Page 1

October 2013 — Issue 1

If it is broke ... To apply or not to apply?

fix it

Recognizing and treating reproductive problems

PAGE 16

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX PAGE 12

Annual Bull Issue

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Straight Dr. Stevefrom Wikse thetalks horse's about mouth. reproductive issues.

Straight Steps in choosing from the horse's the right mouth. bull for your herd.

Straight Do related from bulls theand horse's cowsmouth. produce better calves?

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The Land & Livestock Post


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A r m y w o r m Tr e a t m e n t • R y e G r a s s S e e d i n g

basics, along with other news and information throughout the industry. Be sure to take a look at the ads throughout the issue as well. There is a lot going on this fall, and you don’t want to miss any sales or events. Hope you enjoy this 2013 edition of our Annual Bull Issue, and thanks for reading.

’Til next time.

jesse.wright@theeagle.com

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October 2013 — Issue 1

JESSE WRIGHT pertaining to profitability. I mentioned he was a genius, right? Just like his father?

This is our Annual Bull Issue, and it contains a lot of good information for geniuses and non-geniuses alike when it comes to bull health and selection. In this issue, our cover story focuses on breeding soundness exams,and how they can help make sure your bull is healthy and ready for breeding season. We also have an article from Dr. Steve Wikse on physical reproductive abnormalities in bulls. These are things to look for in your herd and to watch for when selecting new bulls. We also have some bull-buying

y son, who may be a genius — just like his father — recently has learned many animal sounds. Chickens, sheep and, of course, cows are just a few of the five animals he can identify by their sound alone. So, it was a bit of a surprise when we went to visit my parents and he got to see real, live cows, that he immediately pointed and said “Boooo!” At first I was taken aback. Was my son booing beef ? This is not good for the general manager of an agricultural publication! But my concern rapidly faded when I realized that my son, who is a genius — much like his father — simply was accurately imitating the phonetics of a bellowing cow. I then pointed out the bull, and told my son how important the bull was to the herd “Ohhhhh,” he replied. Which, to me, means he totally understood the dynamic of the bull in the reproductive process of a cattle herd, primarily

The Land & Livestock Post

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

4

Ask the Vet Reproductive issues can cause problems in bulls

Q

uestion: Last year, I lost one of my bulls from broke penis. The vet told me if I would have called her sooner she maybe could have saved him. She said I should keep closer track of my bulls during the breeding season so she could treat any reproductive injuries right away. Could you tell me what I need to look for on my bulls? Answer: Sure, you need more information on the causes and appearance of reproductive tract abnormalities of bulls. Most physical abnormalities of the reproductive tract of bulls result in reduced fertility or a complete lack of fertility due to inability to breed cows. Knowledge of the common physical abnormalities of the reproductive tract of bulls is important to you and other cattlemen in selection of bulls for purchase and for, as advised by your veterinarian, early detection of problems that develop during the breeding season. Reproductive abnormalities of bulls can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired. Congenital reproductive defects are discovered by veterinarians conducting pre-purchase breeding sound-

ness evaluations. Acquired reproductive abnormalities are usually the result of injuries and are detected by ranchers who monitor their bulls out on pasture Dr. STEVE WIKSE or by veterinarians at annual breeding soundness examinations.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 • 12 Noon Buffalo Livestock Marketing, Inc. • 903-322-4940 Buffalo, Texas Auctioneer Leo Casas, III •Sale broadcast on Superior Livestock Auction

Congenital abnormalities

Persistent penile frenulum — The sheath and penis which are fused at birth normally separate completely by 8 to 11 months. Failure to separate completely results in retention of a small band of skin that connects the prepuce to the tip of the penis. This makes breeding impossible — the bull will be incapable of getting any cows pregnant. The condition is usually discovered during a breeding soundness examination (BSE) and is why it is a critical part of a properly performed BSE to obtain full extension of the penis so that it can be completely seen. The condition is common. • Testicular hypoplasia — Hypoplastic testicles are small at puberty. One or both testicles can be affected. Although affected bulls have normal libido, they are of very low fertility or completely sterile. This condition can be inherited or caused by a variety of in utero insults, including infections, poisonings, zinc deficiency or hormonal imbalances. It is common in bulls. • Cryptorchidism — When one or both testicles are retained in the abdomen, the animal is called a cryptorchid. Usually, only one testicle is retained and the bull is fertile, but should not be used because the defect is inherited. This condition is not common in bulls.

See WIKSE, Page 7

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

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Wikse, from Page 4

Acquired abnormalities

the result of accumulation of body hair from the ridden bull during homosexual activity. If the hair is left on, the entire tip of the penis can slough off. Hair rings are discovered and corrected at the BSE.

Deviations

Photo courtesy of Steve Wikse

Bulls that have hydrocele of the scrotum have impaired fertility due to large numbers of serious sperm defects. penis,” is a common injury that occurs during breeding. Sudden wrenches to the penis

can occur during breeding. A tear can then develop in the tough wall surrounding

October 2013 — Issue 1

Penile deviations are a fairly common abnormality in beef bulls. They occur in three forms: spiral, ventral and S-shaped. They develop due to stretching of a ligament that runs along the top of the penis to keep it straight. Bulls with these abnormalities are unable to breed a cow successfully. Diagnosis is made by breeding pasture observation. Surgery can return some affected bulls to service, but results are variable. It’s important to note that electroejaculation sometimes causes a bull’s penis to spiral and is considered normal. • Fibropapillomas of the penis — Penile fibropapillomas (warts), caused by the bovine papilloma virus are commonly seen in bulls 1 to 3 years old. The virus gains entrance into the skin through wounds resulting from homosexual activity when many bulls are placed together. The growths usually are noticed for the first time when a young bull is presented for a BSE and again emphasizes the importance of visualizing the penis during semen collection. Correction of the problem is surgical excision, but recurrence is common. Thus, bulls should be re-examined one month after treatment. Some veterinarians feel that vaccination with wart vaccine will reduce recurrences or even prevent warts in groups of bulls. • Hematoma of the penis — Hematoma of the penis, also called “ruptured penis,” “broken penis” or “fractured

