Showing posts from May, 2014

Jim Womack:
Update on the Bovine Respiratory Disease Project

Dr. Jim Womack, from Texas A&M University, visited the University of Missouri supported by funds from the Chancellor . Womack has been a pioneer in the field of genomics, with significant work on livestock species. On May 28th, Womack discussed the Bovine Respiratory Disease USDA NIFA Coordinated Agriculture Project. The project just completed its third of five years of funding. Bovine Respiratory Disease has been researched since the 1800's, but despite more effective vaccines morbidity and mortality have not decreased. The long term goal of this project is to reduce the prevalence of BRD by selectively breeding resistant cattle using genomic technologies and by educating cattle producers to better manage the disease complex. The team is using nearly 3,000 dairy cattle genotyped at 700,000 DNA variants. These cattle have clinical scores for BRD symptoms and measurements of specific pathogen infection. In a case-control  data set, Holstein calves and heifers were identifi

American-International Charolais Association hosts Pathway to Genomic Enhanced EPD event

The Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the 2014 BIF conference , the AICA will put on an event to discuss the development of genomic enhanced EPDs in the Charolais breed. Contact Dr. Robert Williams to RSVP for this event.

2014 Beef Improvement Federation Annual Convention Registration due May 31st

The 2014 Beef Improvement Federation Annual Convention will be held in Lincoln, Nebraska June 18 through 21. The cost is $300 for the conference, with a block of rooms at the The Cornhusker Marriott for $109/night plus tax and overflow rooms available at the Holiday Inn Lincoln-Downtown. Please see the registration website for more details. This is the premier national convention about applied beef genetics and breeding. The purpose of the convention is to discuss the genetic improvement of beef cattle. This year the focus is “Attention on Novel Traits: Needed or Novelty.” The convention will include discussions about feed efficiency, disease susceptibility, and profitable cow herds, among other topics. (The complete program can be accessed online .) As can be seen from the program, this conference will look at beef production at a system level. While the focus will be on genetics, the conference will describe how genetics fits into nutrition, health, reproduction, and product quali

Patent Suit: Leachman and Verified Beef Clarify Statements Regarding Reputation Feeder Cattle Program

I received an email this evening from Lee Leachman with the following statement attached: Recent Communications Were Potentially Misleading: Of late, there have been allegations by the American Simmental Association (ASA) that Leachman Cattle of Colorado (LCoC) and/or Verified Beef (VB) are trying to “seek a monopoly on genetic prediction.” ASA also implies that we may be trying to prevent breed associations from developing genetic indexes for seedstock cattle. LCoC and VB would like to assure breed associations that this is simply not true. Our patent does not, in any way, keep a breed association from estimating EPD's or indexes on individual breeding cattle. We do not have monopolistic and/or anti-breed association goals. Reputation Feeder Cattle Program Promotes Breed Associations: VB believes that the Reputation Feeder Cattle® (RFC) program and associated processes are pro-breed association. The RFC program provides opportunities for returning premiums to commercial ranch

Patent Suit: Feeder Profit Calculator vs Reputation Feeder Cattle® and Genetic Merit Scorecard®

On May 11th, the American Simmental Association sent out the following information in an eNews message. Leachman Cattle of Colorado, LLC and Verified Beef, LLC filed suit against the ASA, On April 11, 2014,  claiming that the ASA's Feeder Profit Calculator infringes a patent obtained by Leachman and licensed to Verified Beef for their Reputation Feeder Cattle® and Genetic Merit Scorecard® programs. The Genetic Merit Scorecard® program "takes EPDs of all the bulls used in [a] herd for the past 10 years, converts the data into simple-to-understand values, and shows [the] herd's rank (relative to the national average) for the traits that are most important to cattle feeders when predicting profit potential." The Genetic Merit Scorecard® provides star rankings for various traits as well as a relative dollar value ranking for a group of animals. In the lawsuit, Leachman and Verified beef allege that they, not the ASA, "pioneered the concept of determining the rela

Cattlemen's Boot Camp at Mizzou
Registration now open for July 14-15 event

Cattle producers are invited to gather for a Cattlemen’s Boot Camp July 14-15, at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. The event is hosted by the American Angus Association® in partnership with the University of Missouri, and provides purebred and commercial producers timely information presented by academic and industry professionals. Open to all cattle producers, the event is funded by the Angus Foundation and features a day and a half of educational speakers and hands-on activities to help improve their herd operations. The workshop is packed with pertinent information including bull selection, genomically-enhanced expected progeny differences (EDPs), antibiotic labeling, reproduction practices and more. “Cattlemen’s Boot Camps are not only a great way to learn about various aspects of beef cattle production, but also provide producers the opportunity to exchange and share new ideas and perspectives,” says Milford Jenkins, Angus Foundation president. “Education is an

American Simmental Associations updates TraitTrac system
Works to more accurately reflect biology of genetic conditions

The American Simmental Association continues to adjust their management and reporting of genetic defects and abnormalities. From their eNews newsletter: At the April board meeting, the ASA Board of Trustees voted unanimously to remove the color system from TraitTrac and add all genetic conditions with available tests into our TraitTrac system (including the most recent condition, developmental duplication). While the existing TraitTrac has worked well for years, it gives a false impression that "green" animals are clear of genetic defects - they are only clear of the ones we know about. Furthermore, this gives us flexibility to add new conditions to TraitTrac relatively simply as they are discovered. In the new TraitTrac system, the main animal page says "TraitTrac" if an animal has no results on any genetic conditions. If the statement "Check for available results" appears under "TraitTrac" then there is additional information on this animal.

Quality Beef by the Numbers:
Spring 2014 Update
Guest post by Mike Kasten

To say the last two years in the cattle business have been interesting is an understatement. We have gone from record losses to record profits. Last fall, everywhere I went, people said “There is no way to make money feeding cattle at these prices.” The prevailing thought was “SELL THEM. Don’t pass go, take the money, don’t hesitate, SELL THEM NOW!” Conventional coffee shop, off-the-cuff wisdom is seldom based on fact. As I write this update, we have data on three pens of QB cattle. Below is a summary of some important numbers from those pens. PEN 1 PEN 2 PEN 3 Mixed Steers Mixed Average per head profit $215.89 $332.62 $272.69 Average per head profit on Prime cattle $436.00 $479.75 $489.28 Profit per head                                       TOP $465.33 $730.35 $651.90 Profit per head                              BOTTOM $6.0