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the

BEEFMASTER Pay Weight

a publication dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen and produced by Beefmaster Breeders United FALL 2018

Vol. 4, No. 2

Section 1

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Marketing Calves to Improve Profitability for Small, Medium, and Large Producers By Joe C. Paschal, Texas AgriLife Extension Since I have less than 50 cows, I don’t know if I classify as a small or a medium cow calf producer. I do know that, according to USDA, folks that own less than 100 beef cows have about 46% of the US cow herd. About 38% of US beef cows are in herds of 100-499 and 16% in herds over 500 head. In terms of a rough ratio, for every large herd, there are two medium and three small herds. I know this is supposed to be about marketing but when I look at cow calf production figures, one of the areas many of us all need to work on is weaned calf percentage per cow exposed. We all sell/market calves from our cowherd, most of us at weaning and the rest at later stages of production. Many of the articles we all

read emphasize selling more pounds of weight, but instead of increasing weaning weight, I propose we work on increasing numbers of calves sold. Having said that, back to my topic. For smaller producers, those of us with 49 cows or less, the local livestock auction/marketing/ commission company is most likely our best marketing option. It is also likely our easiest, but we should not be content to be merely price takers. Most of these are professionals with contacts throughout the cattle industry; but most of those orders will not pay top prices for anything that walks in front of the buyers. Calves that are healthy, muscular, and at least in appearance have the “look” to grow on grass or feed are generally

price toppers in their weight and sex class. At these markets, appearance of the calf plays a significant role in value determination. Calves that are off color (regardless of what the final carcass may look like), light muscled, fat/ fleshy, or intact (still bulls), are perceived to be worth less (and mostly with good reason). Working with your

local livestock commission company to produce the type of calves that don’t get severe discounts will go a long way to improving your returns from this type of market. Many of these markets hold special feeder cattle sales that can be of benefit for smaller producers, especially if you are already working to improve the marketability continued on page 4

Cattle Records Matter

By Lance Bauer, Beefmaster Breeders United Requested in-home September 15-20, 2018

What is one thing all successful businesses have in common? It isn’t the products they sell, you won’t find a steak at Best Buy and you won’t find an iPad at your local butcher shop. It’s record keeping, most all successful businesses keep records that are relevant to the product or service they provide. In order to improve anything, there has to be records so that progress or movement backwards can be measured. The only way to make improvements and

keep ahead of the game is to take measurements and record them, the old saying is “you can’t improve what you don’t measure.” The cattle business is no different than any other business and records should be kept on anything that can help a producer make more money, after all this is a business. Records are very useful in many decisions to keep or cull animals and progress an operation. The first record that many producers focus on is

birth weight. Birth weight is important to most because heavier birth weights are correlated with dystocia or calving difficulties, and no one wants to deal with calving difficulties. Dystocia is a problem that has large economic costs associated with it, lost calves and possible damage to reproductive tracts causing infertility in cows. Calves that are born to cows that had dystocia are more likely to die before weaning than continued on page 7


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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

Letter From The Editor

several easy to read articles covering many current industry topics ranging from beef trade barriers (pg 11) and the importance By Collin Osbourn of cattle records (pg 1) to the With fall just around role of millennials and how the corner and some cooler they understand the cattle weather on the way, it is industry today (pg 37). There nice to see the change from are also articles covering the dog days of summer cattle marketing (pg 1), along heat to a more colorful and with improving efficiency comfortable season. With the (pg 25) and utilizing today’s fall months comes many of reproductive technologies the Beefmaster bull sales and to improve efficiency and the opportunity to buy some profitability (pg 17). of the very best Beefmaster Beefmasters are genetics that can be found. In continuing to excel in many this issue of The Beefmaster of these avenues within the Pay Weight you will see beef industry with the added several upcoming events heterosis and efficiency where you can find these high performing Beefmaster that they bring to the herd and without a doubt these genetics. are areas that we can all This fall issue also has

the BEEFMASTER Pay Weight

improve upon to make our cow herds better and more productive, while returning more profits. The maternal advantages that we see from the use of Beefmaster genetics continues to grow and expand into new areas improving cow herds in terms of efficiency, longevity, productivity and most importantly profitability. I encourage everyone to read the story of the Huebner Cattle Company and the history of that program (pg 33). It’s not only an interesting read but it is a great example of how Beefmaster cattle excel in some of the harshest environments, while returning more profits to the producer.

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I look forward to getting out this fall to the upcoming sales and seeing the cattle that will help shape the future of the Beefmaster breed. God bless each you this fall in your travels and I hope to see many of you at one of the great Beefmaster events! If you have any questions or comments please contact me at cosbourn@beefmasters.org or 210-732-3132. Enjoy!

Collin Osbourn

Executive Vice President Beefmaster Breeders United Editor, The Beefmaster Pay Weight

Beefmaster Breeders United

The Beefmaster Pay Weight is a publication produced by Beefmaster Breeders United and dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen. The Beefmaster Pay Weight Team Editor: Collin Osbourn Managing Editor: Jeralyn Novak Contributing Writers: Brittni Bates, Lance Bauer, Dr. Gordon Carstens, Dan Childs, Dr. G. Cliff Lamb, Max Moncaster, Jeralyn Novak, Joe Paschal, Collin Osbourn, Dr. Robert Wells Advertising Coordinators: Carey Brown, Lance Bauer, Dusty Pendergrass, Jeralyn Novak Graphic Designer: Jeralyn Novak

Beefmaster Breeders United Staff Members Collin Osbourn: Executive Vice President Lance Bauer: Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative Sarah Clark: DNA Coordinator Brandi Feller: Member Service Data Entry Donna Henderson: Office Manager Jeralyn Novak: Communications Coordinator Dusty Pendergrass: Eastern Field Representative Bonnie Ramirez: JBBA/International and Membership Coordinator

For advertisement sales: Contact Jeralyn Novak 210-732-3132 or Carey Brown with Livestock Advertising Network at 859-278-0899 Contact BBU: 118 W. Bandera Road, Boerne, TX 78006 - (210) 732-3132 - info@beefmasters.org Beefmaster Breeders United reserves the right to refuse advertising in any publications. © 2018 Beefmaster Breeders United. All rights reserved. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or part, without prior written consent of Beefmaster Breeders United.

Advertise or subscribe e Beefmaster PayWeight 210-732-3132 jnovak@beefmasters.org beefmasters.org/commercial/beefmaster-pay-weight.php


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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

continued from page 1 of your calves by enhancing health and creating more uniformity in age, weight, and size and castrating bulls. Some of these types of programs will sort and even comingle cattle with those of other to maximize your potential returns. It has often been said that little or no experience or knowledge of the cattle market is required to sell cattle in livestock commission companies or auction barns. I would agree with that, if you are merely selling your cattle. However, knowledge of 1) current prices for your type

of cattle (breed type, color, gender, etc.), 2) what the cattle market is likely to do in the near future as a result of the weather, 3) domestic and international trade (for beef and other commodities like pork or chicken), and 4) where we are in the annual production and long term cattle cycle can help you from selling on a down market (or near Thanksgiving for example). This will be true of any market, especially the markets that involve any type of longer or retained ownership. For those herds in the middle size range, their options are slightly greater, more so with increased

numbers of calves. Cow calf producers with fewer cattle might still use the livestock auction but might also be able to sell their cattle in truck load lots which broaden their choices in marketing. A semi-truck load is around 48,000 pounds so depending on how heavy your calves weigh determines how many head will fit in a load. Herds of this size can also participate in the special feeder cattle sales as well as in video sales and can use cattle marketing services that specialize in truckload lots. Feeding your own cattle also becomes an option as long as you know how your cattle will perform in terms

Celebrating 50 Years . . .

We would like to thank all of our Beefmaster family and customers for your continued support over the last 50 years in the Beefmaster business. We are proud STBBA members and will be consigning cattle to the Buccaneer Classic Sale and the Carr and Others Sale in October. These consignments have longevity and productivity bred into them and will add consistency to any herd.

