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Show-Me-Select Board Approves Genomic Testing Requirement for Natural Service Sires

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All bulls purchased after February 1st, 2019 for use as natural service sires in the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program™ must be DNA tested to have genomic-enhanced EPDs. All bulls used as natural service sires after February 1st, 2020 must have genomic-enhanced EPDs, regardless of when they were purchased. Seedstock producers classifying bulls as Show-Me-Select qualified in sale books must have genomic-enhanced EPDs on those lots.
Bulls purchased prior to February 1st, 2019 will be grandfathered into the program, as is the common practice with all natural service sires. However, this grandfather grace period will end February 1st, 2020. At that time for a bull to qualify for use in the program, it must have genomic-enhanced EPDs.

Why the change? The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program has the goal of producing premium heifers that perform predictably as 2 year olds. The program has a history of requiring Show-Me-Select producers to go beyond typical cattle production pr…

CIC 2020: Precision Breeding and You Don't Need a GPS

Darrh Bullock
University of Kentucky

Precision agriculture has come to various industries. Luckily, there are already tools to do precision breeding in beef cattle.

Let's talk about farm/ranch goals.
For example, our goals may be to

Support two familiesKeep workers safeEffectively use the resources we have
Breeding objectives are genetically influenced objectives to help achieve farm and ranch goals. In Darrh's opinion, breeding objectives should impact the quality of life of the farm and ranch owners and workers. These objectives should improve economic, social, welfare and convenience factors of a farm. Certain traits in our breeding objective will allow us to be more efficient and have a smaller environmental impact. Other traits will be in our breeding objective simply because they make our life more convenient.

Darrh pointed out that production efficiency is the key. The beef industry needs to reduce the amount of mature size and milk so that cows are more efficient. This …

CIC 2020: Practical Nutrition Management - Supplementing Forages on a Budget

Eric Bailey State Beef Nutrition Specialist, University of Missouri
"Let's start with the pain point," Bailey said. In the last 20 years, we have more than doubled cow costs. However, outside of 2014, we have not seen feed calf prices keep up with cow costs.
At $800 per year cow cost, we need to make $1.60 per pound on a 5 weight steer.
Bailey will cover 3 topics: Match feed with needSupplementing based on limiting nutrientCost effective supplement selection Matching Feed with Need A part of matching feed with need is having seasonally-appropriate calving. Bailey draws a distiction between winter calving (before February 1) and Spring calving. We often lump winter-calving with spring calving, but if you calve before February 1, you are likely not matching your calving to forage availability.
With warm-season forages, until May, the nutritional requirements of the cow are much higher than supplied by grasses. This means we have to spend money supplementing. 
"The body …

Hereford and Red Angus Heifers Recruited for Genomics Research

The University of Missouri is recruiting 2,500 Hereford heifers and 2,500 Red Angus heifers to participate in a heifer puberty and fertility genomic research project. Heifers should be registered Hereford, registered Red Angus, or commercial Hereford or Red Angus. Hereford x Red Angus crossbred heifers targeted for the Premium Red Baldy Program would also be a good fit for the research project. Producers must be willing to work with a trained veterinarian to collect the following data: ReproductiveTract Scores collected at a pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season.PelvicMeasurements (height and width) collected at the same pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season.Pregnancy Determination Using Ultrasound reporting fetal age in days. Ultrasound will need to occur no later than 90 days after the start of the breeding season.
In addition, heifers must have known birth dates and have weights recorded either at a year of age o…

5 Tips to Help Ensure Cow Longevity

Developing and maintaining a herd with the key profit driver
By Rebecca Mettler
Reprint from the Joplin Stockyards Cattlemen's News.

Cow longevity is a key profit driver in cow-calf operations. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if a producer has purchased the perfect bull for their operation if the cows remain open because of poor cowherd fertility. Instead, developing and maintaining a herd with enhanced longevity should be a top item on producers’ minds when setting goals for the new year ahead.
While proper nutrition and sound vaccination protocols for reproductive diseases are essential pieces of the puzzle, producers should also focus on making genetic improvements to fertility and other longevity related factors.
Too often when producers looking at genetic predictions, e.g., expected progeny differences (EPDs) and indexes, they look at growth and carcass traits. But as an industry, we often don’t think about traits to improve our long-term employees—our cows, ac…

New Hair Shedding EPD will Improve Profitability Through Heat Tolerance

Head over to the January 2020 issue of the ANGUS BEEF BULLETIN to read a new article written by my graduate student Harly Durbin and me. Harly was an intern at Angus Genetics Inc. the summer of 2019, and through her work AGI will be releasing a Hair Shedding EPD in 2020.

Article Available Here.

Show-Me Ag: Beef Genetics and the Environment

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Are cattle responsible for 51% of greenhouse gas emissions? How can technology help?
Head over to the Show-Me Ag website to see Jared Decker discuss beef cattle, the environment and genetics.
https://www.kmos.org/ShowMeAg/
Episode from December 12, 2019 (2019/12/12, titled "Cattle Genetics").

Red Angus Seeking Input on Selection Indexes

The Red Angus Association of America is seeking feedback on their economic selection indexes. Producers can provide feedback at this link:
https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5183855/RedAngusAssociation?fbclid=IwAR3qskT1DJ6UMbSIS2R3ul316FQ6L_k-Gt_DYDq8wB8omLQOgkG1yCuAGbM

To be frank, I am conflicted by this process.

On one hand, I think it is important to have translational research be a collaborative process. Further, users are more likely to trust and use a technology if they were involved in its creation.

However, often times, optimal selection decisions are counterintuitive (need to write a blog post on this). I feel strongly that selection decisions are best made when driven by data, and that includes design of selection tools.

American Angus Association went through a similar process, and it is my understanding they used the survey data to weight economic importance of traits that are hard to pin down, such as claw set and docility. Traits that are economically important, but are some…