times per year.

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EPDs & Accuracy

EPDs & Accuracy


Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are reported by most major breed associations and are a means of estimating an individual’s genetic value as a parent for a particular trait. The EPD is a means of predicting differences between progeny performance in a particular trait between prospective animals. EPDs are calculated for a number of different traits and reported in the same unit of measurement as the trait. An EPD value can be either a positive or negative value depending on the calculated genetic value of the individual in relationship to its breed.

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K-State lands $450 million research facility

K-State lands $450 million research facility

Tim Carpenter

The Capital-Journal

Federal analysts completed a grueling three-year appraisal by recommending Kansas State University host a unique $450 million research facility to study infectious diseases capable of spreading from livestock to humans, officials said Wednesday.

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