Wittenburg beefmasters

PO Box 1005, Edna, TX 77957 Hans Wittenburg (361) 782-8122 • Joe Wittenburg (361) 782-1898

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of gain or grade and they are properly prepared. Obviously more risk is involved the longer you own the cattle and more marketing savvy is required as in any retained ownership beyond the livestock commission company. More costs are involved as well. Of course, not every calf will fit an order so likely you will still be selling some cattle at your local commission company. As herds get larger, there are not necessarily more options, just a greater ability to use more of the marketing options at the same time. Cattle that don’t fit any options might still be sold at the local auction barn. This could include heifers that might make good commercial herd replacements, calves sold to feed yards, or feeding and marketing through electronic means. By having more marketing options, risk can be spread more evenly. I know of a ranch that either feeds or sells their better (higher quality) cattle in the Texas Panhandle, either directly or through video sales, and buys less expensive native or Mexican cattle to feed locally. Being bigger gives producers more options, but not always better ones than smaller producers, especially if the smaller producers are smart about marketing and pay attention to what they are doing with their calves. Even though your herd may fit into one of the smaller size ranges, that should not keep you from learning as much as you can about the performance and profit potential of your calves. Individual identification (ear tags or brands) will help match the weight and sale price of the continued on page 6


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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

continued from page 4 calf at any market, providing information on the value of the calf. Participating in special feeder sales, comingled sales, and replacement sales will also help you determine the value of your calves. Don’t just put your worst or best calves in

these sales but match the type of cattle to the demand of those specific markets. Some feedyards offer smaller herd owners the opportunity to feed a small pen of cattle (often as few as 5 or 10 head). To really know how your calves perform down the line, from growth to carcass

merit as well as the value of your herd health program, such experience is important to help determine the value of your calves.

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marketing skills and aid in improving the value of your calves!

Regardless of the size of your cowherd (and likely not every one of your cows produce a calf every year), you can always improve your

Dr. Joe Paschal Livestock Specialist Texas AgriLife Extension

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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

continued from page 1

for yearling weights and crossbred cattle tend to perform better as yearlings and produce more pounds.

and those calves that aren’t marketed in a conventional calves that are born with no auction barn are still sold issues. Since the main goal by the pound. It makes of most producers in the sense to pay close attention United States is to produce to records of weight, when a live weaned calf, a calf pounds are what a producer that dies before weaning gets paid on. Keeping cows is lost production. While and bulls that consistently birth weight is important produce heavier calves and to consider because of its culling those animals that correlation with dystocia, consistently produce lighter producers can also record weaning calves is a good way calving ease scores. These to increase the profit from records can help with an operation. Selecting for culling decisions by trying weaning weight in both cows to eliminate cows that have and bulls can be done by calving difficulty or bulls that utilizing EPDs, which take consistently produce large into account the animal’s calves that require birthing own performance, pedigree, assistance. and the performance of the Weaning weights are a animal’s offspring. Another very valuable record for the way to increase weaning majority of producers around weight is to utilize heterosis the United States. Most or hybrid vigor. Heterosis calves in the United States in the cow and the calf are sold at a conventional both can lead to increased auction barns, by the pound, weaning weights because of

maternal and direct hybrid vigor. Beefmaster bulls are a good way to make crossbred commercial females to retain in an operation and have steer calves that will wean heavy.

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Reproductive records are extremely important to keep, since a producer will not Another weight trait to make any money back on a keep records on, if possible, cow that does not have a calf. is yearling weights. There One of the first reproductive are producers that will traits to keep records on background calves for longer is pregnancy, since a cow and sell them as yearlings must get pregnant to have a instead of at weaning, and calf. Fertility is a trait that is again weight pays so this is lowly heritable and hybrid important for profit. Yearling vigor has the largest impact weights on replacement on lowly heritable traits, heifers are also very helpful making crossbred Beefmaster to a producer in determining females a very viable option when to breed for the first for replacements. Heifers that time, the industry standard fail to get re-bred or cows for years has been to breed that continuously fall back a heifer at 60-65% of her or come up open are animals mature weight. By doing that are losing the producer this most heifers will have money and should be looked reached puberty and be ready at for culling. to breed. The advantage continued on page 10 of hybrid vigor continues


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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

continued from page 7

measured that also play a role in the success of an Cows that continuously move operation. These traits can up in the breeding season are be used in culling decisions good candidates for keeping as well. One extremely replacement females from. important trait is udder and A record that may get teat structure. Bad udders overlooked sometimes is a and teats are one of the weaning record, whether largest reasons for culling or not a cow weaned a cows in the beef industry, and calf. It may seem that if keeping yearly records allows a cow is bred at the time a producer to easily make of a pregnancy check she these decisions. Another should birth and wean a calf, trait that is hard to measure however that is not always is reproductive efficiency the case. It would not be an of a bull, but with genomic ideal situation to have a 92% technology today calves can conception rate but only an be sire verified in multi sire 80% calf crop weaned. On a situations. This type of record herd of 100 head that is 20 allows producers to keep and cows that do not wean a calf. cull bulls based on how many A weaned calf is what makes cows they got bred and can money so this is an extremely lead to the discovery of a bull important record to keep. that may not be producing Cows that wean a calf and quality semen. If a producer get bred back every year are has one bull per 25 cows and the best animals for making has 100 cows, then one bull money in the herd, and if breeds 40 cows, another bull a producer uses records to breeds 30 cows, another bulls focus on keeping those cows breeds 15 cows and the last then they should see an bull breeds 5 cows, it is of increase in production and value to know which bulls profit for their operation. performed the best. There are other production records There are other that can be kept and are kept production traits that can by producers to help improve be taken into account and

Headings Beefmasters Registered Beefmasters For Sale JESSE HEADINGS 20262 HIGHWAY EE - SEDALIA, MO 65301 660/826-0761 - JPS@OHCMAIL.ORG

their operations. The final type of records that all businesses keep are financial records. These records can help the producer know when a cow has broken even and will start producing a profit, which cows and bulls make them the most money, and which cows and bulls cost them the most money. These financial records are all tied to production of the cows and bulls. Keeping these records may seem like common sense, but they are important for the growth of a business. Banks do not do deals on a handshake anymore and need to see these records in order for a producer to take out a loan and expand their cattle operation. Financial records are what makes a business a business and not a hobby. It is extremely important to keep records in the cattle industry, because in order to be successful a producer must treat his cattle as a business and try to make a profit. Performance records need to be kept as these records drive the profit/loss

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of the business. Animals with consistently low performance are like products that do not sell, any business knows that it is best to get rid of products that do not sell and focus on those that do. It is the same in cattle, using records to cull low performing animals and replace them with higher performing ones just makes sense. Financial records are important to see how the business is doing and how it is growing, and are important to financial institutions that help to grow operations. The cattle business is just like any other business, it is important to keep records and make decisions based on those records to grow a business.

Lance Bauer Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

Beefmaster Breeders United

Heritage Cattle Company E6 Commercial Beefmaster Females Beefmaster Bulls for the Commercial Cattleman Chris Kauffman 501-279-8505 ckauffman@stephensgroup.com

BERACHIAH BEEFMASTERS Charles B. Albright 713-819-5449 chuckb1@swbell.net Lavaca County, Texas

405-650-0675

Breeding Polled Beefmasters since 1982 Lawrence and Connie Shuey Dale and Karen Shuey Cassville, MO 65625 417/826-5881 417/773-0151 berachiah@centurylink.net

“Serving all of your bulk commodity needs� Doug Husfeld 830.998.2023 doug@tallgrass.us


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Major Trade Barriers U.S. Beef Faces around the World By Max Moncaster, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association It can be hard to keep up with all the developments on international trade these days. From ongoing negotiations with foreign countries to the implementation of new tariffs, President Trump is pursuing a dizzying array of trade policy actions. Some may be tempted to ignore these developments, but cattle producers do not have that luxury. International trade is simply too important to the bottom line. According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, beef exports add about $300 of value per head of finished cattle. That’s a major benefit that helps producers in every segment of the supply chain stay profitable. As global demand for U.S. beef products continues to

increase – particularly in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region – there will be more opportunities for the U.S. to expand our market share. But to fully capitalize on these opportunities, we must have agreements in place that reduce barriers to trade.

billion in sales. However, U.S. producers currently face a tariff of 38.5 percent. Australia is one of our largest competitors in Japan, and only faces tariffs of 27.2 percent and 29.9 percent on frozen and chilled beef respectively.

Tariffs: The Obvious Trade Barriers

For now, U.S. producers are still thriving in Japan despite the tariff When most people talk disadvantage. But the about trade barriers, they Japanese tariffs on Australian tend to think of tariffs. beef are expected to keep Tariffs are taxes paid on going down thanks to goods imported into a terms agreed to in the country. Depending on Comprehensive and their magnitude, they can Progressive Trans-Pacific have a serious impact on the Partnership. Unless the U.S. amount of trade that takes strikes a trade deal of our place. own, we risk losing market Take the example of Japan. share. In 2017, Japan was the largest export market for U.S. beef, accounting for nearly $2

Understanding Non-Tariff Barriers Beyond tariffs, there are other types of trade barriers that many countries use to impede exports. These barriers are referred to as non-tariff barriers (NTBs). NTBs are the root cause of many of the longest-running trade disputes related to U.S. beef. Two countries that President Trump has criticized on trade specifically – China and the European Union – are some of the worst offenders when it comes to using NTBs to prevent market access for U.S. beef. Let’s start with the European Union (EU). Europe provides a wealth of opportunity for U.S. continued on page 13

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Participating in the Live Oak BBA Bull Test & these upcoming sales!