• Lacerations of the prepuce — Prepuce or sheath lacerations are more common in Brahman-influenced breeds due to their pendulous sheath and large preputial opening. These bulls often develop swelling and eversion of the prepuce from the natural trauma to their prepuce when breeding. Polled bulls are especially at risk because the retractor prepucial muscle is either absent or very small in homozygous polled animals. Once the prepuce is enlarged with fluid, it hangs out (prolapsed prepuce) and is susceptible to laceration. Most bulls with lacerations of the prepuce can be treated and returned to service. Prevention of prepuce lacerations centers on purchase of bulls that do not have pendulous sheaths. A short, modified version of the American Beefmaster Breeders Association sheath scoring system follows: 1. Very clean and tight 2. Clean 3. Average 4. Somewhat pendulous 5. Pendulous The sheath score criteria of each breed must be examined before using them in selection of bulls, because some breeds use a score of 1 for the most pendulous sheath. We can’t expect all bulls with Brahman breeding to have a tight sheath, but we can reject bulls with those huge pendulous sheaths that are so prone to injury. • Hair rings of the penis — Occasionally, young bulls develop a ring of hair around the penis near its end. This is

The Land & Livestock Post

Ask the Vet

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See PROBLEMS, Page 12

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

Bull Issue How fast can America’s beef cow herd be rebuilt? By DonalD StottS Oklahoma State University

S T I L LWAT E R , O k l a . — Though 2013 is likely another year of beef cow herd liquidation, the improvement in conditions in the second half of the year may provide a period of stabilization that often occurs in the first year of herd expansion. “As long as drought conditions continue to moderate the situation, beef cow herd growth of 2 percent is possible in 2014 with an additional 2 percent to 3 percent in 2015,” said Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist. More rapid growth is unlikely when all factors are considered. Among several implications, Peel believes, is an approximately 7 percent decrease in total cattle slaughter in 2014. Historically, the cattle cycles observed by the beef industry largely have been self-regulating cycles of inventory driven by internal factors such as calf price levels, beef cattle biology and the availability and quality of forage resources. Much of the beef cow herd liquidation that has occurred since 2001, however — including the aborted herd expansion of 2004 and 2005 — were the result of external factors, includ-

TE PRIVA Y T A E TR

rk An a l C

ing input market shocks that reduced cow-calf profitability, a national and global recession that tempered cattle prices and severe drought in important cattle-producing states. “The last 3.4 million head decline in the beef cow herd was not due to typical cattle cycle factors,” Peel said. “External factors have masked and overwhelmed cyclical tendencies and don’t necessarily mean the cattle cycle is gone or irrelevant, although some people have said so.” In situations where drought has forced inventory adjustments that are counter to what producers want to do, the details of how the adjustments happen become vitally important, Peel stresses. In short, how the industry got to where it is will have a significant effect on how beef herd expansion will take place in the future. Since 2007, the calculated number of heifers entering the cow herd has remained above average, even while the high rate of cow culling has resulted in net liquidation and reduction in the cow herd inventory. “In a more typical cattle cycle, the rate of heifer placement decreases at the same time as increased cow culling, with both contributing to herd liquida-

See REBUILD, Page 21

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environment are key factors that warrant consideration: • Will the bull be used on heifers, mature cows, or both? • Will replacement females be retained in the herd? • How will the calf crop be marketed? • What are the labor and management resources available?

• What are the feed resources and environmental conditions of the operation? 2. Assess herd strengths and weaknesses — Fundamental records are necessary to identify herd strengths and

October 2013 — Issue 1

Photo by Robert Fears

Bulls should be rested between breeding seasons to maintain their fertility.

Considering both the genetic and management influences on various traits is important. Focus on the handful of priority traits rather than attempting to change many traits simultaneously. Establishing the few traits to focus on is the key factor. 4. Utilize selection tools — Once selection priorities have been established through close examination of herd goals and current status, a number of useful tools are at the disposal of beef producers to assist in making genetic improvement. Genetic differences across breeds have been well established, and utilization of different breeds in a complimentary fashion through structured crossbreeding plans provides the opportunity for improvement in multiple traits. Most im-

ith the onset of bull-buying season, having a systematic approach to finding and identifying the “right” bull is imperative. Bull selection is the most critical factor for genetic improvement in cowcalf herds, as the influence of the bull impacts both the immediate calf crop as well as future calf crops through the performance (and costs) of his daughters. Consequently, bull selection warrants careful planning and preparation, well in advance of any sale or visit from an AI representative. Consider the following steps to assist in the bull-buying process: 1. identify herd goals — Herd goals serve as the foundation for sire selection and provide guidance as to traits with the most relevance. Defining the production and marketing system, along with management strategies and

weaknesses. Basic performance parameters such as calving percentage, weaning percentage, weaning weights, sale weights, carcass merit, feed usage, etc. are necessary to serve as the basis for assessing areas of strength and those needing attention. 3. establish selection priorities — Concentrate on those factors which stand to have the largest impact on profitability. Remember that income is derived from performance (sale weight, % calf crop weaned, carcass merit, etc.). Performance is a function of both genetics and environment/management. Superior genetics can be negated by poor management, which emphasizes the importance of separating the impact of management (nutrition, health program) from that of genetics when specific priorities for the herd are established.

