BeefTalk: Keeping More Heifers Turned Out Well
Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service
How do you cut cow numbers in half and maintain the same number of cows calving? That seems like a strange question, but the question surfaced as the Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC) prepped for the current drought on this year’s feed supply. The answer is to develop all the heifers as future brood cows. The answer may seem as strange as the question, but keep in mind one of the focuses of the center is to maintain calves longer in their life cycle, utilizing lower inputs and more forage. The bottom line: more pounds of beef.
Richard Willham: A Lifetime of Commitment
Editor’s Note: It has come to our attention that Dr. Richard Willham, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Iowa State university passed away recently. According to Dr. Bob Hough, “The industry lost one its greats with the passing of Dr. Richard Willham of Iowa State University. He was largely responsible for the adoption of EBVs, and the EPDs that followed, by the major breed associations.” Below is a brief biography compiled by Beef Magazine in 2004.
Richard Willham has worn many hats in his long, prestigious career in the beef industry, including beef cattle geneticist, author, livestock historian and artist. These many successes have garnered Willham, professor emeritus at Iowa State University, the honor of being the 2004 inductee into the Saddle and Sirloin Club, the beef industry’s hall of fame.
Igenity® Brangus® Giveaway
International Brangus Breeders Association
Allflex, International Brangus® Breeders Association (IBBA), and Neogen GeneSeek have partnered in sponsorship for a promotional Igenity® Brangus® giveaway to target commercial cattlemen who buy Brangus and Brangus-influenced bulls at selected spring sales. The Igenity Brangus Profile is a DNA evaluation tool for commercial Brangus cattle. Using the profiler, breeders are able to predict maternal, growth and carcass traits and use Brangus-specific indices for confident selection decisions. Igenity Brangus helps producers to understand and manage the potential for animals to perform and transmit traits of economic importance.
University of Nebraska
The use of genetic selection tools by cattle breeders has resulted in significant changes within the majority of major breeds over the last 30 years. . . . Without question, the use of Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) has enabled this change. The question at hand, however, is “have we selected towards that which is optimal?” The late Dr. Bob Taylor from Colorado State University said it well, “Profitable cattle are usually productive, but productive cattle are not always profitable.”
Weaning is a Critical Part of Antimicrobial Stewardship
Lee Jones, MS, DVM
Antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use on farms and in all meat production systems are hot news items right now. There is an awful lot of confusion, misinformation and disinformation on the Internet and in the media, too. As Joe Friday used to say, “just the facts, ma’am,” but it’s hard to sort the facts from the fiction. Sort of like sorting sheep and goats; they aren’t always obvious at first glance.
How Do Clovers Add Nitrogen to Pastures?
Dr. Gary Bates
University of Tennessee
One of the most important practices that any forage producer can incorporate into their program is adding legumes to grass pastures and hayfields. Even though there are several benefits to planting clovers, the main one most people think of is the nitrogen that is added by the legume. There have been many research projects over the years showing that a tall fescue/clover mixture can produce the same yield as tall fescue fertilized with 60 pounds of nitrogen per acre. A lot of times we make the statement “Clovers make nitrogen.” But technically that is not correct. So how do legumes decrease nitrogen fertlizer needs?
Iowa State Develops New Crush Margin App for Cattle and Hog Producers
Iowa Beef Center
Livestock producers who purchase feeder cattle or weaned pigs plus the feed, and then sell finished animals at a specific point in time, take on a significant amount of both input and output price risk. Feeder cattle, weaned pig and feed prices account for a significant share of the total input cost and along with market livestock prices are volatile, adding to a producer’s risk.
Lice in cattle herds can bite producer profits
A common wintertime pest in cattle herds – lice – can suck money from producers’ pockets, said Dr. Jason Banta, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist, Overton. Cattle producers should be mindful of a common pest – lice – in their herd. Longer winter coats on cattle provide ideal conditions for populations to grow and become a problem that can hurt herd health and producers’ profitability.
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.
Montana beef cattle genetics headed for Nicaragua
Montana continues be home to some of the highest quality cattle and beef in the world. And soon Montana ranchers will be helping to increase the genetic power of cattle herds in Central America. “If you look around, you can see the genetics you all have over here. So, we’re trying to introduce to our country” said Alvaro Vargas, president of the Nicaragua Livestock Federation.