Posts

Featured Post

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

Image
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…

2019 NCBA Cattlemen's Webinar Series Announced

Image

CIC 2019: Unraveling the Secrets of the Rumen

Image
Tim McAllister
AAFC Lethridge Research & Development Centre

Microbes are part of the natural world, they occupy all parts of the world from deep sea vents, skin, digestive tract, and our food.

The rumen is one of the most microbe rich environments in the world. We use fistulated animals to have a window into the rumen microbiome. Rather than looking at the bacteria that come out of the digestive tract, we can directly sample the rumen. The microbes in cattle rumens can even digest cotton shirts!

In cattle, the majority of digestion happens in the rumen by the microbes. So, most of the time when we are feeding our cows, we are really feeding the microbes.

Cows eat 2 to 20 kg of dry matter, 20 to 80 liters of water, and 50 to 150 liters of saliva. The microbes produce 2 to 6 kilograms of volatile fatty acids (VFA). The rumen also produces 0.75 to 2 kilograms of bacteria that go into the digestive system and can be digested.

In a roughage diet, 65% of VFA is acetate. Cattle on high co…

CIC 2019: Practical Management to Reduce Disease Challenges

Robin Falkner, DVM, Zoetis

Can't manage what we don't measure...
Peter Drucker said, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."
But if we focus on measuring stuff that doesn't matter, much , then we are managing poorly.


Can we consume our way to success? Consumerism is the attitude of "what should I buy?"  Don't go into the trade show as a consumer, go into the trade show as a producer.

We too frequently think of a health program as a calendarized list of health practices. Just because everyone believes something doesn't mean it is right. Falkner again used his recipe analogy. We have been looking at recipes for a long time. We need to be developing better cooks.

A sound animal health program is built on a foundation of:

Managing exposures to pathogensAccess to premium markets

Let's look at the history of agriculture. Dr. Roger's researched innovation in agriculture in the late 1950s and 1960s. He looked at practices in the …

New Show-Me-Select Sire EPD Requirements Announced

Image
At the January 4th Show-Me-Select Board of Directors meeting, new service sire EPD requirements were approved. All sires, artificial insemination and natural service, must meet minimum Calving Ease Direct (CED) EPD requirements. In addition to yearly updates, two changes were made.

First, no Birth Weight EPD requirement will be published. All commonly used breeds now have CED EPDs available.

Second, all breeds in the International Genetic Solutions (IGS) genetic evaluation are now set to a common requirement. In the summer of 2018, breeds within the International Genetic Solutions switched to a single-step BOLT multi-breed genetic evaluation. The EPDs for animals in the IGS genetic evaluation are directly comparable across breeds.

In 2017, the Red Angus requirement for CED was a CED of 8, which represents the 30th percentile. Less than 5% percent of heifers breed to a bull with a CED EPD of 8 or larger had calving difficulty.We feel that this require is meeting the need to reduce cal…

Show-Me-Select heifer producers meet with Missouri Cattlemen, Jan. 4

Written by Duane Dailey

Beef cattlemen will gain insights into Show-Me-Select replacement heifers Friday, Jan. 4, at the start of their annual meeting in Columbia.
The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (www.mocattle.org) meeting runs Jan. 4-6, 2019, at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. The SMS group usually meets at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. They will join on the first day for the heifer meetings.
“Joining two groups benefits both,” says Dave Patterson, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist. “Both sides gain.”
An educational seminar is planned for 2-5 p.m. on Jan. 4. Focus is on heifer development.
Highlights are two SMS panels. The first covers “The Role of the Veterinarian in Heifer Development.” The other has five producers telling of success.
Many veterinarians urge clients to follow breeding protocols of MU Extension for heifer development. A big SMS attraction to farmers is calving ease.
Trouble-free calving also gains favor with veterinarians. That cuts …

Beef Genetics Researchers Seek to Understand Technology Utilization: Survey Respondents Sought

Image
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Beef cattle producers have a wide range of selection tools available for use in selection of breeding stock. These range from visual appraisal to EPD (expected progeny differences) and selection indexes that leverage genomic technologies. Adoption of new technologies by the beef industry has dramatically changed beef cattle selection strategies and opportunities. Beef genetics and genomic tools continue to evolve at a rapid rate.
To aid the development of new selection tools and their adoption by producers, researchers seek to understand current attitudes and perceptions of industry stakeholders. Producers and industry participants are encouraged to take part in an online survey to help inform the development of a new beef cattle selection decision support tool. This work is part of the activities funded through a recent USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Critical Agriculture Research and Extension grant (2018-68008-27888) awarded to research and extension …

Open House at Southwest Center Shares Beef Cattle Research and Technology

Image
University of Missouri's Southwest Research Center near Mt. Vernon hosted an open house December 3rd that gave attendees a peek at the direction beef cattle research is taking at the 890 acre Center.

Dr. Jordan Thomas, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist, led the presentations by asking if producers think they can afford not to use technology. Specifically, he mentioned estrus synchronization and artificial insemination.

"The genetics of the AI bred calves allows producers to be competitive with the best herds in the country due to the use of elite bulls with higher accuracy expected progeny differences (EPD)," said Thomas. "The protocol results in more early-born heifers that are more likely to conceive earlier and remain in the herd longer."

That longevity adds to herd profitability over the females lifetime. Their early-born steer mates will also be heavier than those out of a natural service sire that's born late in the calving season.

Dr. Jared D…