Daily Archives: March 13, 2009

Producer perspective – Art Brownlee

Art Brownlee of Ashby, NE, explains his take on managing costs and product quality – which begins with collecting data and turning it into information. Recorded a the 2008 Beef Quality Summit, November 2008, Colorado Springs, CO. This Recording is a production of the Animal Sciences Department, Purdue University.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Detection of Standing Estrus in Cattle

Detection of Standing Estrus in Cattle

George Perry, Extension Beef Reproduction and Management Specialist,  Animal and Range Sciences Department, university of Nebraska

Detecting standing estrus (“heat detection” or “detecting standing heat”) is simply looking for the changes in animal behavior that are associated with a cow/heifer standing to be mounted by a bull or another female. Detecting animals in standing estrus is critical to the success of any artificial insemination program. Animals not in estrus around the time of insemination have little chance of becoming pregnant.

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Feedstuff Considerations for Feeding Bulls

Feedstuff Considerations for Feeding Bulls

Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift

University of Florida

Choosing from the array of feedstuffs available for feeding and developing bulls can be challenging for many beef cattle producers. The feed industry, popular press, and other cattlemen often offer conflicting advice about feedstuffs or their ingredients. Questions arise about the utilization of specific feeds, anti-quality components of some feeds, and the mineral program that is best. In the final analysis, however, there is no single perfect feedstuff for feeding bulls and all feedstuff can have a place in a well-balanced diet.

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BeefTalk: Unwanted Calf Average Daily Gain

BeefTalk: Unwanted Calf Average Daily Gain

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Influence of Gestation Length on Calving Difficulty Influence of Gestation Length on Calving Difficulty

The influence of gestation length provides measureable data.

Whew, only one left.

The Dickinson Research Extension Center is busy calving heifers. Thank goodness, the center only has one heifer left that is bred to a bull that will be called a noncalving ease sire.

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Shape Up Pastures

Shape Up Pastures

Kim Watson

Beef Today

For most cattle producers, controlling brush and weeds in pastures is an ongoing battle.

Since the early 1950s, Charlie Livingston, a cattle and sheep rancher near San Angelo, Texas, has been fighting brush in an area where mesquite and prickly pear cactus are plentiful. He knows there is no quick, one-time fix for controlling brush. Instead, it requires a methodical and continuous control program.

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Plastic pollution changing cattle DNA?

Plastic pollution changing cattle DNA?

Matthew Cimitile and Environmental Health News

Cattle Business Weekly

For 200 years, Randy Mumme’s family has raised cattle on the same plot of southeast Texas land. Then, about 10 years ago, something began to change. His steers were losing weight. Cows were miscarrying; one gave birth to a calf with three legs. Many calves were stillborn.

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Wintering your herd for less

Wintering your herd for less

W. Alan Bruhin

Seymour Herald

High-priced protein supplements provide cattle more protein per ton of feed, says a beef specialist with the University of Tennessee Extension.

Producers are often confused about feed supplements.

A producer once told me he could buy 20 percent protein cubes at $185 per ton and that high-priced supplements cost him about $250 per ton. Of course, that’s $65 per ton less for the 20 percent cubes however, that producer need to take his calculations one step further.

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U.S., EU eye possible fix to long-standing beef war

U.S., EU eye possible fix to long-standing beef war

Roberta Rampton


The United States will hold off on new retaliatory duties for European products while the two countries work on a possible fix to a dispute over beef trade that dates back to the 1980s, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said on Thursday.

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Understanding Expected Progeny Differences

Understanding Expected Progeny Differences

Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist; Virginia Tech

Expected progeny differences (EPDs) provide estimates of the genetic value of an animal as a parent. Specifically, differences in EPDs between two individuals of the same breed predict differences in performance between their future offspring when each is mated to animals of the same average genetic merit. EPDs are calculated for birth, growth, maternal, and carcass traits and are reported in the same units of measurement as the trait (normally pounds). EPD values may be directly compared only between animals of the same breed. In other words, a birth weight EPD for a Charolais bull may not be directly compared to a birth weight EPD of a Hereford bull (unless an adjustment is made to account for breed differences).

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Rain brings relief, but Texas reeling from $829 million in livestock losses

Rain brings relief, but Texas reeling from $829 million in livestock losses

Erin Quinn

Waco Tribune-Herald

A report issued Thursday by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service says the statewide drought has cost livestock producers $829 million.

That number, the report states, can be blamed on increased feeding costs and lost value of wheat pasture grazing.

Because corn and wheat sorghum are currently being planted, it is too early to say what economic impact, if any, there will be to crop farmers. In McLennan County, 64,000 acres are occupied by corn-for-grain producers.

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Cattle inventory lowest since 1959

Cattle inventory lowest since 1959

Gothenburg Times

A recent U. S. Department of Agriculture report revealed the smallest cattle inventory in the last 50 years, said Darrell Mark, Extension livestock marketing specialist.

Beef cow slaughter has been high for the last several years and that, combined with lower heifer retention in the last year or two has led to a contracting cattle cycle that’s well into the second year of liquidations, Mark said.

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Columnist sips the Pollan Kool-Aid

Columnist sips the Pollan Kool-Aid

 Steve Cornett

Beef Today

Did you see that George Will has bought into the Pollan Premise? (Will is usually a careful thinker and reporter. His column last week is testimony to just how persuasive Michael Pollan’s arguments are.

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Futurist offers his insight

Futurist offers his insight

Kindra Gordon

Cattle Business Weekly

Change is a word the ag industry – and the world – are hearing a lot lately. What trends will shape business in the next decade? Lowell Catlett, Dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences – and often a consultant to Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government about futurist issues – enjoys speculating on that answer.

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Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements


Protein supplements are available in many forms. High-quality forages, commodity coproduct feedstuffs, range cubes, protein blocks, and liquid supplements are some examples. Examples of feedstuffs (and their typical protein concentrations on a dry matter basis) that can serve as effective protein supplements include soybean meal (48%), cottonseed meal (41%), whole cottonseed (24%), corn gluten feed (24%), dried distillers grains (27%), and brewers grains (26%). Dried distillers grains have the added benefit of containing relatively high in undegradable intake protein (bypass protein) levels.

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Building Beef Demand in Tough Economic Times

Building Beef Demand in Tough Economic Times

Gary Truitt

Hoosier AG TOday

As US unemployment continues to rise and consumer confidence worsens, retail demand for beef is being affected. US consumers are changing what they pick up from retail meat cases or select from restaurant menus. As household budgets tighten and uncertainty increases, Lucinda Williams, chairperson of the Cattleman’s Beef Board, says consumers are turning to less expensive cuts of beef, “We are seeing consumers choosing hamburger rather than the higher priced cuts of beef.”

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