Preparing for Bull Buying Season
Scott P. Greiner, Ph.D, Extension Animal Scientist, VA Tech
Bull sale season is in full swing, and between now and late spring many producers will be looking to acquire additional bull power for the upcoming breeding season. Bull selection is Job #1 for genetic improvement, as nearly all herd improvement over time is a direct result of genetics infused through new bulls. Consequently, selection of the right bull is paramount. Finding the right bull is a process which should be initiated long before arrival at the bull sale or opening the sale catalog. A systematic approach which identifies genetic priorities will greatly enhance the ability to find the right bull, and ultimately make the genetic progress needed within the herd. The following outline key steps for consideration.
Bovine TB fight continues in Minnesota and elsewhere
Farm and Ranch Guide
After more than three years of battling bovine tuberculosis, Minnesota’s leaders and cattle producers wait for positive news regarding eradication of this chronic respiratory disease.
If the state doesn’t find any more cases of bovine TB, it’s possible most of Minnesota could return to TB free status in about three years.
Cow Calf: Tips For Buying Replacement Cows
Many producers choose to purchase rather than raise replacement cows for several different reasons. While the initial cost is often the main selection criterion, it should not be the only consideration and is not necessarily the most important.
BeefTalk: Buying the Right Bull Means Checking His Grades
Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service
In the beef business, producers need to accept the fact that bulls need to be evaluated.
The common-sense process of buying bulls has not changed much. The requirements are simple. The bull needs four decent legs, a bit of appropriate muscle indicative of the product and a functioning reproductive system.
Natural calf feedlot study looks at economics, use of ionophores
Farm & Ranch Guide
Raising natural calves for natural beef markets is an alternative that can bring a better price, particularly positive these days with the overall depressed economy affecting cattle prices, according to Tim Petry, an ag economist at North Dakota State University.
Petry said raising natural beef, as well as preconditioning, verified shots and age and source verification, are all ways producers can gain the top price in the market.
‘Slick’ gene helps cattle beat heat
By pinpointing the chromosomal location of the “slick” gene identified by Agricultural Research Service (ARS), scientists could help breeders develop cattle with shorter, slick hair that helps keep them cool in subtropical heat.
In central Florida, excessive summer heat can take its toll on cattle, leading to reduced milk production from dairy cattle and higher death rates among beef cattle. But the discovery of the slick gene by scientists at the ARS Subtropical Agricultural Research Station (STARS) in Brooksville, Florida, should help deal with these heat-related issues.
Sticky, liquidy, bulky: Consider texture when mixing ration
By ANDREA JOHNSON
Minnesota Farm Guide
When you’re making a recipe for people, measured ingredients often have to be combined in a specific way for the dish to turn out its best.
A Total Mixed Ration (TMR) operates in the same way. The dish – the animals’ feed – will turn out differently based on how the ingredients are combined.
Feed efficiency is improved and digestive disorders are reduced when cattle receive a uniformly mixed diet on a consistent basis.