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Private Treaty cattle available at the ranch Registered Beefmaster Cattle - Frozen Embryos & Semen Ranch Bred AQHA Colts

V7 Beefmasters Melvin & Marilyn Scherer 1495 Moritz Road Meyersville, TX 77974 melvinscherer@yahoo.com

7C Anderson Cattle Co. Steve & Michelle Anderson PO Box 2549 Victoria, TX 77902 andersstev@aol.com 361-877-2577


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continued from page 11 beef exports, but there are several non-science-based trade barriers erected by the EU that prevent the U.S. from providing European consumers with U.S. beef. Chief among them is the EU’s ban on beef produced using growth-promotants. These technologies have been approved for use in U.S. beef production since the 1950s. Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintain that the technologies have no physiological significance for humans. But that has not stopped the EU’s unscientific ban, which has been in place since 1989. The U.S. can still sell limited amounts of product to the EU, but all of it must come from cattle raised in non-hormone treated cattle (NHTC) programs. Similar restrictions are in place in China. Specifically, China maintains two unscientific laws that ban the use of ractopamine and ban growth-promoting technologies in beef cattle. These combined restrictions mean that only a small

number of cattle in the U.S. beef herd are currently eligible for the Chinese market.

Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, U.S. cattle and beef products are traded with no tariffs and science-based trade. The It is important to note that result has been a resounding these unscientific restrictions success, and the U.S. exports violate international trade around $2 billion worth of laws. For example, nonbeef to our North American science-based restrictions trading partners each year. on the use of hormones have The Trump Administration is been ruled illegal by the seeking to modernize some World Trade Organization aspects of NAFTA to bring it (WTO). Unfortunately, into the 21st century. But for that has not stopped both U.S. beef, NAFTA has been a China and the EU from resounding success. implementing their policies. Another example can be Much of the media found in the Korea-United attention when it comes States Trade Agreement to China has focused on (KORUS). Less than a decade the retaliatory tariffs they ago, U.S. beef exports to have placed on U.S. beef. South Korea were subject to However, the NTBs can be high tariff and unscientific far more damaging to the restrictions. But rather than economic success of the U.S. maintaining unnecessary beef industry. The Trump trade barriers on beef, the Administration is right to U.S. and South Korean take a vigorous approach to governments decided to use tearing down these NTBs in KORUS to tear them down. markets around the world. Today, the reduction of The Gold Standard: tariffs and implementation Reduced Tariffs and of science-based trade Science-Based Trade standards that happened One does not have to look under KORUS has allowed far to see evidence of the U.S. beef to flourish. Unlike positive impacts of reducing in Japan, U.S. beef enjoys a tariffs and NTBs on U.S. tariff rate advantage over the beef. Under the terms of the Australians in Korea. The North American Free Trade tariff advantage, combined

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with rapidly-growing consumer demand for U.S. beef, enabled the U.S. to become the leading import source for beef in South Korea last year. Global retailing giant Costco, who previously sourced Australian beef for their stores in South Korea, is now importing every single ounce of their chilled beef from the United States. The move is expected to add upwards of 15,000 metric tons of fresh U.S. beef sales annually. There is much at stake in the current trade upheaval, but U.S. producers also have much to gain. If the Trump Administration can level playing field for U.S. beef around the world, our industry will be set-up for long-term success. At the end of the day, trade agreements that reduce tariffs and enshrine science-based trade standards are the goldstandard that producers should hope for.

Max Moncaster Associate Director, Policy Communications NCBA

FOUNDATION s i s e n e BEEFMASTERS G

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ALL THAT MATTERS

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Get the industry’s first 5-ft. precut bales. Increase tonnage per hour by 80%.* Cut mixing times as much as 58%.* You deserve an efficient feed system. Your herd deserves nutritious feed. Talk to your John Deere dealer and learn why you now have zero reasons to use any other baler. *Tonnage per hour estimates compared to competitive models. Mixing time estimate compared to bales that do not contain precut crop.

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1%

1%

10%

5%

10%

5%

70%

85%

70%

45% 50%

*Spring 2018 EPD

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$T

$M

113.90 26.73 5%

10%


BEEFMASTER Pay Weight The Beefmaster Pay Weight

www.beefmasters.org

the

17

a publication dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen and produced by Beefmaster Breeders United FALL 2018

Vol. 4, No. 2

Section 2

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The 30-Day Game Changer: Utilizing Reproductive Technologies to Improve Reproductive Efficiency By Dr. G. Cliff Lamb, Texas A&M University Introduction Beef producers need cows to become pregnant, deliver healthy calves, and wean productive calves in order to make their operations economically viable. The failure of breeding females to become pregnant directly impacts the economic viability of every beef operation, yet few producers realize how infertility impacts their individual operations. Australian cattle producers have noticed unprecedented increases in

the value of calves, replacement heifers, and cull cows and bulls. Therefore, every live calf that is produced and marketed has significant value to beef operations. The positive cash flow in the beef industry provides an ideal opportunity to incorporate reproductive technologies that previously may not have been viable. To maximize profitability in beef operations, producers depend on the production of one healthy calf per cow per year. Incorporating reproduc-

tive technologies enhances the opportunity to increase the financial and biological components that contribute to profitability of beef operations. Use of estrus synchronization (ES) and artificial insemination (AI) Artificial insemination is not a new technology. The developmental research that preceded our modern techniques dates back to Russia in the late 1800s and early 1900s. For

beef producers a major opportunity exists to increase the genetic potential of their herd through the use of AI. With AI, the most genetically superior sires are available to a large number of producers rather than being confined to the cows that are on a single pasture. In addition, the accuracy of predicting performance of offspring of young sires with no progeny (typical of most natural service sires) is less than continued on page 18

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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

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Synchronizing the estrous cycle with the use of that of sires with a large exogenous (administered by number of offspring (typical injection or insert/implant to of “proven” AI sires). One of the cow) hormones has been the primary advantages of developed and incorporated using AI is that semen from into beef production systems sires with high accuracy primarily to facilitate the are far superior to most use of AI for more than natural service sires available. 40 years. A primary factor High accuracy of proven limiting the use of AI is the AI sires allow producers labor required to perform more confidence that the AI and to detect estrus in advertised performance and females and ensure they phenotypic characteristics are inseminated at the of offspring will be realized, appropriate time. It is now compared with offspring possible to expect to achieve from low accuracy natural pregnancy from AI in more service sires. The risk of than 50% of the herd during unexpected performance the first week of the breeding is greater when using low season. The success of ES in accuracy natural service increasing the proportion sires. In addition, improving of pregnancies derived from the accuracy of sire breeding AI will increase the rate value predictions may of genetic improvement increase the overall rate through mating with of genetic change on beef genetically superior AI sires. operations and improved rate However, other benefits have of genetic change can lead to become evident including subsequent improvements in the potential to alter the overall profitability.

calving season and increase uniformity of calves. Estrus synchronization protocols, particularly those which include a progestin, may induce cyclicity in non-cyclic females. These mentioned advantages to utilize ES have enhanced its use in beef operations and is usually used in conjunction with AI. One such improvement that is underutilized by beef producers is the use of fixedtime artificial insemination (FTAI). Fixed-time artificial insemination is frequently overlooked because many beef cattle producers feel like they need to know how to artificially inseminate cows. However, the technology has improved changed and now cattle producers can inseminate all of their cows or heifers on a single day at the same time. The development of FTAI has allowed producers to improve the genetic traits of

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their cattle and shorten the lengths of both the breeding season and subsequent calving season, which can lead to increased overall profitability of cow-calf production systems. The success of FTAI programs can be affected by several factors, including postpartum anestrus, days postpartum, parity, and body condition score (BCS). Postpartum anestrus is a major contributor to infertility in cattle. The resumption of the estrous cycle earlier in the postpartum period increases the number of estrous cycles and the chances for a cow to become pregnant during the breeding season. Reducing the postpartum interval may be accomplished by managing pre and postpartum nutrition, BCS, disease through an active herd health program, and suckling continued on page 19

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you should expect from an

interaction between cow and calf. The effects of days postpartum and parity on FTAI pregnancy rates in suckled beef cows have been previously shown, with improved fertility in multiparous cows even when days postpartum amounted to more than 50. Body condition score during the peripartum period also affects fertility. It has been shown that a single unit increase in BCS, especially from poor BCS to adequate BCS, resulted in a 23 percentage point increase in the proportion of cows pregnant to a TAI. In addition, cows calving in poor BCS experience longer intervals to the first postpartum estrus compared to cows calving in moderate to good BCS.

