Friday, September 15, 2017

Good ration affects cow profits; MU field day to tell of nutrition

by Duane Dailey

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri beef producers have it good when it comes to feed resources, says Eric Bailey, University of Missouri Extension nutritionist.
On Sept. 21 at the MU Thompson Farm, Spickard, he’ll share his good news. Bailey, new to Missouri, can tell what cow owners face in New Mexico, Texas and Kansas. “I’ve seen lots of prairie hay with no nutrient value at all,” Bailey says.
“Missourians make top-notch hay,” he says. Also, Show-Me producers have access to many distillers byproducts and alternative feeds.
Other speakers at the Thompson Farm event will talk genetic advances. They know the part nutrition plays in expression of genetic potential.
Research on fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) will be updated.
The annual event at the MU research farm west of Spickard will be held in the evening, a change. Sign-in starts at 3:30 p.m. with farm tours to follow. Talks begin at 6 p.m. and dinner is at 7:15. Last talk, on price premiums for selling quality beef, will be at 8:15 p.m.
“Missouri has lots of high-quality cattle,” Bailey says. “I see that, driving up and down the roads.” He’s been across the state on get-acquainted tours.
Bailey doesn’t plan to get deep into details at first. “I want herd owners to think feeding systems. First, they must think feed intake.”
Owners must have some idea on what is enough. Also, they need to know what is too much, he says.
For example, a 1,400-pound cow eats 36 pounds of feed per day. Multiply that by 30 for forage for a month. Then extend that for a year. That’s 12,960 pounds. “Now think 7 tons per cow for the year. Then allow for waste loss,” Bailey says.
To put a frame on mineral mixes, do similar figures. Mineral bag labels state average consumption of 4 ounces per head per day. That’s 91.25 pounds for a year. That’s two 50-pound bags of supplement.
“Start with getting feed intake right,” Bailey says. That’s for grazing or rolling out hay bales.
“Get feed out in front of them,” he says. “If you feed a cow only 2 pounds a day, it doesn’t matter how good the ration. She’ll lose body condition.”
Next, Bailey wants producers to know their feed costs. A cow pays for her feed with one calf per year. “If you spend more than the price of one calf, you lose money.”
Nutrition must stay in the framework of one cow having one calf. “If a calf sells for $750, that’s all you can spend for all costs of production that year.”
After starting with the big picture, particularly on feed intake and cost, Bailey can help refine a ration. That can improve production while keeping expenses under control.
Later, Bailey will give lessons on cutting waste. Instead of worrying too much about mineral mix, start with a rainproof feeder. Or even bigger, farmers can learn to cut waste when feeding hay.
The Thompson Research Center, a part of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Columbia, is at the end of state Highway C, 7 miles west of Spickard. That’s off U.S. Highway 65 in northwestern Grundy County.
The event and dinner are free. Sponsors will set up exhibits in the breeding barn.
 

For more than 100 years, University of Missouri Extension has extended university-based knowledge beyond the campus into all counties of the state. In doing so, extension has strengthened families, businesses and communities.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MU Thompson Farm field day, Sept. 21, looks at profitable beef cow herds

by Duane Dailey

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Making profits from beef herds will be taught Sept. 21 at the University of Missouri Thompson Farm field day near Spickard, Mo.
Genetics, breeding, feeding and selling improve profits, say MU Extension specialists.
“For a change, the program will be in the evening,” says Rod Geisert, superintendent, Columbia. Sign-in opens at 3:30 p.m. and is followed by farm tours. “We hope farmers with off-farm jobs can attend,” Geisert says.
Talks begin at 6:15 p.m., with dinner at 7:15. Speakers won’t talk just profits. They look at the big picture of beef production.
Jared Decker, MU Extension geneticist, has a message for herd owners. “Profits are the most important trait for beef cows.”
Calving ease, weaning weight, carcass merit and other traits improve a herd. “Dollars count most at the end of the year,” says the beef specialist.
In the past, herd owners needed many EPDs (expected progeny differences) to guide breeding. Now one selection index, such as dollar beef ($B), blends many traits into one number.
Genetic guides get simpler, Decker says.
Eric Bailey, MU Extension beef nutritionist, says full genetic potential takes good feeding. “Often herd owners worry about one part of feeding, such as minerals,” Bailey says. “All must be taken in adequate amounts.”
In fact, Bailey says to look first at total feed intake. Some cows will benefit from more feed. But feeding too much expensive feed wastes dollars. That hurts profits.
In the end, economics—the dollars left for owners—count, says Scott Brown, MU livestock economist. He sums up the evening with a look at selling calves.
Cow herd economics change as demand grows for quality beef. Calf prices are volatile this year, but one constant is increasing prime beef prices. Choice beef prices jump up and down while prime stays steadier.
“Breeding for quality becomes a risk management tool,” Brown says.
Research from the MU Thompson Farm cows shows how a commercial herd can provide USDA prime. In the last calf crop, all but one graded choice or prime. The prime calves drew premiums of $36.40 per hundredweight. Carcasses weighed 800 pounds.
With top sires used for artificial insemination, the calves show that proven genetics bring premium prices.
The MU calves show that genetics, not long-term feeding, makes that high USDA grade.
Brown tells the value of premiums, especially in times of low beef prices.
There will be new lessons on breeding from the Thompson herd. Jordan Thomas, MU researcher, will tell advances in the use of sex-sorted semen. With fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) and sorted semen, herd owners can choose gender of calves. They can breed for all heifers or all steers.
A new line of research studies hair shedding. Some cattle grazing toxic fescue grass don’t shed winter coats quickly. That brings heat stress and slow gains. Harly Durbin, MU researcher, will tell of study results so far.
Research from MU Thompson Farm led to the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program. Protocols for heifer management and genetics allow owners to apply the science.
The MU research farm is 7 miles west of Spickard at the end of Highway C off U.S. Highway 65.
Farm supply and genetic companies will set up exhibits for the evening.
Thompson Research Center, part of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, is in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Columbia.
 