The Land & Livestock Post

Annual Bull Issue Bull selection an important part of improving herds

See SELECTION, Page 10

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

Bull Issue Selection, from Page 9 portantly, heterosis attained through crossbreeding has been shown to have significant favorable impacts on traits such as reproductive efficiency and cow longevity which are critical for herd profitability. The limited ability to select for reproductive traits in the form of pxpected progeny differences further emphasizes the importance of capturing the value of heterosis. Expected progeny differences are available for many traits of economic importance. The introduction of economic indexes which combine several related traits and their economic values into one expected progeny difference are available to assist with simultaneous improvement in multiple traits which impact areas such as carcass merit and postweaning profit. Again, with the large number of expected progeny differences tools available, the critical step is to determine the Expected prog-

eny differencess which are most important and establish benchmarks relative to each. 5. Establish benchmarks — Several tools can be utilized to assist in the determination of expected progeny difference specifications. Expected progeny difference values for current and past sires can be used as benchmarks. With these benchmarks, expected progeny difference specifications can be set to reflect the desired increase or moderation in performance for a particular trait. As an example, establishing a benchmark for milk expected progeny differences can be determined through the relationship between previous sires’ genetics for milk and the performance of his daughters in the herd. 6. Find source — With the above defined, we can now begin to look at individual bulls. There are many sources of bulls that warrant consideration: production sales, test

See TOOLS, Page 13

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October 2013 — Issue 1

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

Ask the Vet Problems, from Page 7 Blood then rushes through the tear to form a blood clot around the penis shaped like a small football along the bottom of the belly just in front of the scrotum. The skin over the swelling becomes black and the prepuce usually prolapses. This is a very serious injury requiring immediate veterinary attention.

Inguinal Hernia

Most inguinal hernias develop on the left side, probably due to the habit of bulls lying on their right side with the left rear leg extended, thereby allowing the left inguinal ring to dilate. Overconditioning (body condition score greater than 7) is the most common cause of inguinal hernias. The hernia contents, usually loops of small intestine, cause a lump to appear in the scrotum above and separate from the testicle. This gives the scrotum an hourglass appearance. Surgical correction must be performed within days of the hernia forming to prevent testicular degeneration.

Hydrocele of the scrotum

In recent years, cattlemen in Texas have noticed an increased number of bulls with very large scrotal circumferences due to accumulation of fluid between the testicle and wall of the scrotum. Up to 20 percent of bulls in a herd have been affected, usually in the hottest part of the summer. One (usually the left) or both testicles are affected. Sometimes the scrotal sacs are huge, containing more than a quart of fluid around each testicle. When bulls have this

condition, they have impaired fertility due to large numbers of serious sperm defects. The fluid generally is resorbed in the fall and sperm shape improves until approximately 75 percent of affected bulls pass a breeding soundness examination four months after detection of the hydrocele. Luckily most cases of scrotal hydrocele correct themselves because we don’t have a firm handle on its cause(s). Injury probably causes isolated cases. One report on an outbreak of scrotal hydroceles pinned it to a hypersensitivity reaction to immature stomach worms migrating in the abdomen. Another report found a red blood cell protozoan called Eperythrozoon to be responsible for scrotal hydroceles in a group of bulls. These published investigations indicate prevention should center on parasite control. De-worm the heck out of your bulls! In the Brazos Valley, this means three times a year: March-April, June-July and November-December.

Bottom line

It’s not easy to get high levels of fertility in beef herds. The reproductive tracts of bulls should be thoroughly examined at breeding soundness examinations prior to every breeding season, visually every week out on pasture during breeding season and closely at the end of each breeding season. It’s a rancher’s duty to ensure that the bull battery is not impaired by unattended reproductive tract abnormalities. • Dr. Steve Wikse is a retired professor of large animal clinical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University.

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Tools, from Page 10

 October 2013 — Issue 1

stations and private treaty sales. Of critical importance is that the bull be from a reputable source which will stand behind its product. It may be necessary to look at several sources in order to find the correct bull. 7. Do your homework — The first step to doing so is to evaluate the sale catalog, performance pedigree and data. By examination of the bull’s performance record, determine which bulls meet the expected progeny differences and other specifications that have been established (and likewise eliminate those that do not meet the specifications). Be prepared to make tradeoffs, as the perfect record may not be attainable. Do not be surprised or alarmed when the bulls you have highlighted appear scattered throughout the sale order. Remember to stick to the selection criteria and qualifications/specifications that have been established. All this can and should be accomplished prior to departing for any sale. 8. Take a look — Once the list has been narrowed to only bulls which meet the criteria, these bulls can be evaluated further and selection refined. Having a list of suitable bulls prior to arrival at the auction or farm not only will save time, but also assist in making sure the right bull for the situation is purchased. Upon narrowing the potential candidates on paper, the bulls can be evaluated for

suitability of phenotypic traits and the potential candidate list shortened even further. Not all relevant traits have expected progeny differences (examples include disposition, foot soundness, fleshing ability, etc.), and therefore must be evaluated visually. 9. Make a sound investment — For many cow calf producers, purchasing a new bull is a relatively infrequent occurrence. This emphasizes the importance of selecting the right bull, particularly in single sire herds. The value of the right bull cannot be underestimated. Investments in good genetics will pay dividends both short and long-term through the influence the bull has on each calf crop as well as his daughters that are retained in the herd. 10. Manage the new bull properly — Of equal importance is the care and management of the newly acquired bull. Proper management and nutrition are essential for the bull to perform satisfactorily during the breeding season. With most new herd sires purchased as yearling bulls, management prior to, during and after the first breeding season is particularly important. Plan ahead by acquiring a new yearling bull at least 60 to 90 days prior to the breeding season so that ample time is available to allow for adjustment to a new environment, commingling with other bulls and getting the bull in proper breeding body condition.

