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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IBBA ANNUAL MEETING TO BE HELD FEBRUARY 10-11, 2017
The International Brangus Breeders Association's (IBBA) 2017 Annual Meeting & Convention is scheduled for February 10-11 in San Antonio, Texas.
DEBTER HEREFORD FARM HOLDS 44TH ANNUAL SALE
Debter Hereford Farm's 44th Annual Production Bull Sale was held, October 22nd, at the farm in Horton, Alabama.
TAKING A LOOK AT 2017 FOR CATTLE PRODUCERS
It's time to drag out the trusty crystal ball and take a look at what 2017 has in store for the beef cattle industry. For this to make sense we need to consider where we came from and how we got to where we are.
IT'S THE PITTS -- CATTLE TRAITING
Expected progeny differences (EPD's) have done wonders in improving the quality of our cattle. My only problem with EPD's is there aren't enough of them for traits that I'm most interested in.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT -- FEWER AND BIGGER
Whether the proverbial chicken or egg, another round of agricultural consolidation appears to be spurred along by suppliers dealing with narrow margins.
BLACK INK -- MAKING THE MOST OF IT
“Suppose we could only make 1 million cars. If the auto industry was limited for some reason, what would they do? Would they make small, cheap vehicles or big, premium, expensive cars?” An industry observer asked that question at a cattle feeders meeting this summer.
LATE WEANING HELPS AVOID EFFECTS OF HARSH WINTER
A growing number of stockmen are calving later in the year (April, May or June) rather than early, to be more in tune with nature. They have green grass at calving time and less need for harvested forage when the cow's nutritional needs are peaking during lactation.
NEW VETERINARY FEED DIRECTIVE TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2017
As of January 1, 2017, beef producers must comply with the new rule regarding use of antibiotics in feed. This rule is aimed at better management of certain antibiotics considered medically important to humans—putting them under more veterinary supervision. This is part of a larger movement to minimize development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

HEALTHY SOIL AIDS GRASS AND ANIMAL VIGOR
Dung beetles, earthworms and pollinators are the good guys when it comes to the health of soil and grassland resources.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW WHITE CLOVER
Researchers at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and University of Georgia (UGA) have developed a new white clover variety called Renovation to help agricultural producers improve and maintain healthy, productive pastures.
IT'S THE PITTS -- WISE BEYOND HIS YEARS
My shrewd buddy Everett came by for a visit today. I haven't seen him for awhile because he's been hauling stock, driving his John Deere and learning how to operate a backhoe.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HOOTER MCCORMICK -- MOM'S CHRISTMAS MEMORIES
Christmas Eve was always celebrated at a little two-room country school called Bethel School House out in the middle of Greggs' pasture.
CALVING IS VERY IMPORTANT TIME IN PRODUCTION YEAR
For the cow-calf operation, the main goal is for each breeding female to produce a healthy calve once per year. That said, in the typical cow-calf operation, calving is, without a doubt one of the most important periods of the entire production year.
EPDS PROVIDE THE MOST ACCURATE SELECTION METHOD
Selecting beef cattle based on expected progeny difference (EPD) values provides the most accurate selection method currently available to beef producers for economically important traits.

WILL IONOPHORES BE AFFECTED BY REGULATION CHANGES?
An ionophore is a feed additive used in beef cattle rations to improve feed efficiency and animal gains.

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