Showing posts from March, 2018

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Dr. Jamie Courter is your Mizzou Beef Genetics Extension Specialist

By Jared E. Decker Many of you have probably noticed that things have been a lot less active on the A Steak in Genomics™   blog, but you probably haven't known why. In January 2021, I was named the Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics at Mizzou, and I now focus on research, with a little bit of teaching. I no longer have an extension appointment. But, with exciting news, the blog is about to become a lot more active! Jamie Courter began as the new MU Extension state beef genetics specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences on September 1, 2023. I have known Jamie for several years, meeting her at BIF when she was a Masters student. I have been impressed by Jamie in my interactions with her since that time.  Dr. Courter and I have been working closely together the last 6 weeks, and I am excited to work together to serve the beef industry for years to come! Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina State University and earned a master's degree in animal

Cattle Raisers Convention 2018: Breed Characteristics, An Overview

Robert Wells, Noble Research Institute What breeds should you consider? Types Heterosis Complementarity effects There are two species of cattle: Bos taurus British breeds (Angus, Hereford) Continental breeds (Charolais, Simmental, Limousin, Gelbvieh, etc.) Bos indicus (Zebu, humped cattle) Brahman Nelore Gir Angus (British) Reputation is carcass and maternal. Also has a reputation for growth. "They wanted to be everything to everybody," he said. The problem with this is the increased mature size in these growthier Angus cattle. Red Angus Reputation for carcass and maternal. Before the 1950s, all Angus were Angus, regardless of coat color. The Red Angus breed has not chased growth as much as black Angus. Hereford (British) Reputation for maternal, easy fleshing, and longevity. Hereford don't typically have a lot of maintenance requirements. Shorthorn (British) Reputation as maternal and carcass. Shorthorn was previously a dual purpose breed o

Cattle Raisers Convention 2018: Bull Selection Panel

Moderator: Tommy Perkins, International Brangus Breeders Association Panelists:   Kelley Sullivan, Santa Rosa Ranch Donnell Brown, RA Brown Ranch What DNA tests do you require when you buy a bull? Parentage? Genetic Defects? Polled? Coat Color? What trait is most important in bull selection? Does genomic testing provide value? Donnell Brown currently markets 4 different breeds (Angus, Red Angus, SimAngus and a 4-breed composite called Hotlander ™ ). Brown has been involved with 17 different breeds. They DNA parentage test every animal born on their place. Five to ten percent of animals have the wrong parentage assigned. Cows swap calves. The wrong straw gets pulled out of the tank. A bull comes over from two pastures over and then goes home before we ever knew he was out. Would we prefer to use a bull with one calf crop or a bull with no calves? Most producers prefer the bull with more data. Genomic-enhanced EPDs provide the same amount of information as the first calf crop o

Angus Genetics Inc Releases Foot Score Research EPDs

In January, Angus Genetics, Inc. (AGI) announced the release of research Claw Set and Foot Angle EPDs. The development of a research EPD is the second step towards a production EPD. This followed research presented in the summer of 2017 which found heritabilities of 0.34 for foot angle and 0.21 for claw set. Estimating heritability (portion of the trait influenced by genetics) is the first step towards a production EPD. This research also found a genetic correlation of 0.22 between the two traits, indicating that both traits need to be reported and analyzed. Stephen Miller, AGI Director of Genetic Research stated, "“Angus breeders have completed a tremendous amount of data reporting in such a short period of time; this is truly a testament to their commitment toward genetic progress. We are absolutely thrilled to begin the process of rolling this breakthrough out to the membership.” Kelli Retallick, AGI Director of Genetic Services cautioned, “Though we are getting closer

Breed composition: it’s like chocolates you can’t tell what’s inside just by looking at them

Written by  Tamar Crum, Jared E. Decker, Robert D. Schnabel, and Jeremy F. Taylor “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates.   You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump You may be wondering how in the world does a box of chocolates relate to breed composition of livestock? Or, if you are anything like me, it’s where did I hide that Halloween chocolate, I need some! I think that there are two analogies between a box of chocolates and the breed composition of livestock.   First, we can pick out the white chocolates and may even be able to separate the milk chocolates from the dark chocolates.   This is similar to our ability to visually evaluate breed characteristics and sort livestock into different breed or subspecies ( Bos taurus or Bos indicus influenced) based on breed characteristics.   However, such visual evaluation of breed composition is not terribly accurate.   For example, biting into a piece of dark chocolate and finding a nut when yo

Mineral Supplementation for Cattle

Eric Bailey University of Missouri Extension State Beef Nutrition Specialist Presentation at  Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference  Here is the contrarian view. Compared to other drivers of profit,  mineral has an extremely small impact on profitability. Here is a quote to illustrate this view. "Don't measure with a micrometer and cut with an ax!" -Dr. Tim Steffens. We don't give a cow a half a teaspoon of mineral, watch her eat it, and go about our day. No, we put out mineral and cows will eat as little or as much as they want. Bailey's philosophy: Mineral nutrition is an insurance policy. Minerals are not a cure or a key to improving production. What is the issue? Marketing vs. Science. If we are feeding cows 3 year old hay that is mainly buck brush and sumac, we have much bigger nutritional issues than mineral. In many situations we have energy and protein deficiencies before we have mineral deficiencies. Minerals are high profit margin prod