Monthly Archives: January 2016

BeefTalk: Kick Some Straw and Read the Book

BeefTalk: Kick Some Straw and Read the Book

Kris Ringwall,

Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

As another bull-buying season comes into full swing, several thoughts pop up while kicking straw in the bullpen. First, many good commercial bulls, backed by strong data numbers that are real, are available and will help producers move toward predetermined production goals. Commercial producers who do not utilize the information available on commercial bulls simply add risk and unpredictability to obtaining their desired production outcomes.

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Understanding AMS’ Withdrawal of Voluntary Marketing Standards

Understanding AMS’ Withdrawal of Voluntary Marketing Standards

Craig Morris

South Dakota Ag Connection

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that, effective Jan. 12, the agency withdrew two voluntary marketing claim standards — the Grass (Forage) Fed Marketing Claim Standard and the Naturally Raised Marketing Claim Standard. The Naturally Raised Marketing Claim Standard has never been used by anyone. What does the announcement really mean to grass-fed beef producers and consumers? The honest answer is nothing.

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Animal health and a functioning water cycle

Animal health and a functioning water cycle

R. P. "Doc" Cooke

Beef Producer

I have read and heard that droughts often end in floods. There have been several examples of this statement in the past year as several areas have received more moisture in a few days than they had previously witnessed in twelve months.

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The Real Story of MARC: No mad scientists or Frankenstein experiments

The Real Story of MARC: No mad scientists or Frankenstein experiments

Rita Brhel

The Cattle Business Weekly

The past year has been a long one for the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center, Neb., which drew sharp criticism from New York Times readers in early 2015 when an article was published alleging animal maltreatment at the center.

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Ultrasound data can quickly improve your breeding herd

Ultrasound data can quickly improve your breeding herd

Kevin Gould

Michigan State University

Breeders can scan yearling bulls and heifers for carcass traits and have this information included in National Cattle Evaluation ultrasound EPDs. Ultrasound EPDs are equivalent to carcass EPDs and simple process offers a non-invasive way to collect this important information. Certified Ultrasound Technicians collect the images and send them to a centralize lab where the images are interpreted. Data is forwarded to a breed association to be included in breeding values.

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How to keep good ranch employees

How to keep good ranch employees

Laura Mushrush


A recurring discussion in the cattle business, particularly the feedyard sector, has been centered on how to hire and keep good employees. According to Ryan Rhodes of Texas A&M – King Ranch, and Kim McCuistion of Texas A&M University, there are huge financial and production incentives for managers to put together an organized employee plan.

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Retallick accepts director of Member Programs position at American Gelbvieh Association

Retallick accepts director of Member Programs position at American Gelbvieh Association

High Plains Journal

Kelli Retallick has served as the data services coordinator for the American Gelbvieh Association for more than a year and has recently accepted the position of director of member programs. In her time at the AGA, Retallick has proved to be capable of outstanding leadership among staff, dedication to the AGA and skill in developing association programs.

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Twin births in beef cattle: Double your pleasure?

Twin births in beef cattle: Double your pleasure?

Dr. Carl Dahlen

Minnesota Farm Guide

Twin births occur in <1 to 7 percent of cattle depending on breed and genetics. Though fairly rare, it helps to prepare for the possibility of twin births prior to calving season.

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Creating Uniformity in a Diverse Industry

Creating Uniformity in a Diverse Industry

Craig A. Morris


During its 100 years of serving the livestock industry, USDA Market News – part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – has prided itself in creating transparency and clarity in the marketplace by allowing all industry stakeholders to have the same information about the market at the same time.  The entire agricultural supply chain relies on USDA Market News for timely, unbiased data. 

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Improving Adaptability

Improving Adaptability

Steve Suther

Angus Genetics Inc. Genetic Service Director Tonya Amen moderated the animal scientist panel of Megan Rolf, Oklahoma State University; Jared Decker, University of Missouri; and Mark Enns, Colorado State University (CSU). Their topic, “Matching Angus Genetics to Your Environment,” was part of Angus University’s 21st Century Cattle Production track.

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Is “Fat” a Four-letter Word?

Is “Fat” a Four-letter Word?

Dr. Roy Burris

Ohio BEEF Cattle Letter

Is fat a bad word? Not necessarily. Simply put, fat is just the body’s storage form of energy. If an animal consumes more energy than it uses, the excess calories will be stored as fat – money in the bank to be used in an energy shortage (think cows calving in late winter). Fat also imparts flavor to food (like a T-bone steak) but it also adds calories. So managing fat can be a delicate issue in the cattle business.

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Genomics: A Gateway Technology to Cattle Herd Management in the Future

Genomics: A Gateway Technology to Cattle Herd Management in the Future

Oklahoma Farm Report

DNA technology is really helping advance the cattle industry rapidly and it’s really a new phenomenon. Dr. Michael Bishop of Illumina said the establishment of genomics started just a few years ago.

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Biggest mistake among ag wome

Biggest mistake among ag women

Katie Hancock


Women have an important role in agriculture. Yes, many of us are farm wives. But we are also farmers, landowners, teachers and advocates. The biggest mistake among many women is surrendering to the fear of getting involved in a male-dominated world.

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The Top 10 signs spring planting can’t be too far off:

The Top 10 signs spring planting can’t be too far off:


Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 9:54 am

10. The over-achiever down the road has his planter power-washed, calibrated, hooked-up and pointed toward the first field.

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Deterring ticks with citrus and millipedes

Deterring ticks with citrus and millipedes

Farm and Ranch Guide

Despite a successful program to eliminate cattle fever ticks during the first half of the 20th century, these ticks still manage to cross the Mexican border into Texas.

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Monitoring Nutrient Status of Cows

Monitoring Nutrient Status of Cows


Managing cows through the winter provides different challenges compared to managing those same cows during the growing season. With snow cover across most of South Dakota, cows should oftentimes receive supplemental feed to meet their nutrient requirements during late gestation and into calving season because forage available for grazing is limited.

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The Feedlot Death Loss Conundrum

The Feedlot Death Loss Conundrum

John Maday


Veterinarians today have access to better vaccines, better treatments and generally better overall cattle management than in the past, and yet the prevalence of feedyard death loss continues to run higher than just a few years ago.

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Time of feeding influences time of calving

Time of feeding influences time of calving

High Plains Journal

A majority of beef calf mortality occurs within the first two months of life. Supervision of first calf heifers and cows that need assistance is a proven method to increase calf survival. In most operations observing birth is more easily done during daylight hours.

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Bull Buyers Guide

Bull Buyers Guide

Travis Meteer

University of Illinois

Are you sifting through stacks of bull sale catalogs looking for your next bull? While bull selection can be a daunting task, your choice will impact your herd for years to come. Thus, taking some time to think about what you need from your next herd sire is important.

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Red Angus Association of America releases new EPDs; Bull Buyers can rely on information to assist with genetic selection

Red Angus Association of America releases new EPDs; Bull Buyers can rely on information to assist with genetic selection

Red Angus Association of America

The season for bull sales is here and busy cattlemen will now have the most up-to-date information available as they make genetic selections to be used in their herds. The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) has released the 2016 Spring EPDs that evaluate traits from calving ease to performance to carcass merit.

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