Minnesota Cattle

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Crossbreeding offers two primary advantages: heterosis (also called hybrid vigor) and the opportunity for breed complementarity. When the performance of crossbred offspring exceeds the performance of the purebred parents, the difference is called heterosis. In other words, the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. For instance, if straightbred Hereford and Angus calves average 500 pounds at weaning and Hereford x Angus calves average 525 pounds, the heterosis realized is (525-500)/500, or 5 percent. Maximizing Heterosis Realization of heterosis is the closest thing to a free lunch that can be found in the cattle business. Thus, all commercial beef cattle producers should seek to maximize heterosis in their herds. Some crossbreeding systems offer a greater degree of heterosis than others, and some traits respond more to crossbreeding than others. Heterosis is realized in inverse proportion to heritability for a given trait. In other words, lowly heritable traits offer the most heterosis, highly heritable traits the least. Table 1 lists beef cattle traits of economic importance and their heritability estimates. In general, reproductive traits are lowly heritable, growth traits are moderate and carcass traits are highly heritable. Thus, differences in reproductive performance between herds are virtually all due to environment and management, while differences in growth or carcass traits are due primarily to genetics. Also, reproductive traits will respond the most to crossbreeding, carcass traits the least. Read more...


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cattletoday.xml

TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE SHRINK WHEN WORKING CATTLE
One of the largest overlooked costs for stockmen when selling cattle is shrink. For example, if you are taking calves to a feeder calf sale, to be weighed off the truck and a two percent pencil shrink taken, those calves may have already lost six percent or more of their weight just getting them to market, resulting in at least eight percent shrink deducted from your paycheck.
BE PREPARED TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL CALVING SEASON
The fall calving season has kicked off, but are you really prepared for it? Here are a few of the important things to have handy for a successful calving season.
RESEARCHERS STUDY GENES TO ASSIST IN CATTLE BREEDING
Beef cattle selection may soon be as easy as looking at a cow's genes.
FOCUS ON GOOD MANAGEMENT OF A.I. PROGRAMS
The use of artificial insemination in beef cow operations has never reached anywhere near the acceptance of that of the dairy industry. The reasons for this bear discussion as they typically relate to many of the problems we encounter with A.I. in beef herds.
COMPOSITE BULLS HAVE BECOME POPULAR IN SOME AREAS
Heterosis (hybrid vigor) has proven its value in many agricultural sectors—whether production of hybrid corn, hogs or beef. There are three kinds of heterosis; individual (the calf), maternal, and paternal. Of the three, paternal heterosis has had the least attention.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT - SHRINKING HAY LOSSES
Expanding beef production and looming increased calf numbers continue to pressure cattle prices lower, further and faster than many expected.
LOOK AT ALTERNATIVES THAT CAN REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC DEPENDENCE
The handwriting on the wall has become pretty clear. Justified or not, the use of antibiotics in managing the beef animal, at any stage of production, is becoming more challenging.
IT'S THE PITTS -- YOU NEVER KNOW
The bull business is very competitive and purebred people play to win. Because there's a limited number of buyers, breeders spend a fortune on color ads and hire their own field men to exhort ranchers to come to their sale. I knew one breeder who passed out a hundred dollar bill for every bull a ranch manager bought, and once I even saw a bull breeder buy the county fair show steer that belonged to the granddaughter of a large rancher hoping it would pay off.
MAKE A GOOD INVESTMENT WHEN BUYING BULLS
Are you sifting through stacks of bull sale catalogs looking for your next bull? While bull selection can be a daunting task, your choice will impact your herd for years to come. Thus, taking some time to think about what you need from your next herd sire is important.
ADVANCEMENTS IN EPDS IMPROVE ACCURACY
It was about 40 years ago that the beef industry was introduced to the Expected Progeny Difference (EPD). In the early days, data were limited and based on comparisons with a few reference sires used in designed programs. There has been much progress in the methods used to calculate EPDs, and today most breed associations provide EPDs on all animals in the breed. After 40 years, there is still confusion over how to use these tools.
ANNUAL FOOD PLOTS PROVIDE NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
When planting wildlife food plots, which is better: annuals or perennials? Ideally, you should have different plots designated for both cool- and warm-season annuals, as well as perennials.
PLAN VACCINATION PROGRAM BEFORE BREEDING SEASON
Some diseases affect reproduction, in bulls as well as in cows. It's best to try to prevent these diseases by making sure the cows and bulls have adequate immunity before breeding season.
18TH HERDBUILDER REPLACEMENT FEMALE SALE AVERAGES $2,086
The 18th Annual Herdbuilder Replacement Female Sale was held August 26th at Alabama Livestock Auction in Uniontown, Ala.
BREEDING SOUNDNESS EXAM CAN PREVENT FINANCIAL WRECK
The importance of a breeding soundness exam in herd bulls can prevent costly revenue losses, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.
S.E. BRANGUS FIELD DAY HELD IN GEORGIA
The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) was represented by five staff members at the Southeastern Brangus Field Day, on Thursday, August 11 through Saturday, August 13, in Grantville, Georgia.

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