AI program, it is important to understand a few definitions that are frequently used when talking about the success of a program, but often misinterpreted. These definitions are: 1) Synchronization rate: defined as the percentage of females detected in heat compared to the number of females synchronized. 2) Conception rate: defined as the percentage of females pregnant compared to the number of females detected in heat.

What should I expect from my AI program?

3) Pregnancy rate: defined as the percentage of females pregnant compared to the total number of females synchronized.

Before discussing what

For example, if a produc-

er synchronizes 100 females and detects 75 females in heat and inseminates those 75 cows, and ends up with 50 pregnancies. The synchronization rate would be 75% (75 females in heat compared to 100 total females synchronized), the conception rate would be 67% (50 females pregnant compared to 75 females inseminated), and the pregnancy rate would be 50% (50 females pregnant compared to 100 females synchronized).

19

nate and potentially become pregnant to AI. Conception rate is somewhat meaningless to the success of an AI program, but frequently used by producers when sharing how successful they were. The primary issue with conception rate is that you do not take into account females that were synchronized and that were not detected in heat. Therefore, pregnancy rate is a far better assessment of the success of their AI program than conception rate. However, keep in mind that Determining how successgenerally pregnancy rates ful your synchronization and will be lower than concepAI program is will help you tion rates unless a fixed-time identify the pitfalls and corAI program is used or every rect them, you can’t adminisfemale is detected in heat. ter what you don’t measure. Essentially, synchronization Selecting an ES and FTAI rate is important if you use protocol an estrus synchronization There are many protocols system that requires heat from which to choose. Many detection. The more females of these protocols work; you detect in heat will result in more females to insemicontinued on page 20

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-

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-

12.9

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EPD

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0.0

53.9

81.9

12.0

38.9

0.5

1.2

0.42

0.18

-0.02

144.49

37.51

Percentile

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40

1

1

15

1

100

5

20

15

85

1

5

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-

-

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39.3

63.3

9.6

29.2

2.7

1.0

0.22

0.22

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5

5

45

10

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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

Figure 1. A timeline for the PG 5-day CO-Synch+CIDR protocol that was specifically developed for cattle that are Bos indicus or Bos indicus composite breeds. continued from page 19 however, as indicated previously the success of the protocol likely relies more heavily on the management and fertility of the herd rather than the specific protocol selected. Therefore, the most simple protocols recommended are below for cows and heifers. Beefmaster producers should note that the PG 5-day CO-Synch+CIDR (Figure 1) is a protocol that was specifically developed for cattle that are Bos indicus or Bos indicus composite breeds. This protocol has yielded pregnancy rates of 5 to 10% greater pregnancy rates compared to other synchronization protocols test

Figure 2. Pregnancy rates among 8 herds synchronized with the same fixed-time AI protocol. Filled bars represent herds that had been previously exposed to estrus synchronization and AI for at least eight years.

Fixed-time AI will help reduce the time and labor associated with the AI system and all females can be inseminated on the same day. Producers who synchronize and AI for the first time should not expect to obtain similar pregnancy rates to producers If I implement an AI pro- who have implemented an gram what pregnancy rates AI program for one or more should I expect? years. Frequently, synchronization and AI is oversold In most cases, using a and first-time users have FTAI program will yield unrealistic expectations of greater pregnancy rates what they should expect for than heat detection systems pregnancy rates. From our because every female will experience, we know that the have a chance to become advantages of implementpregnant. Producers should ing a synchronization and consider FTAI as an option, AI program go further than especially if time and labor simply obtaining good pregare potential pitfalls to imnancy rates. plementing an AI program. ed. In addition, this protocol has the potential to be used in both cows and heifers; therefore, Beefmaster breeders have options when considering artificial insemination in their operations using TAI.

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In a recent study performed at multiple locations using the same estrus synchronization system the pregnancy rates ranged from 44.4% to 65.8% (Figure 2). After evaluating each of these operations for multiple factors (such as age, body condition score, days postpartum, etc.) that may have affected pregnancy rates, the primary factor that appeared to have the largest impact on success was whether the herd had been previously exposed to estrus synchronization and AI or not. The three herds that had previously been exposed to estrus synchronization and AI for eight or more years continued on page 22

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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

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continued from page 20

in Marianna, Fla., we must provide the resources from 120 to 70 days and introduced the utilization for the genetic potential of almost all cows calve prior had pregnancy rates of 56.9% of multiple technologies on the calves and each calf she to initiation of the breeding to 65.8%, whereas those the subsequent value of the produces must be genetically season and are exposed to a herds that had not previouscalf crop. This case study capable of performing; 5) single TAI at the initiation ly been exposed to estrus was conducted during the every cow must maintain of the breeding season. The synchronization and AI had spring 2008 to spring 2013 body condition score without net result is a more compact pregnancy rates ranging from breeding seasons, in a cow/ requiring supplemental calving season that has 44.4% to 50.4%. Therefore, calf operation obtaining pregnancy rates Table 1. Breeding season characteristics and change in calf value by consisting of 300 that may be deemed good incorporating a TAI program into the NFREC Beef herd cows. Prior to the or acceptable may require a Year 2008 the breeding long-term commitment rathItem 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 season the herd er than expecting excellent Overall PR, % exposed to a 120 81 86 84 86 82 94 92 93 results from the start. day breeding Mean calving daya 79.2 80.9 59.2 56.2 53.7 47.2 39.5 38.7 season. The goal Long-term impacts of imwas to reduce the plementing an ES and AI Breeding season 120 120 110 88 80 75 70 72 breeding season to length, d program 70 days within 4 Difference from Frequently when years. To do this, 2006/2007 0 0 21.7 24.7 27.2 33.7 41.4 42.2 introducing an estrus it was decided, synchronization and AI Per calf increase in in 2008, that all valueb, US$ 0 0 $87 $99 $109 $135 $166 $169 program the focus is on females in the pregnancy rates to AI, but operation would Per herd increase in 0 0 $26 $30 $33 $40 $50 $51 the impacts are far greater valuec, US$1,000 be exposed to the a that simply focusing on Mean calving day from initiation of the calving season following criteria: b Increase calf value based on increased weaning weight compared to pregnancy rates. In fact, the 1) replacement 2006/2007 mean calving day with 500 lb calf valued at US$2.00/lb primary focus should be heifer must become c Increase calf value based on 300 head cow herd. on the changes to calving pregnant during the distribution, economic first 25 days of the breeding feeding; and 6) any cow with increased the value of calves impacts, and other positive season; 2) every cow will be an undesirable temperament (in current US dollars) by indicators of fertility. exposed to ES and TAI; 3) or disposition was culled. $169 per calf or an annual a cow must produce a live As a result of incorporating increase in calf value for In a long-term study at calf every year and calve multiple reproductive the 300 head operation of the University of Florida without assistance or she management practices, the $50,700 per year (Table 1). North Florida Research and was culled; 4) every cow breeding season was reduced Education Center located continued on page 23

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continued from page 22 To ‘get started right’ producers should consider all of the benefits of estrus synchronization and AI rather than simply focusing on pregnancy rates to AI. A long-term commitment means that there may be breeding seasons that pregnancy rates are less than what might be expected, but committing to such a program will yield significant benefits. For the herd in the above example, pregnancy rates to AI have ranged from 39% to 56% during the five years that cows have been exposed to AI. If we had changed course when pregnancy rates were low we may have lost the more important metrics that affect the productivity of our operation, such as overall breeding season pregnancy rates, breeding season length, and increased calf value. Keys to simplifying and having success in an AI program – take home messages: • Well-managed (nutrition, herd health, and animal handling) herds tend to have greater success • Ensure cattle are on an increasing plane of

23

nutrition • Allow an AI expert assist in bulls and ES protocol selection • Be sure facilities are suitable for restraining cattle for injections, inserting vaginal inserts, and performing AI • Commit the time to focus on the AI project

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• Keep things simple by using a system with only three yardings • Utilize FTAI. Herds with success with heat detection are the same herds that have success with FTAI. • Use an experienced artificial insemination technician\Consider using semen from bulls with high accuracy for specific traits of interest • Stick to a program for several years, success comes with time