For more than 100 years, University of Missouri Extension has extended university-based knowledge beyond the campus into all counties of the state. In doing so, extension has strengthened families, businesses and communities.

Friday, September 8, 2017

RAAA Implements Updated Zoetis Genomic Test

Red Angus Announcement

The Red Angus Association of America is excited to announce the release of Zoetis’ HD50K/i50K Version 2 genomic test along with the release of the Fall 2017 EPDs. Representing a recalibration of Zoetis’ original genomic test, Version 2 provides Red Angus breeders with a significant improvement in genetic prediction accuracy.  

Made possible by Red Angus breeders’ adoption of genomic technology, the Version 2 test was developed using Zoetis’ growing volume of 50K data on Red Angus animals. As a direct result, the population of animals used for the development of the Version 2 test consisted of mostly Red Angus animals along with strategically selected Black Angus animals. This is a distinct improvement from the original “Global Angus” test, which was developed using a higher percentage of Black Angus animals. Thus, the Version 2 test represents a significant improvement in RAAA’s ability to provide accurate EPDs on HD50K/i50K-tested animals.

Another exciting improvement is Zoetis’ Version 2 test provides genomic data for RAAA’s entire suite of EPDs. Therefore, in addition to the genomic-enhanced EPDs provided by the previous “Global Angus” test, breeders will now receive HD50K/i50K-powered genomic enhanced Stayability, Heifer Pregnancy and Maintenance Energy EPDs. Relatedly, HD50K/i50K-tested animals will receive a genomic-enhanced HerdBuilder index. 

Animals tested with the original Zoetis genomic test have already been upgraded to the Version 2 test. As a result of the improvement in genetic prediction, EPDs of upgraded animals have the potential to change. Similar to EPD changes and increases in accuracy resulting from the addition of progeny data, the updated EPDs represent an improvement in the prediction of animals’ genetic merit. 

Visit RedAngus.org/genetics to order – or learn more about – Zoetis’ Version 2 HD50K/i50K test. 

Additional Information

This recalibration performed by Zoetis included over 8,500 seedstock animals. Progeny equivalents, or the boost in EPD accuracy if the genomic data had been progeny data, ranged from 6 to 53 (Table 1.) Not only do genomic predictions provide increased data for estimating EPDs, they also verify parentage. When parentage issues are identified, they can be corrected, thus improving the quality of the reported EPDs.

Zoetis markets an i50K product. The "i" stands for imputation, or the process of inferring genotypes for DNA markers not tested based on the patterns of the tested DNA markers. The correlation of the Molecular Value Predictions (MVP®) calculated from i50K versus the HD 50K is around 0.99.

The correlations between the MVP® and the true breeding values avereaged 0.63, with a low of 0.46 for Milk (it has been difficult to predict maternal effects) and a high of 0.79 for calving ease direct (CED).

TABLE 1. GE-EPD ACCURACY (BIF) AND APPROXIMATE PROGENY EQUIVALENTS POWERED BY HD 50K/I50K V2 FOR RED ANGUS
Trait
h2
HD 50K Genomic Correlation
Pedigree (P) EPD Accuracy
Accuracy from 50K
GE-EPD Accuracy (P+50K)
Pedigree (P) EPD Progeny Equivalents
HD 50K Progeny Equivalents
Total Progeny Equivalents (P+50K)
CED
0.14
0.79
0.17
0.26
0.43
11
42
53
BW
0.37
0.71
0.24
0.16
0.4
7
10
17
WW
0.26
0.65
0.22
0.13
0.35
9
10
19
YW
0.22
0.72
0.22
0.17
0.39
11
17
28
Milk
0.13
0.46
0.16
0.07
0.23
11
7
18
ME
0.65
0.76
0.11
0.27
0.38
1
10
11
HPG
0.24
0.69
0.14
0.19
0.33
5
14
19
CEM
0.15
0.66
0.17
0.16
0.33
10
19
29
STAY
0.1
0.65
0.18
0.15
0.33
17
26
43
Marb
0.54
0.6
0.15
0.13
0.28
2
4
6
YG
0.4
0.6
0.14
0.14
0.28
3
5
8
CW
0.38
0.78
0.19
0.24
0.43
4
15
19
REA
0.46
0.56
0.14
0.12
0.26
2
4
6
FAT
0.35
0.48
0.17
0.07
0.24
4
3
7


The Red Angus Association of America serves the beef industry by enhancing and promoting the competitive advantages of Red Angus and Red Angus-influenced cattle. The RAAA provides commercial producers with the most objectively described cattle in the industry by seeking and implementing new technologies based on sound, scientific principles that measure traits of economic importance. For more information, visit RedAngus.org.

Sources: Red Angus Association of America and Zoetis.