The Land & Livestock Post

Bull Issue

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October 2013 — Issue 1 

The Land & Livestock Post


Learning about cattle while feeding hungry students BRIAN ZIMMERMAN Associated Press

 October 2013 — Issue 1

H AG E R S T OW N, I n d . — School lunches are about to take on new meaning at Hagerstown Jr.-Sr. High School. Plans are underway for the school’s students to raise their own beef cattle during agriculture classes this year, the same cows that will be slaughtered, butchered and, ultimately, turned into the hamburgers that will be served in the cafeteria. Officials are calling the initiative “Where’s The Beef ?” and agriculture teacher Nathan Williamson said it will offer a unique learning opportunity for his students and a $2,000 cost savings for the Nettle Creek School Corporation’s budget. “It doesn’t get any more hands-on than this,” Williamson told the Palladium-Item (http://pinews.co/17UgwUv ). “They have a vested interest in this. All of these guys eat in the school cafeteria.” Students have begun erecting a fence on a hillside just northeast of the high school on land the school corporation owns. The plan is to solicit bids for the cattle and buy up to 10 beef cattle annually, with students doing all the work as part of the requirements to complete the animal science and agriculture mechanics classes. “ We ’ l l f e e d t h e m c o r n throughout the winter,” Williamson said. “The students will do all the work. And on top of just their general care-taking, I’d like to have some small projects for them and changing the feed rations so they can learn a little about that. “Part of the end goal of this is to make it as much of a wholeschool activity as possible,” he said.

Students have responded well to the unusual school activities, especially having the opportunity to learn outside the traditional classroom. “I love just learning this stuff,” senior Eli Reagan said. “I don’t get to do this stuff outside of school, so it’s nice to come in and learn to build a fence, just in case I have to do it in the future. It’s been a good time being outside of class and just working with our hands.” Senior Connor Mathews agreed. And he had a message for the school’s underclassmen: “The class below us should really thank us for this.” One year from now, Williamson said the cows that current students will feed and care for will be turned into whole-cow hamburgers, an upgrade over the burgers currently served. “We can’t afford to give every student a T-bone steak, but whole cow hamburger is generally better quality than a regular hamburger you’re going to get in the store,” Williamson said. “We know where all of our meat is going to be coming from. When we ask for bids, we’ll rely on our expertise. We want quality cattle, but we want the best we can afford.” Nettle Creek Superintendent Bill Doering said “Where’s The Beef ?” — which Williamson proposed with fellow agriculture teacher Don Strugeon — is their contribution to his call for the district to cut costs. Last year, Doering proposed a cost-cutting strategy to save the district of 1,100 students an estimated $350,000 through the current school year after it lost 41 students last fall and 25 were lost the year before.

The Land & Livestock Post

Bull Issue

• Brian Zimmerman is a staff writer for the Palladium-Item in Richmond, Ind.

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

16

Annual Bull Issue

Bullish on the herd

BSEs critical to selecting the right bull By RoBeRt FeaRs Special to The Eagle

A

cow/calf operation requires high calving and weaning percentages to be profitable. If you expect a bull to service 25 cows and he doesn’t have the ability to breed, then you are going to be short 25 calves when you go to market, and your profits will suffer. The way to avoid this loss is to have your veterinarian give each of your bulls a breeding soundness examination prior to breeding season. “In order for a sire to be a genetic asset under natural service conditions, he must find, travel to and successfully impregnate females in heat (estrus females),” said Bruce Carpenter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent at Fort Stockton. “It is not unreasonable to expect an extremely fertile bull to sire 60 or more calves in a short breeding season; whereas a truly infertile bull might sire none, even in a long breeding season. Fertility of most bulls is probably somewhere in the middle of these extremes. “Fertile bulls are of greater economic value, not only because of the number of calves they can sire, but also because they tend to settle cows earlier in the breeding season, resulting in older and heavier calves at weaning. Properly managing any given bull from weaning through maturity will maximize his inherent fertility and boost his contribution to overall herd productivity.” Carpenter said, “Whether in young or mature bulls, a fertility assessment is required before breeding performance can be predicted. “For a bull to impregnate females, the requirements are more complicated than expected. Bulls in good overall health must still have enough libido (sexual urge or instinct) to pursue, mount and serve a female in heat. This involves travel over short or long distances in varying terrain, requiring sound feet and legs. Copulation requires a functional reproductive tract free of abnormalities. Finally, quality sperm must be deposited.” A good quality test for determining if a bull has the ability to produce

Photo by Robert Fears

The structural correctness evaluation part of the breeding soundness exam includes a general assessment of the skeleton, particularly the feet and legs. Cover photo courtesy of Sexing Technologies calves is a breeding soundness examination — BSE — best administered by a veterinarian. A BSE includes a structural correctness evaluation, physical examination of the reproductive tract and semen analysis. Conduct these examinations on young bulls before they are used for the first time and on all bulls about 60 days before the breeding season starts. A structural correctness evaluation includes a general assessment of the skeleton, particularly the feet and legs. Can the bull walk and get around okay? Mouth and teeth usually are evaluated because a bull must be able to eat if he is to meet performance expectations. Good eyes especially are important for bulls. Research indicates that the primary stimulus for a bull to seek estrus females first is his ability visually to locate groups of sexually active females. Cows or heifers are usually sexually active when they are

being mounted by other females in the herd. “Physical examination of the reproductive tract includes a determination of whether there is normal extension of the penis and if it is free of adhesions,” said Glenn Selk, professor of animal science and extension animal reproduction specialist emeritus at Oklahoma State University. “The ejaculate is observed for absence of pus.” “Both testicles are observed for normal size and descension into the scrotum,” Carpenter said. “The testicles are palpated for texture and the sheath, prepuce and accessory glands are evaluated. Finally scrotal circumference is measured. Bulls with larger testicles produce more sperm cells, reach puberty sooner and sire daughters that reach puberty at earlier ages.” Scoring systems and recommended scrotal circumference for bulls of various ages are shown in Table 1 (Page

17). “Semen evaluation usually consists of microscopic examination of sperm for motility, concentration and normality,” Carpenter said. “Test kits, containing reducible dyes, can be used to test sperm motility and concentration by color changes. Computerized digital photographic lab systems are also available to evaluate sperm motility. “Following the BSE, bulls are either classified as satisfactory or unsatisfactory as potential breeders. Any bull classified as unsatisfactory should probably be re-tested before he is culled,” Carpenter said. Libido is a vital part of bull fertility and has little or no association with results from a breeding soundness exam. Extension specialists recommend exposing yearling bulls to a few cycling females prior to turning the bulls in

See BULLS, Page 18


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• Many farmers and ranchers realize they need agricultural limestone when applied fertilizer is less effective than in the past.