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Improving Efficiency of Feed Utilization in Beef Cattle By Dr. Gordon Carstens, Texas A&M University Introduction

in the form of premiums and discounts for specified Since about two-thirds carcass weight, and yield of the cost of producing and quality grade targets. beef is due to the expense As a result, producers of feed inputs, strategies became more aware of the that improve efficiency huge variation that exists of feed utilization will in carcass quality and substantially increase the carcass weight within beef economic viability of beef cattle populations, and production systems. In fact, how breeding programs it has been estimated that and management practices the U.S. beef industry could impact the revenue side of save $1 billion annually by the beef profit equation. reducing residual feed intake There is less awareness of (RFI) by 10%. Furthermore, the magnitude of animalas improvements in feed to-animal variation in efficiency will also reduce feed efficiency, and how nutrient excretions and GHG differences in feed efficiency emissions, discovery and impact the cost side of adoption of technologies to beef profitability, which enhance genetic merit for is not surprising due to feed efficiency is arguably the difficulty and cost of one of the most cost-effective collecting feed intake data on strategies available to meet individual animals. future demands for animal To illustrate the impact protein in a sustainable of between-animal manner. variation in feed efficiency The introduction on profitability of feedlot of carcass value-based cattle, data are presented marketing programs in the below from a research 1990’s created market signals trial involving 84 Brangus

steers. The steers used in this trial were all sourced from the Circle X Land and Cattle Company that were managed in a similar manner from conception to harvest. At weaning, the steers were shipped to the TAMU research center, and placed in pens equipped with electronic feed bunks (GrowSafe System) to measure feed intake while fed a typical high-grain feedlot diet. Daily feed intake data and serial body weights were measured, and feed efficiency calculated as Feed:Gain ratio (F:G) and as residual feed intake (RFI), which is calculated as actual dry matter intake (DMI) minus expected DMI based on each animal’s ADG midtest body weight (BW). At the end of the trial, steers were slaughtered, and carcass data collected to determine yield and quality grades. Profit for each individual steer was calculated as carcass income (hot carcass

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weight x grid-based carcass value) minus costs of (i) feeder calf, (ii) feed, (iii) yardage, (iv) processing and transportation and (v) interest costs of feed and feeder calf. Background on residual feed intake Feed efficiency has typically been measured in beef cattle using Feed:Gain ratio, which is a gross measure of efficiency that does not attempt to differentiate between feed needed to support maintenance and growth energy requirements. While previous studies have shown that F:G ratio is moderately heritable, F:G is strongly correlated with growth rate in an inverse manner—faster growing cattle will have a lower and more favorable F:G ratio. Consequently, F:G ratio has limited utility in selection programs as favorable continued on page 27

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continued from page 25 selection for F:G will lead to increases in cow mature size and consequently increases in the cost of feed needed to support the cow herd. Residual feed intake (RFI) is an alternative feed efficiency trait that measures between-animal variation in feed intake beyond that needed to support maintenance and growth energy requirements. RFI is calculated as the difference between an animal’s actual DMI and its expected DMI based on its ADG and BW. Feedefficient animals are those that eat less feed then expected based on their size and level of production and so will have a negative RFI. Unlike F:G ratio, which is highly influenced by growth

and maturity patterns, RFI is minimally related to the animal’s body size or level of production. This illustrated in the accompanying scatter graph where RFI is plotted against ADG for all 84 steers used in the trial. Numerous studies have documented that RFI is moderately heritable in beef cattle. To further illustrate how RFI is derived, the results of two steers (#256 and #5) with divergent RFI were

similar. However, steer #256 actually consumed less DMI (20.8 vs 24.3 lb per day) during the trial then steer #5, and so RFI was negative for steer #256 (20.8 – 22.3 = -1.5 lb/day), and positive for steer #5 (24.3 – 22.0 = +2.3 lb/d). Thus, steer #256 was more efficient as it consumed 1.5 lb per day less feed than expected, while steer #5 was less efficient because it consumed 2.3 lb per day more feed than expected.

compared. Because these 2 steers had similar initial BW and ADG during the trial, their expected DMI (22.3 vs 22.0 lb per day) were also

Even though carcass income was slightly lower for steer #256 ($2,147) compared to steer #5 ($2,180), profit was

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higher for steer #256 ($312) then for steer #5 ($234) due to its lower DMI. Trial results Despite the fact that all 84 steers were from the same ranch and were managed in a similar manner, there was considerable between-animal variation in profitability. Profit per head averaged $243 (Trial conducted in 2014), and ranged from -$16 to $494. To illustrate the impact of differences in RFI on profitability, steers were ranked by RFI and the most efficient steers (average RFI = -1.71 lb per day) compared with the least efficient steers (average RFI = 2.03 lb per day). As shown in the table, BW at the start of the trial and ADG were not affected by RFI classification. Likewise, continued on page 28

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The Beefmaster Pay Weight

continued from page 27

associated with carcass fatness in a positive manner (low RFI animals tend to be leaner), the low RFI steers in this trial had significantly lower YG and lower QG compared to steers with high RFI. However, no difference in carcass income

The influence of RFI on carcass quality was also hot carcass weights were evaluated by measuring the similar for steers with low shear force of loin steaks. All and high RFI. However, steers produced carcasses the steers with low RFI that were rated as either consumed 16% less feed and “very tender” or “tender”, and had an 18% lower F:G ratio RFI classification was not compared to steers with high associated with tenderness. RFI. These results Table. Performance, carcass and profitability traits for Brangus steers (n = 84) with illustrate divergent phenotypes for residual feed intake (RFI) that RFI is Low RFI High RFI High vs Low minimally Item (Efficient) (Inefficient) RFI, % associated with Performance traits: Initial body weight, lb 619 622 Similar carcass quality ADG, lb/day 3.35 3.33 Similar traits in beef Dry matter intake, lb/day 19.4 23.1* 19% cattle. Feed:Gain ratio 5.91 7.19* 22% Residual feed intake, lb/day -1.7 2.0* 3.7 lb/day Carcass traits: Hot carcass weight, lb 866 892 Similar Yield grade 3.5 4.6* 29% Quality grade Low Choice Avg Choice* -Shear force, lb 5.4 4.7 -Profit traits: Feed cost, $/hd 637 800* +$163 per hd Carcass income, $/hd 2078 2094 +$16 per hd Net revenue, $/hd 302 155* -$147 per hd *Difference between low- and high-RFI steers was significantly different (P < 0.05).

In support of previous research findings that have shown RFI to be weakly

(hot carcass weight x carcass grid price) due to RFI classification was detected.

Compared to steers with high RFI, feed costs during the entire trial were 20% less for steers with low RFI. As carcass income was not different between steers with divergent RFI, the low-RFI steers generated

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on average $147 more profit than the steers with high RFI. Finally, it is important to point out that differences in profit among steers were impacted by variation in performance and carcass quality as well as variation in feed efficiency. This is illustrated in the figure that plots each steer’s RFI against its ADG according to how they ranked by profit or net revenue—the most profitable steers are denoted by blue diamonds, with the least profitable steers denoted by green triangles. The horizontal line in this figure represents the average RFI for the trial (0.0 lb per day), while the vertical line represents the average daily gain for the trial. The steers that made the most profit (blue diamonds) were those that had either above average gains (right half of the figure), continued on page 31

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PRODUCTION SALE OCTOBER 6, 2018 10:30 AM Luling Foundation 523 S. Mulberry, Luling, TX 78648

Selling Bulls, 3N1s, Bred & Open Heifers, Semen and Embryos

THESE BULLS SELL!

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Catalogs by request only!

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Friday, October 5 Cattle available for viewing all day 6-8 p.m. – Social hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres Saturday, October 6 8 a.m. – Continental breakfast 8 a.m. – Cattle available for viewing 10:30 a.m. – Heart of the Herd Production Sale Appreciation lunch served following sale

Lawrence, Lauren & George Lyssy (210) 414-2119 • llyssy11@yahoo.com

www.LyssyBeefmasters.com Guest Consignor: G4 Ranch Burnell & Laura Gates, Owner Kris Fore, Ranch Manager (830) 220-0579 • kdfore@gmail.com 14449 E. FM 140 • Bigfoot, TX 78005

RCCM

Sale Manager: Robbins Cattle Marketing Bruce Robbins (210) 861-5136 Mobile robbinscattle@att.net

Sale Consultant: Three G Sales & Service Mike Green (979) 229-6563 threeg1990@yahoo.com

Sale Consultant & Auctioneer: Anthony Mihalski (210) 415-0888 aj1mihalski@aol.com

Sale Consultant: Runnels Marketing Vance Runnels (210) 862-8967 vfrunnels@yahoo.com

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itor Center 3,000 sq ft Vis plete 12/15/17 Projected Com

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and demonstrate the value of selecting terminal sires above average RFI (lower half of the figure), or both These results demonstrate that have above-average genetic potential for growth, (Lower-right quadrant of the that between-animal feed efficiency and carcass figure). Conversely, those variation in performance, quality to favorably improve steers that generated the least feed efficiency and carcassprofitability of market profit (green triangles) had quality all contribute to either below average gains, profitability of feedlot steers, progeny.

