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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…

Missouri Forage and Grassland Council 2018: Ground Zero, How Grazing Will Save The World in the Year 2050

Dean Houghton

Anyone who wants to protect soil, air and water is at ground zero. Houghton has been an observer of agriculture. He bought a 35mm camera and enrolled in journalism at the University of Missouri. He is also a farmer in Polo, Missouri. His wife loves baldie cattle and he raises sheep. When they first got married, Dean left the cattle alone and his wife left the sheep alone. But, they eventually realized it worked better if they managed the cattle and sheep together.

They never leave anything uncovered using strip grazing, cover crops, and no-till.

We need to recognize the benefits of cattle and livestock production including carbon sinks, soil health, and wildlife habitat. We can't sustain metropolitan areas without agriculture land.

The year 1950 is the Great Acceleration point for the use of resources. We are now in the Anthropocene, which is defined as the earth's most recent geologic time frame. This is defined by human activity influencing geological phenomeno…

University of Missouri Southwest Research Center: Expanding and Improving the Beef Herd

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What does it mean to have a successful cow herd in the Ozarks? What should be the genetic focus? How do we select and manage cattle to perform on toxic endophyte-infected fescue? What technologies can be used profitably? What marketing opportunities could add value to the cattle? These are questions facing every beef operation in Southwest Missouri, including the University of Missouri Southwest Research Center. As the Center moves away from a focus on grazing dairy production, faculty and staff at the Southwest Research Center and on campus at the University of Missouri recognize there is now an opportunity to increase the emphasis placed on beef cattle Research and Extension at the Southwest Research Center. With support from the Southwest Research Center Advisory Board and key stakeholders in the regional and national beef industry, an effort to expand and improve the Southwest Research Center beef herd is now underway.

A Beef Focus for Southwest Missouri A defined objective and s…

Neogen launches upgraded Igenity® Beef Profile

Commercial beef producers will get more traits and selection index tools in the upgraded Igenity® Beef profile.
The Igenity Beef Profile will offer 16 traits for $29, replacing Neogen’s 13-trait Igenity Gold ($40) and 6-trait Igenity Silver ($25) tests. The upgrade includes new predictions for weaning weight, yearling weight and hot carcass weight for a total of 16 traits scored on a 1–10 scale, plus two new selection indexes.
“Our customers will be getting a powerful new profile at even greater value,” said Dr. Stewart Bauck, vice president of agrigenomics at Neogen. “The Igenity profile was designed and validated for crossbred or straightbred cattle with backgrounds of Angus, Red Angus, Simmental, Hereford, Limousin and Gelbvieh.
“Most DNA profiles are breed-specific,” Bauck continued. “The novel design of Igenity Beef allows for the accurate prediction of performance in both crossbred or straightbred cattle among the target breeds. This lets cow-calf producers use a DNA profile to …

ARSBC 2018: Practical Application of Genomic Tests in Beef Production

Megan Rolf
Kansas State University

What is genomic testing?
We are looking at single base changes (SNPs) at thousands of locations across an animals DNA. We can use these DNA markers to predict genetic merit differences. We can also use these DNA markers for parentage.

Other DNA test don't use markers, but they directly test the variant responsible for the phenotype. Examples of this are genetic defects or coat color testing.

Genotyping in seedstock
We collect a DNA sample, send it off to the breed assocation, and the data is incorporated into EPDs. DNA testing for genomic-enhanced EPDs is a breed improvement strategy. It is a way to make genetic progress faster. For a seedstock producer, it also provides customer service by providing more accurate EPDs.

We can used DNA to improve EPDs using two approaches. First, we can use a DNA to create a prediction of the trait and blend this prediction with the EPD. Or, we can use the DNA to better estimate the relatedness between the animals…

ARSBC 2018: EPDs and How to Use Them

Darrh Bullock
University of Kentucky

Crossbreeding should always be a consideration for commercial cattlemen. Crossbreeding has the greatest benefit for reproduction and other lowly heritable breeds.

Practical Guide to Bull Buying
Determine marketing strategy. Will heifers be retained? Make breeding decisions based on specific marketing plan. But, change marketing plan based on current situations.

It's pretty easy to find a bull that will give you great feeder calves and market animals. When we are keeping replacement females, we are now asking a bull to create females and feeder calves. We've given him a new job.

Determine your management level.
What is your labor? How frequently do you visit your cattle? How much attention do you give to them?
What is your level of nutritional management?
Assure that bulls are reproductively sound with a BSE.
Check for structural soundness. This is doubly important if you are retaining females.

The tough one is to set performance levels based…

ARSBC 2018: Impact of fly control on cattle performance

Brandon Smythe
New Mexico State University

Three species Smythe works on:

Horn fliesStable fliesHouse flies

House flies become an issue when we upset our neighbors. Dairy in New Mexico dealt with litigation from their neighbors.

Everyone knows that flies are horrible.

Both horn fly males and females feed on blood. Horn flies feed 30 to 40 times a day. Stable flies feed once or twice and then find a place to rest. Horn flies almost never leave a cow. Only time they leave is to lay eggs on a manure patch.

There can be 200 to 1000 flies per animal. Flies are reproductively efficient. Flies lay 10 to 200 viable eggs per female. This reproduction efficiency allows for population surges.

Horn flies are a warm weather pest, thus during cattle breeding and growing. Flies go dormant in winter months.

Horn flies reduce performance in feed efficiency, growth and milk production. Horn flies are number one in causing production losses.
We see a $5 to $8 return for every $1 we spend on fly control.
W…

ARSBC 2018: EPDs and Reasonable Expectations in Commercial Crossbred Operations

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Jared Decker, PhD
University of Missouri
One point must be clear from the very beginning: EPDs work. When we select parents based on EPDs the genetic merit for that trait increases in our herd. When we select the parents using EPDs the performance of the next generation improves. EPDs Defined EPD stands for Expected Progeny Difference. These three words are loaded with meaning, thus the need to define them here. The most loaded word is Expected. Here we use Expected the way a statistician would use the word. Expected means we are making a prediction of a future value. But, in this context, Expected also means we are describing the average of a group. What is the group for which we are predicting the average? We are predicting the average performance of the Progeny or calves out of an animal. An animal’s own performance and its EPD can be quite different, because that is not the purpose of an EPD. The EPD is predicting the average performance of that animal’s calf crop. Finally, EPDs are u…