The Land & Livestock Post

Annual Bull Issue

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The Land & Livestock Post October 2013 — Issue 1

Bull Issue

Photo by Robert Fears

Young bulls should be given a breeding soundness examination before their first breeding season.

Bulls, from Page 16 with the cow herd. Record the number of mounts and services accomplished by the bull in a given period of time. Bulls can be classed as having high, moderate or low serving capacity.

FALL BULL & FEMALE SALE

Regardless of whether formal tests for serving capacity are performed, producers should observe their bulls during the breeding period to detect any bulls that are not performing their duties. If you

See BSE, Page 20

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Combined laboratory continues agricultural advancements By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

BULLS

Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter

Qingwu Xue of Texas A&M AgriLife Research discusses conservation tillage and other practices at the recent 75th anniversary field day and seminar. established in 1938 for wind erosion research after the Dust Bowl era, demonstrates the part-

See CELEBRATE, Page 22

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October 2013 — Issue 1

are the Heart of the Future

AMARILLO — The repeated message during a 75th anniversary celebration of research on the High Plains was: scientific efforts have been tremendous, research outcomes have changed the way agriculture operates in the High Plains, and the job is not over. Agency leaders and commodity representatives expressed those sentiments during the recent “75 years of Southern High Plains Agricultural Advancements — Innovations in Soil, Water and Environment Management since 1938” field day and seminar at the joint Texas A&M AgriLife Research and U.S. Department of AgricultureAgricultural Research Service facility west of Amarillo, near Bushland. The Conservation and Production Research Laboratory,

At Counsil Family Limousin

The Land & Livestock Post

News

Service Age Virgin Bulls both Limousin and Lim-Flex Noo m N matter atter w where here you you are are in in Cow Cow Country, Country, we we have have a good selection of Service Age Bulls that are big footed, deep body and thick muscled. Females also available at private treaty. Consignors to the September 14, 2013 4-State Limousin Association Sale, Mt. Pleasant, TX Watch for our Spring Sale, April 5, 2014

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36th Annual Cattleman Bull & Female Sale January 18, 2014 El Campo, Texas

October 2013 — Issue 1

The Land & Livestock Post

Annual Bull Issue

Bulls need to be developed and maintained properly so that they will pay back the investment.

Photo by Robert Fears

EARLY CONSIGNORS

BSE, from Page 18 see a bull lying in the shade while the others are with the cows, the animal may either be injured or lacks libido. “Shy breeders, fighters, bulls that form a bond with one particular cow while ignoring others in heat and bulls that have poor mounting orientation will sire few calves and thus be quite costly,” Selk said. “Injuries to bulls during the breeding season are relatively common. When a bull becomes lame or incapable of breeding because of an injury to his reproductive tract, he needs to be removed from the pasture and replaced by another bull.” It is recommended highly by experts in the cow-calf business that the necessary money be spent to buy good bulls that will produce top-ofthe-market calves. To protect this investment, bulls must be fed properly, kept healthy and routinely monitored for performance through annual breeding soundness examinations prior to their exposure to cows and visual observations during the breeding season.

ANGUS MEANS BUSINESS. A reliable business partner is difficult to come by. At the American Angus Association®, a team of skilled Regional Managers can guide your operation toward success. Contact Radale Tiner to locate Angus genetics, select marketing options tailored to your needs, and to access Association programs and services. Put the business breed to work for you.

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Rebuild, from Page 8

Special Fall Replacement Female Sale All Breeds Bull Sale

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Saturday, OCTOBER 12, 2013 • 12:00 PM • Milano, Texas

Offering

Bull Sale begins at 12:00 noon, followed by the Special Replacement Female Sale at 1:00 pm Females include: Angus, Angus +, Brangus, Brangus Baldies, Red Angus, English Baldies, Beefmasters, True F1s and other Brahman crosses

October 2013 — Issue 1

750 head of top-quality replacement females and 30 Angus, SimAngus, Hereford & Charolais Bulls

tion,” Peel said. This very thing happened during the 1996-2001 period of cattle inventory liquidation, for example. In contrast, heifer placement typically increases simultaneously with decreased cow culling during herd expansion, as was the case from 19911995. “In recent years, producers have continued to invest in replacement heifers despite the necessity of reducing herd size because of external factors,” Peel said. “That the industry has simultaneously increased cow culling and heifer placements in recent years means the beef cow herd is not only the smallest in 60 years but likely one of the youngest and most productive ever.” Cow-calf producers appear to have a growing incentive for herd expansion given strong profit prospects and improved forage conditions in many regions of the United States. Beef cow slaughter for the year to date decreased 13 percent in the most recent two weeks of data available. “This suggests the beef industry may be back on track of decreasing cow slaughter, a necessary component of herd expansion,” Peel said. “However, sharply decreased beef slaughter of 8 percent to 12 percent for the remainder of the year will result in an annual beef cow slaughter decline in the modest 4 percent to 5 percent range.” Additionally, there are indications replacement heifers were diverted into feeder markets during the first half of 2013, attributed to the residual effects of drought, reduced hay supplies and extended winter weather across areas of the United States. Peel said the combination of larger cow slaughter — resulting in smaller than projected reductions — and decreased heifer placements is likely to result in a year-over-year decrease of 0.75