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below average RFI or both (Upper-left quadrant).

Dr. Gordon Carstens

Professor, Animal Nutrition Texas A&M University

Rose Creek Cattle Casa, Arkansas www.rosecreekcattle.com Pam Moore 501-662-4763

Offering Beefmaster Cattle - registered bulls, purebred heifers, purebred cows, E6 commercial females and first cross heifers Selling Progeny from our 5 Registered Black Beefmaster Herd Sires Bulls: 1 horned, 1 scurred and the rest are polled along with 1 Beefmaster/Angus Balancer Beefmaster cows are a mix of dun, red and black - with a commercial herd of Angus and Charolais The good news….We sell year round!

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BEEFMASTER Pay Weight The Beefmaster Pay Weight

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the

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a publication dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen and produced by Beefmaster Breeders United FALL 2018

Vol. 4, No. 2

Section 3

www.beefmasters.org

Cowboys, Cattle and the Colorado River By Jeralyn Novak, Beefmaster Breeders United Modern day Lonesome Dove happens twice a year, just outside the quiet fishing town of Matagorda, Texas. Can you picture it? It is a sight straight out of the Old West, but with a 21st century spin; iPhones in the shirt pockets belonging to sweaty cowboys and motorboats assisting swimming calves. Even with modern technology, this century-old tradition still takes place for the Huebner Brothers Cattle Company of Bay City, Texas. For over 100 years, this ranch has been driving its cattle from their winter pastures located on the 30-mile Matagorda peninsula, which runs from the mouth of the Colorado River in Matagorda to the Port O’Connor ship channel, to their summer pastures located at the Huebner headquarters south of Bay City. The ranch runs approximately 700 cows, primarily Beefmaster and

Beefmaster influenced cows that are bred to registered Beefmaster bulls. Keith Meyer, a member of the Huebner family and an operator at Huebner Bros., says “the main thing we appreciate about the

Beefmaster breed is their hardiness, their fertility, and their ability to grow. It works in our program because of where we are located and the kind of country we are putting them on.”

While on the peninsula during the winter, the cows graze on salt grass and thrive in the harsh coastal climate. Meyer says that their Beefmaster cows really hold up well in the harsh country continued on page 35

3B BEEFMASTERS Alice, Texas Bill Botard

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e g A & e c Sour if ied Ve r

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continued from page 33 found on the peninsula, they thrive during the winter despite only grazing on salt grass, dealing with flies and the humid climate. “We bring the cows down here in early to midNovember, depending on the weather and growing conditions at home. They do very well during the winter and that allows us to rest our pastures at home. They [the cows] do know when it’s time to come home. When you start getting into spring, with warmer days, the flies get a little tougher on them,” says Meyer. Not only does the heat and flies encourage the cows to go home, but the cowboys have to make sure to get the cows moved before the storm and hurricane season rolls in during the summer. So each year, around Easter, a dozen or so cowboys round up the cattle on the island and gather them in a holding pen. From there the smallest calves are loaded into a trailer so they can ride a barge across the Colorado River, which lies between their winter home and summer home. Then the cows and bigger calves are driven down the island to where the mouth of the Colorado River meets the Gulf of Mexico. To finish their journey, the cows and big calves must swim across the river, which is 200 yards across and 15 feet deep. According to Meyer, “every swim is a little bit different”. For example, this year 53 head of older, lead cows voluntarily swam across the river a few weeks early, so it took a little more pushing from the cowboys and horses to get the swim started. However, once the front cows made the plunge, the whole group followed suit and the swim was completed with no cows or calves being

lost. To ensure that the calves make it across safely, there are two or three boats in the water watching the calves closely and assisting those that are too tired or

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with their moms at the holding pens. This drive is still considered the oldest cattle drive in Texas, but recently lost the title of longest cattle drive in Texas. Until a few years ago, the cattle were driven by horseback all the way to the pastures in Bay City. However, with the construction of a nearby bridge, it became too dangerous for the cattle and the community. swimming in the wrong So now after the cattle direction. This year about five swim across the river, they calves were pulled from the are held in pens overnight water onto the boats, they so that cows and calves can completed their journey in pair up, then they are loaded luxury and were reunited continued on page 36


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continued from page 35 into trailers the next day to complete the journey to Bay City.

This same process is completed in reverse order around Thanksgiving each year. And if you are wondering, this cattle swim can be viewed by the public. Groups of people gather at the Matagorda Bay Nature Park, which is managed by Lower Colorado River Authority, to watch this scene out of an old western

movie. So if you’re in the area of the Matagorda Bay peninsula around Easter or Thanksgiving, make sure to bring your camera and enjoy this century-old tradition. Now keep in mind, driving cattle is not the sole purpose at the Huebner Brothers ranch, it is only a piece of the puzzle. The ultimate goal of any ranch

is to make money and grow superior cattle. Huebner Brothers is no different. Their goals are to produce heavy weight yearling steers and

Brahman influence back into their cattle and the Beefmaster breed has been beneficial in allowing them to accomplish that. This is a ranch rich with history and tradition, and Beefmaster cattle is their breed of choice.

Whether your cattle operation is just starting superior replacement females or you have been and the Beefmaster breed has running cows for allowed them to accomplish decades, Beefmaster both goals: weight and cattle will produce maternal traits. you extremely “Most of the weaning fertile, functional weights on these Beefmaster and docile females influenced calves are going that the beef to be between 650 and 700 industry needs to pounds in the fall. We will rebuild America’s wean a lot of these calves cow herds. While and hold on to them and also producing profitable and efficient feeder calves that deliver results in today’s volatile marketplace. Adding Beefmasters to your program will offer proven maternal traits, proven efficiency and proven ship them as yearlings in the heterosis. Just spring. We try to get them ask the Huebner up to 750 to 800 pounds as Brothers Cattle yearlings,” says Meyer. Company. In the past the ranch has used Charolais and Gelbvieh bulls on their cows, but the move over to Beefmaster bulls has been significant in improving the ranch’s ability to replace with their own heifers. According to Meyer, they wanted to get the

Jeralyn Novak

Communications Coordinator

Beefmaster Breeders United

www.beefmasters.org

Mark & Leesa Blau PO Box 906 Menard, TX 76859 blauranch@gmail.com 325-656-2222

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October 20, 2018 Brenham, Texas

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Millennials and the Cattle Industry By Brittni Bates

Born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, the Millennial generation is a unique class and probably one IN of the most researched.ADE ric2A 1 M e 19 e Young adults ranging mnc A si from 18 to 34 years old, Millennials now exceed the number of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1961) and make up a majority of the workforce today. There has been spirited debate about the positive and negative characteristics regarding the Millennial generation, also known as Generation Y.

AmMAD si e E I N nc r e 1 ic 92 A 1

and needing to be coddled. However, Millennials have also been described in positive ways. They tend to be more open-minded, confident, self-expressive, upbeat and receptive to new ideas. But, it is difficult to make generalizations about 23.3 percent of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population. There will always be the exceptions to the rule.

In the workforce, it seems Millennials have been perceived as having negative qualities such as being lazy, self-entitled, seeking constant praise,

When given the opportunity, Millennials

have been early adopters of new technology and made tremendous strides in innovation and entrepreneurship. While resources diminish and the demand for food increases as the population grows, there are examples of Millennials in the cattle industry who are stepping up to the daunting challenge even when the odds are stacked against them.

Carson Drennan, owner and operator of Drennan Cattle Co. in Chilton, Texas, works together with his wife, Bailey, on their unique feeder cattle and cow/calf operation. When buying and selling 2,500 calves on average per quarter, they heavily rely on real time market prices and frequently accessing futures to study trends in the market. continued on page 38

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mechanics of his operation are efficient and sustainable. When comparing his With the nature of his Millennial generation to the operation, Carson focuses Generation X (born from immensely on his cattle’s 1962 to the early 1980s), ability to most efficiently Carson said the biggest convert feed into pounds as difference is the amount of well as cattle health. Average information and resources he daily gain and dry matter has access to. conversion rates are two data “Whether it’s finding points that play a huge factor out information about into his bottom line. research trials on the latest “We have to rely more vaccination protocols, on technology and other nutrition, equipment, grazing means because resources methods, crops, futures or such as land and water are marketing cattle, you can being depleted. I am always find an immense amount calculating how I can do of information right at your more with less. That’s why I fingertips,” Carson said. “As need calves to push the limits soon as they open, I see what when it comes to efficiency. markets are doing at any The better they convert feed given moment which allows into pounds, the less money me to form a marketing plan it takes to feed them and the right then and there and fewer resources they take make better, more informed from the land.” decisions about when and how to sell my calves.” Chance Muehlstein, also a Millennial, grew With a bachelor’s degree up showing cattle and in Mechanical Engineering, hogs in 4-H and worked Carson uses his engineering summers and weekends knowledge to ensure the on his grandparent’s beef