percent to 1.25 percent in the beef cow herd as of Jan. 1, 2014. “There are indications heifer retention will accelerate this fall with cow-calf producers holding more heifer calves for breeding,” he said. Still, cattle industry professionals can be forgiven for scratching their heads when trying to analyze what is coming. Herd expansion prospects for 2014 include factors that suggest both potential for fasterthan-normal growth and factors that will limit growth. The young and productive base herd suggests the potential for one or two years of minimal cow culling, and that could contribute to faster growth,” Peel said. “A year-over-year decline in beef cow slaughter of approximately 20 percent in 2014 would correspond to a culling rate of less than 9 percent, a low rate for typical herd expansion.” Given the youth of the U.S. beef cow herd, an ever more significant decrease in cow culling is possible — less than 8 percent — but such a large decrease in cow slaughter might result in a disruption of lean beef supplies. “The sharply higher cull cow prices that would result should mitigate some of the decrease in cow slaughter,” Peel said. “At the same time, significantly more replacement heifers may be reported on Jan. 1, 2014, but the report likely will include a higher-than-normal percentage of heifer calves that will not produce a calf until 2015.” Cattle and calves represent the number one agricultural commodity produced in Oklahoma, accounting for approximately 46 percent of total agricultural cash receipts, according to National Agricultural Statistics Service data.

MILANO LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE

The Land & Livestock Post

Bull Issue

cow-calf pairs, bred cows, bred heifers and open heifers

Special Bull Consignments from Ankony Farms, Duello Cattle Co., Spring Valley Ranch and Lastovica Cattle Co. Cattle will be available for viewing beginning Friday, October 11.

View sale online at www.lmaauctions.com Phone bidders must register 48 hours prior to the sale.

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Complete sale listing, pictures and videos available online at www.milanolivestockexchange.com

For more information, please contact:

MILANO LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE Highway 79 East • PO Box 146 • Milano, TX 76556 512-455-7641 • 512-455-7631 milanolivestock@msn.com

Owners: Ronald W. Lastovica 254-770-8649 and Steven R. Lastovica 254-770-8650

PRAIRIE MINERAL CO. Prairie Mineral Company is currently buying royalty and mineral interests in your area. Shoule you wish to consider the sale of your interests, please contact us. Office: 817-332-6797

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Cell: 817-980-9697 Tom L. Scott

General Manager: Kevin Gleason 512-430-2826 Marketing Representative: John Downing 254-770-7064 Weekly Sale every Tuesday, 11:00 AM

Make plans to join us on October 12, 2013 for this powerful sale offering!

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

News Celebrate, from Page 19 nership between the Agricultural Research Service, USDA’s chief scientific research agency, and the Texas A&M University System, including AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. “This center here — the partnership — has done some remarkable things,” said Craig Nessler, AgriLife Research director in College Station. “I’m very proud of it and the leadership. We will be a part of solving the world’s problems. There’s going to be 9 billion people on this planet and they need to eat. “As someone coming from A&M with a long military history, I want to send people who can teach the world to produce food, rather than have to send our young people to fight,” Nessler said. “We need to keep their bellies full and need to help the population of the world be enriched and have opportunities because they have a good sound food security system.” But that takes continued research, he said. And it takes continued funding for research, for which is difficult to gain sup-

port and understanding as the distance grows between people and their agricultural roots. “We have gone from a high of 60 percent of the population involved in agriculture down to today’s 2 percent,” Nessler said. “The danger is that the people who vote — the people in the cities and suburbs — don’t understand where their food comes from, how much work goes into it, and why we need to do research to make sure the food supply is safe and affordable.” Dan Upchurch, USDA-ARS Southern Plains Area director in College Station, added, “There’s been tremendous

FROM OUR CATTLE TO OUR KIDS, LCC IS THE HOME OF CHAMPIONS AND HARD WORKERS. We are committed to raising top quality cattle that work hard in the pasture or show ring. We raise bulls for the commercial and purebred cattlemen, alike. We sell and show banner-winning Angus heifers and show steers. LCC is backed by over 50 years experience in the Angus business. Complete performance data and EPDs available. Bulls and heifers available for viewing at Milano Livestock Exchange, Milano, TX. Contact us today to visit we’d love to show you around.

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progress, but the need for research has not been done away with.” “This laboratory has been able to shift its focus as needs shift — always with the focus on our natural resources,” Upchurch said. “The real value of this research is to sustain rural communities that depend on those natural resources. It’s the history and the future of this facility and this partnership. We must ensure we provide sound science on which policies related to natural resources are written.”

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Caleb Pool, district representative in Amarillo for U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, said, “This facility keeps production and conservation practices up to date and ahead of the curve, and that gives policy makers a chance to understand how the changing face of agriculture needs policies based on sound science. “Keeping the general public aware of where their food and fiber, meat and milk come from is challenging,” Pool said. “Education on production agriculture is key to understanding the significance of policy, especially when few people have representatives with a direct tie to agriculture.” Ben Weinheimer, vice president at Texas Cattle Feeders Association in Amarillo, agreed, saying limiting factors to the cattle feeding industry have been and will continue to be water and regulatory intervention in the day-to-day business practices. The industry relies on the ability to use science to help inform the regulatory community about what is realistic and

not, in terms of expectations. Since its birth in the region, the cattle feeding industry has seen everything from water quality work, nutrient management, air quality, water conservation, cattle health and nutrition, and even feed yard construction and design techniques transformed by research here, Weinheimer said. “You continue to bring change and progress over time through multidisciplinary research, where dollars are spent to answer not one, but 10 questions at one time,” he said. “There’s a willingness to embrace new industries and help us answer the questions that we need to become better in our businesses and produce better products for our customers.” Kyle Ingham, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission representative from Amarillo, said research must continue to focus on managing the finite water resources from the Ogallala Aquifer and identifying ways to keep the economy going. “There’s no use in having a municipal water supply if the

The Land & Livestock Post

News

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

24

News Water, from Page 23 agricultural economy is not going strong and providing jobs to fill up the municipalities,” Ingham said. Continued research and datadriven results that come out of this laboratory are needed to counter misinformation that is sometimes used by regulators, he said. Mike Schouten, owner of Mission Dairy near Hereford, said regulations often are based on perception, or “what is acceptable in our social culture,” rather than sound science. “We have to get out to the general public and educate them on the ideas that come from this research facility and tell them these are the things they need to

know, rather than be reactive to issues,” Schouten said. David Cleavinger, an Oldham County producer, said that education and research are dependent on facilities such as the one at Bushland. There is a difference between private and public research, and with government funding dwindling, that will become a huge issue. But publicly funded research must continue. “Much of what comes from Bushland is research that private industry doesn’t want to do because it isn’t profitable immediately,” Cleavinger said. “You have to look at things that might not be profitable today, but in 10 to 20 years, it might be one of those things that changes the world.”


LIVESTOCK MARKET REPORT Brazos Valley

Slaughter bulls: $89-$103. Slaughter cows: $65-$87.50.

Buffalo

Results of the Buffalo Livestock Marketing’s Sept.7 sale: Head: 2,034 Steers: 150-200 lbs., $200-$300; 200-300 lbs., $195-$260; 300-400 lbs., $175-$260; 400-500 lbs., $155-$190; 500-600 lbs., $135$178; 600-700 lbs., $130-$151; 700-800 lbs., $120-$141. Heifers: 150-200 lbs., $190-

Results of the Caldwell Livestock Commission’s Sept.11 sale: Head: 717 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $220$240; 300-400 lbs., $195-$2225; 400-500 lbs., $170-$195; 500-600 lbs., $140-$165; 600-700 lbs., $135-$148; 700-800 lbs., $125$145. Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $200$230; 300-400 lbs., $185-$210; 400-500 lbs., $160-$175; 500600 lbs., $140-$165; 600-700 lbs., $130-$150; 700-800 lbs., $115-$125. Slaughter bulls: $96-$103. Slaughter cows: $60-$90. Stocker cows: $840-$1,375. Cow/calf pairs: $1,170-$1,510.

Groesbeck

Results of the Groesbeck Auction

Navasota

Results of the Navasota Livestock Auction Co.’s Aug. 24 sale: Head: 2,423. Steers: 150-300 lbs., $150-$270; 300-400 lbs., $150-$250; 400-500 lbs., $125-$195; 500-600 lbs., $120-$172.50; 600-700 lbs., $115$157.50. Heifers: 150-300 lbs., $135$230; 300-400 lbs., $130-$195; 400-500 lbs., $120-$170; 500-600 lbs., $115-$157.50; 600-700 lbs., $115-$149. Slaughter bulls: $80-$107. Slaughter cows: $65-$89.

Stocker cows: $750-$1,425.

Jordan

Results of the Jordan Cattle Auction Market Aug. 8 sale: Head: 1,296 Steers: 300-400 lbs., $190-$240; 400-500 lbs., $185-$210; 500-600 lbs., $150-$172; 600-700 lbs., $145-$165. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $170-$200; 400-500 lbs., $1,650-$190; 500600 lbs., $145-$160; 600-700 lbs., $135-$155. Slaughter bulls: $96-$106. Slaughter cows: $70-$92. Stocker cows: $850-$1,400.

Milano

Results of the Milano Livestock Exchange’s Sept.10 sale: Head: 550. Steers: 300-400 lbs., $132-$227; 400-500 lbs., $120-$179; 500-600 lbs., $125-$173; 600-700 lbs., $110-$143. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $130-$183; 400-500 lbs., $125-$183; 500-600 lbs., $117-$181; 600-700 lbs., $111-$145. Slaughter bulls: $93-$100.50. Slaughter cows: $60-$94. Stocker cows: $985-$1,425. — Special to The Post

SALE EACH SATURDAY

October 2013 — Issue 1

Bred cows: $925-$1,450. Cow/calf pairs: $1,000-$1,575

Caldwell

and Livestock Exchange’s Sept.12 sale: Head: 859. Steers: 300-400 lbs., $190-$235; 400-500 lbs., $160-$215; 500-600 lbs., $160-$178; 600-700 lbs., $150-$168. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $180-$205; 400-500 lbs., $170-$195; 500-600 lbs., $147-$165; 600-700 lbs., $140-$160. Slaughter bulls: $92-$103. Slaughter cows: $68-$92. Stocker cows: $850-$1,600. Cow/calf pairs: $900-$1,700.

Results of the Brazos Valley Livestock Commission’s Aug. 27 sale: Head: 1,239 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $195-$270; 300-400 lbs., $185-$250; 400-500 lbs., $160-$190; 500-600 lbs., $144-$170; 600-700 lbs., $130$155; 700-800 lbs., $132-$141. Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $177$215, 300-400 lbs., $154-$179; 400-500 lbs., $138-$158; 500600 lbs., $130-$157; 600-700 lbs., $130-$157; 700-800 lbs., $123-$132.

$230; 200-300 lbs., $175-$225; 300-400 lbs., $155-$210; 400500 lbs., $140-$182; 500-600 lbs., $135-$160; 600-700 lbs., $120$146; 700-800 lbs., $115-$145. Slaughter bulls: $82-$110.50. Slaughter cows: $55-$94. Bred cows: $975-$1,600. Cow/calf pairs: $1,000-$1,720

The Land & Livestock Post

Annual Bull Issue

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The Land & Livestock Post  October 2013 — Issue 1