Arrowhead Ranch Siddons Beefmasters Ranch Located in Tilden, Texas

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cattle operation near Moulton, Texas. He, along with his cousins, drove the discussions that lead to changes in how his grandparents managed their operation. “As my family started showing steers and heifers, we started raising our own club calves from calves we selected from our grandparent’s herd,” Muehlstein said. “Together, we developed a breeding season and began implementing artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer (ET) to improve genetics more quickly and get more desirable matings.” Fifteen years later, Muehlstein is now working on his master’s degree in Ranch Management at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management at Texas A&M University in Kingsville. After obtaining his B.S. in Animal Science at Texas A&M University,

BM

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Muehlstein managed the beef center which supports the animal science department teaching, research and extension activities. With the use of electronic identification (EID), Muehlstein was more efficiently able to manage the 150-head beef center. While working cattle at the chute, one swipe of a wand to read an electronic ear tag can collect several data points and track the entire life cycle of an animal. In addition to recording weight, EIDs can also be used to track health, nutrition and origin. The data collected from EIDs can easily be transferred to a computer and used in conjunction with management software like Cattlemax to more easily manage cattle on an individual basis. “With this kind of technology, it is going to become more valuable as continued on page 39

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and moving forward.

verification of origin and traceability become bigger issues,” Muehlstein said. “It also allows us to make a more wholesome product as well as enables us to be more efficient with our land and forage resources.”

“Using ultrasound data and advanced technologies, we are able to move our benchmarks faster as opposed to feeding cattle out and waiting to see how they grade on the rail before we have any carcass data to compare,” Lauren said.

Lauren Lyssy, a third generation seedstock producer and also a Millennial, said a progressive mindset is what most drastically differentiates Millennials from previous generations. Lauren, with his wife Alyssa, alongside Lauren’s dad and uncle, manage Lyssy Beefmasters in Stockdale, Texas. Lyssy Beefmasters dates back to the early 1970s when Lauren’s grandfather bought Beefmaster bulls to put on his commercial cowherd. By 1972, the entire operation was purebred registered Beefmasters. “We work diligently and intentionally to improve our product not just to meet today’s market demands, but to exceed expectations to ensure our livelihood is sustained,” Lauren said. “The way we do that is by relying on data collection and thinking ahead.” Lauren has a B.S. in Animal Science from Texas State University and a M.S. degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on Reproductive Physiology from Tarleton State University. He explained by the time a calf is grown and goes into production, they are already three years behind what the market was demanding at the time that calf was bred. With the help of genomic testing, high accuracy expected progeny differences (EPDs), and ultrasound data, Lauren begins thinking three to five years ahead, always staying focused on being progressive

But Lauren said it is more than just the available technology that sets Millennials apart.

information about. The list could go on. Along with all that information comes misinformation. Animal rights activists and others wanting to damage cattle producers’ way of life are also able to access incorrect information and use it to their advantage. Millennials have been more outspoken and expressive than previous generations not only because they have the avenues to do so, but because their futures, their children’s futures, and the future of the beef cattle industry depend on it.

“Technology has changed the mindsets of Millennials, too, not just the way we use technology,” Lauren said. “I definitely think because Young cattlemen and Millennials are more openMillennials across the minded, we are more willing industry have utilized to try new things. We more easily trust the evidence and the data and can more accurately predict outcomes, whereas previous generations relied more on the actual product produced to finally see the results of their mating choices and management decisions.”

technology, tested new ideas, and put their progressive mindsets to work to carry on the daunting task of providing a food source for a growing population. It is not an easy calling for any generation. But if there is one thing we all have in common, it is the love and passion we all share for this industry.

Brittni Bates Freelance Writer

Hargis Ranch

While Millennials may have more information and technology available, they also face different challenges. “I think Millennials have a tougher time bridging that gap between previous generations because we move at a faster pace, and sometimes we have to think out of the box to find some middle ground,” Lauren said. Societal pressures are also much different. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have connected millions of people ranging from teens, now called Generation Z, to Baby Boomers. Demographic and social circles are enlarged, and anyone can find out what someone else thought about the newest John Deere tractor, or baler, or feed additive, or what calves sold for anywhere in the world, or anything else they wanted

THREE GENERATIONS OF QUALITY BREEDING Bulls available at Private Treaty or at the following sales: Texoma Beefmaster Sale

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October 20, 2018

Heifers also available at Private Treaty

Chris and Jessica Hargis 5710 E. 2030 Road Waurika, Oklahoma 73573 (580) 313-1356

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Using Bermudagrass Pastures to Meet Cow Nutrient Requirements By Robert Wells, Noble Research Institute Winter supplementation for a cow can account for anywhere between 40 and 60 percent of the annual cost of maintaining the cow. Therefore, producers should plan their winter supplementation strategies during the growing season to allow for more options and to reduce winter feed costs when utilizing bermudagrass pastures.

is a dominant, introduced forage type in the Southern Great Plains and along the Gulf Coast. This grass species is an excellent warm-season perennial grass that stands up to grazing pressure and responds well to fertility and moisture. Cows can meet their nutrient requirements on

bermudagrass during the growing season and with stockpiled forage in the fall, if calving timing is correct. Graphs 1 and 2 demonstrate the relationship of grass quality and the cow’s nutrient requirements to time of year, for crude protein (CP) and total digestible nutrients (TDN) of the forage, respectively.

In general, it is preferred to time the beginning of the calving season about one month prior to the start of the growing season. In doing so, the producer can time the cow’s highest nutrient requirements when forage is at its best quality and sufficient quantity. This allows the cow to meet her continued on page 41

It is important to remember that a bermudagrass grazing system will be dependent on hay feeding once stockpiled forages have been depleted. Bermudagrass

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condition. If a producer anticipates an extended time nutritional demand solely period of high temperatures from the pasture with no or decreased moisture that additional supplementation would be sufficient enough required. Additionally, in a to affect the forage quality, controlled 60-day calving he or she could feed a small season, all cows will be done amount (less than 0.5 pound) calving before pasture quality of a high protein supplement diminishes to the point to the cow during the where the cow cannot meet summer months. This would her nutrient requirements stimulate forage intake and while in peak lactation. Peak allow the cow to meet her lactation occurs about 60 requirements. days post-calving, which coincides with the highest It is important nutritional demand of the to remember that a cow’s physiological year. bermudagrass grazing system will be dependent on hay During the hottest feeding once stockpiled part of the summer, when forages have been depleted bermudagrass may go into a during the winter months. summer dormancy, the grass In most areas, hay feeding quality may taper off to a will start around December point that it may not meet the and continue until greencow’s requirements for either up next spring, around CP or TDN (Graphs 1 and April. Careful consideration 2). However, the cow may be should be given to the hay selective enough to continue quality that is either baled to meet her requirement or on the farm or bought. It she may slightly slip in body

is easy to have hay that can satisfy the cow’s nutritional requirements while also supplying supplemental forage. If high-enough hay quality, both in terms of CP and TDN, can be fed freechoice, then additional feed supplementation would not be necessary. Typically, highquality hay can be purchased at a lower price than any purchased feed on a ton basis. Table 1 lists the amount of the nutrients in pounds rather than percent deficient

each month during the typical winter feeding months. Many producers only think in terms of percent of a nutrient required for the cow. However, the correct method is to consider the actual amount supplied by the pasture and the cow’s requirements. The cow and rumen microbes need a set quantity of each nutrient, not a percentage. Nutrient quality or percentage is only necessary to determine the amount that the cow continued on page 42

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consumes.

is getting from the pasture and how much is needed in the supplement, if any. Which feed is the right one to use will depend on the supplement cost on a quantity-per-day basis after a calculation has been made to determine the correct amount for each potential supplement.

Ultimately, a producer should have a diversity of forage types on the ranch to allow for season-long grazing. Utilization of native grasses as a standing hay crop during the winter can eliminate the cost of hay, but the producer may still have to supplement additional protein to the cow. However, for those producers who are

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Table 2 lists three example feeds that are commonly available for producers and the amount that would be fed on a daily basis (top value in each cell) to meet cow requirements. The value in parenthesis in each cell is the cost on a daily basis for that feed. The last line of Table 2 is the cost of feeding each feed for the winter feeding period assuming the following costs for each feed: Byproduct feed ($192.50 per ton, 38 percent Cubes ($403 per ton) and 20 percent cubes ($220 per ton). Not always is the cheapest feed on a price per ton basis the best feed to use. This demonstrates that a producer should determine the correct amount of feed necessary to meet a cow’s requirements then calculate the cost of each feed. Additional consideration should be given to special handling and trough requirements of each feed type. Byproduct feeds will have about a 10 percent greater amount of waste than cubes when fed on the ground, which needs to be accounted for so the cow is not shorted on the feed amount she actually

locked into a bermudagrassonly grazing system, care should be exercised to reduce winter feeding costs.