Bull Issue Does selecting related cattle increase calf uniformity? By Bryan nichols and ryan reuter The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Excellent rainfall in most parts of southern Oklahoma and northern Texas during the 2013 growing season has prompted some producers to consider increasing their cow numbers. Selecting replacement females is no small decision. Their breed type, fertility, conformation, mature size, milking ability and color will all play a role in the future profitability of an operation. One frequent topic in discussions of bull and female selection is choosing closely related animals, such as half-siblings, to increase uniformity of the off-

spring. Increasing uniformity of the calf crop is important to cow-calf producers because more uniform lots may receive higher sale prices at market. Lack of uniformity also has been cited as a primary quality concern for industry segments from packers to restaurateurs, according to the 2005 National Beef Quality Audit. It is logical that as offspring become more related, genetic variability decreases and, hence, the phenotypic variability of animals will decrease. It is very important, however, to explore further the details in order to judge the magnitude of change that can be expected. Since this is a quantitative

See RELATED, Page 30

Cattleman’s Brenham Livestock Auction Replacement Female & Bull Sale

Saturday • October 26th 12 Noon - Brenham, TX

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bling and tenderness, and the importance of finding all three traits in one animal with the ever rising cost of production. Larry Pierce, Washington County Extension agent, will introduce the speakers. After the seminar, a ribeye steak dinner will be served, sponsored by Zoetis. For more information, call Texas A&M AgriLIfe Extension at 979-2776212 or Oak Creek Farms at 979-836-6832. Chappell Hill is located about 60 miles west of Houston on U.S. 290, then four miles south on F.M. 1371.

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October 2013 — Issue 1

Custom Cattle Guards Also ATV Cattle Guards

190 Gallon Concrete Water trough

CHAPPELL HILL — Rick Machen of Texas A&M will speak at a 6 p.m. seminar on Oct. 25 at Oak Creek Farms Sale Facility on the ranch in Chappell Hill. Machen willtalk on the different options for producing and marketing cattle, including traditional, natural grassfed, organic beef and niche marketing. Kevin Milliner of Zoetis, formerly Pfizer Animal Genetics, will speak on the latest updates in DNA technology. One of his topics will be on heritable traits including feed efficiency, mar-

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The Land & Livestock Post

News

CentralTexas All Breed Bull & Female Sale J.B.Wells Park - Gonzales,TX

Featuring 300+ Quality Females 60+ High Performance Bulls

Health certificates will be submitted for each consignment. All bulls must have a negative trichomoniasis and a satisfactory breeding soudness exam within 30 days of the sale. We want you to be satisfied with the stock you purchase!

Friday,October 25,2013

Bulls sale at 10:00am Females no earlier than 1:00pm Viewing will be available from 3:00-6:00pm on Thursday, October 24th with a Buyer’s dinner to follow

Sale Managers Brad Cotton: 830-393-7576 W.R. “Billy Bob” Low: 830-857-3324 Bill Hyman: 830-857-3500

27


The Land & Livestock Post

A SOLID INVESTMENT TO GROW YOUR STOCK.

October 2013 — Issue 1

News

Natural Extender HLSTMForage Molasses Tubs20

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The Land & Livestock Post 

October 2013 — Issue 1

29


Related, from Page 26 genetics question, math can be used to estimate the phenotypic changes a producer could expect, given certain breeding situations. The two values that must be known to make these

The Land & Livestock Post

Annual Bull Issue

October 2013 — Issue 1

Published by Bryan-College Station Communications, Inc. (979) 776-4444 or (800) 299-7355

30

President - Crystal Dupré .....................................................Ext. 4613

estimates are the coefficient of genetic relatedness and the heritability of a given trait. Genetic relatedness is the probability that two individuals share an allele due to recent common ancestry. As genetic relatedness increases, the variation in a trait will decrease in proportion to the trait’s heritability. In this article, the decrease in variation will be expressed as a percentage relative to a group of unrelated animals, where the unrelated animals equal 100 percent. Therefore, as the percentage gets smaller, the varia-

tion of the trait decreases, i.e., the animals are more uniform. This percentage is calculated as: Table 1 shows that an unrelated bull battery bred to an unrelated cow herd has a genetic relatedness of 0 percent; therefore, the calf crop expresses all of the expected variation. As the genetic relatedness of the calf crop increases, the expected phenotypic variation decreases. A fairly common practice used is that of selecting all half-sibling bulls. Table 1 shows that if breed-

ing half-sibling bulls to unrelated cows and evaluating a trait with high heritability (40 percent), variation in the calf crop for that trait is expected to decrease only by 1.3 percent (100 percent-98.7 percent=1.3 percent). If taken one step further by selecting half-sibling females and breeding them to halfsibling bulls, variation still is expected to decrease only by 2.5 percent. Interestingly, if one went as far as producing a calf crop that is all full siblings, variation still would be reduced

only by 10.6 percent compared to an unrelated calf crop. These numbers indicate that substantial advances in calf crop uniformity likely will not be attained very quickly by using closely related breeding stock. Cattle producers who wish to increase uniformity of the calf crop through genetic selection likely should focus on selecting animals with optimal values for desired traits (i.e., similar expected progeny differences) regardless of their genetic relationships.

Publisher and Editor- Kelly Brown.........................................Ext. 4656 Advertising Director - Ron Prince ........................................ Ext. 4740 Advertising Sales/General Manager - Jesse Wright ...............Ext. 4721 Financial Director - Rod Armstrong .......................................Ext. 4605 Production Director - Mark Manning.....................................Ext. 4671 Circulation Director - Jack Perkins .......................................Ext. 4752

Published by Bryan-College Station Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 3000, Bryan,Texas 77805. E-mail: thepost@theeagle.com All offices are located at 1729 Briarcrest Drive Bryan,Texas 77802. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Eagle, P.O. Box 3000, Bryan,Texas 77805-3000 The Post is printed in part on recycled paper and is fully recyclable.

Brazos Valley Alfalfa Top Quality Hay Small Squares • Large Squares • Large Rounds Mike Stratta (979) 255-4337 (979) 279-6506 mike.stratta@wildblue.net

Hearne, Texas www.bvalfalfa.com

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Bryan Credit Office

1714 E. 29th Street 979.775.0404 | 877.775.0404 CapitalFarmCredit.com

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October 2013 — Issue 1

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