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Guidelines for Culling Cows By Dan Childs, Noble Research Institute For most cattle producers, culling cows is not an easy task. However, some culling needs to be done each year to maintain optimal productivity. Records on each cow’s yearly production would be beneficial when making culling decisions, but collecting some information when the cows are processed can give you a good place to start. Cattlemen should make it a point to evaluate all breeding females at least once a year. Weaning is likely the most convenient time to do this evaluation. In addition to their vaccinations, cows should also be pregnancy-tested, evaluated for structural soundness and aged based on the condition of their

teeth. This information will take a little extra time to collect, but will be valuable when determining a culling order. In addition, this culling order will be useful during a drought as it is usually more profitable to cull unproductive cows as a drought is beginning than to try to hold on until the drought is over. Usually, the best cows to cull are the ones that have the least chance of being productive in the long term or are the farthest away from being productive. Use the following list as a guideline for establishing your culling order. Cull cows in this order until you reach the desired herd size.

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1. Disposition. Some producers can tolerate more disposition problems than others. Disposition should be evaluated both in the pasture and in the pen because some cattle will react differently once corralled. Make a note of those animals that make it difficult to gather the herd or rotate pastures. Any animal that is aggressive should make the list. 2. Open females. All open females should be culled. According to the Kansas Farm Management Association enterprise summary report of some 90 beef cow herds in 2016, the annual variable costs to keep a cow was near $700. It will be very difficult for an open

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cow to make up for a year of lost production. In addition, if a heifer does not settle in the same period as her contemporaries, she is telling you that she does not fit your management environment. 3. Structural soundness. Evaluate the structural soundness of each cow based on her ability to raise a calf. Anything that limits her ability should be noted. Look for bad feet or toes, a history of prolapse, eye problems and poor udder conformation, including bad quarters and big teats. 4. Age. Typically, a cow is most productive between the ages of 4 and 9. The condition of a cow’s teeth is indicative of continued on page 45

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Fall 2018 - Summer 2019 Sale Calendar September 15, 2018 - J&T Farms and San Gabriel Beefmasters Production Sale, Rockdale, TX September 15, 2018 - Arkansas Beefmaster Breeders Fall Classic Graded Sale, Damascus, AR September 29, 2018 - Flint Hills Classic Sale, Paxico, KS October 06, 2018 - Lyssy Beefmasters “Heart of the Herd” Production Sale, Luling, TX October 06, 2018 - Isa Beefmasters, LLC’s 57th Beefmaster Bull Sale, San Angelo, TX October 13, 2018 - South Texas BBA Buccaneer Classic, Robstown, TX October 13, 2018 - OHOA Fall Round Up Sale, Locust Grove, OK October 20, 2018 - Carr & Others Fall Sale, Floresville, TX October 20, 2018 - Beef on Forage Beefmaster Bull Sale, Brenham, TX October 27, 2018 - President’s Council Sale, Franklin, TN November 03, 2018 - Louisiana Cowboy Classic, Lake Charles, LA November 03, 2018 - Red River Performance Bull Sale, Bonham, TX November 10, 2018 - 2nd Fall Harvest Production Sale, Savannah, TN November 10, 2018 - Stephen F. Austin Purple Premium Sale, Crockett, TX November 17, 2018 - Collier Farms Performance Bull Sale, Brenham, TX February 09, 2019 - San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo Beefmaster SUBASTA, San Antonio, TX February 23, 2019 - Beefmaster Border Classic, McAllen, TX March 09, 2019 - Houston Futurity and Classic Sale at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Houston, TX March 16, 2019 - Texoma Beefmaster Sale, McAlester, OK March 16, 2019 - Live Oak BBA Spring Sale, Three Rivers, TX March 23, 2019 - Emmons Ranch 3rd Annual Bull Sale, Groesbeck, TX April 06, 2019 - Rose Capital Classic Sale - Louisiana State Fair Grounds, Shreveport, LA April 13, 2019 - Collier Farms Advantage Sale, Giddings, TX April 20, 2019 - East Texas/Louisiana BMG Sale, Crockett, TX April 28, 2019 - National E6 Commercial Female Sale, Columbus, TX May 04, 2019 - Southern Alliance BMG Sale, Cullman, AL May 18, 2019 - Swinging B Ranch Beefmaster Production Sale @ Tenroc Ranch, Salado, TX June 01, 2019 - Emmons Ranch Production Sale, Fairfield, TX June 08, 2019 - Chastain Farms Dispersal Sale, Fayetteville, AR June 22, 2019 - Clark Jones & Cottage Farms Southern Tradition XVIIII Production Sale, Savannah, TN *sale catalogs posted online a few weeks before sale date at www.beefmasters.org/purebred/calendar.php*

KREGER RANCH Beefmasters Since 1977

SUPPLYING CATTLEMEN WITH: Hardy, Performance, Range Bulls Fertile, Heavy Milking, Efficient Females Beefmaster/Angus Commercial Replacements

Contact us for you r range bull and replacement fem ale needs . KRE G E R R A N C H

Joe Kreger - 405.657.7091 20515 W. Oakland Ave., Tonkawa, OK 74653 kreger.ranch@gmail.com • www.kregerranch.com


The Beefmaster Pay Weight

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continued from page 43 her age. A cow with broken or missing teeth should probably be culled. Those with badly worn or separated teeth would be next on the list.

7. Phenotype. Use this as an opportunity to make your herd more uniform. Any cow that does not fit due to breed, size or low productivity should be culled next.

At this point, it becomes 8. Bred cows 3 to 9 years increasingly difficult to make of age. culling decisions because you These are your most will have to cull productive productive cows. If you must animals. cull out of this group, 3-year5. Bred cows older than olds and those cows that are 9 years of age. 8 to 9 years old would go first. These cows will likely be culled in the near future The decision about which and are close to the end of animals to cull can be their most productive years. difficult. Each operation will Within this group, cull the have different goals and, thin cows first. therefore, may need to adjust accordingly. Use this list as 6. Replacement heifers. a guideline for developing a First, cull yearling heifers culling order for your herd. that have not been exposed For more assistance, to a bull. These animals have contact the Noble Research very good value as feeder Institute or your local county heifers. Bred heifers would be extension agent. next in the culling order.

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BEEFMASTER CAPS & CUPS FOR SALE! We have several different styles of caps for sale. $20 per cap plus shipping. Call Jeralyn at 210-732-3132 to order with a credit card over the phone.

Dan Childs Senior Agricultural Economics Consultant Noble Research Institute

Or email jnovak@beefmasters.org 30 Oz Stainless Steel Tumbler cups for $30 each plus shipping

beefmasters.org

D E K O O R C Y Butch & Mary Ann Casey CASE Harahan, LA C R BA 504.908.7788 gspbutch@bellsouth.net FARM CBC DU KE Semen Av

L2 CAPTAIN SUGAR (12/02)

ailable

CF SUGAR BEAR (933) OASIS (655) MULTIPLE SIRE CASEY CROOKED BAR C 81-8 A.W. SIBLEY 405

2015 Reserve Champion Bull

Southeastern Beefmaster Breeders Association National Beefmaster Bull Championship

BW

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TM

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0.2

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.23

.24

.23

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0.4

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0.04

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.15

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JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 1, 2019

#Catt lecon19 www.NCBA.org


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Advertisersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Index Breeder Advertisers Alabama Arrow T Beefmasters...............................................................................22 D&D Beefmasters.....................................................................................22

Tennessee J&T Farms..................................................................................................31 Ty Agee Beefmasters.................................................................................20

Arizona Western States Beefmaster Breeders.......................................................23

Texas Arrowhead Ranch.....................................................................................38 Beef on Forage Performance Bull Sale.....................................................32 Blau Beefmasters.......................................................................................36 Buckner Polled Beefmasters.....................................................................22 Buena Suerte Ranch..................................................................................10 Collier Farms.......................................................................................8 & 9 Colvin Beefmasters...................................................................................11 Flying B Ranches......................................................................................25 Genesis Beefmasters.................................................................................13 Golden Meadows Ranch............................................................................3 Isa Cattle Co. Beefmasters.......................................................................17 Lyssy Beefmasters.....................................................................................29 Red River Performance Bull Sale.............................................................21 San Gabriel Beefmasters...........................................................................22 Swinging B Ranch.......................................................................................5 Triple B Beefmasters.................................................................................33 V7 Beefmasters / Anderson 7C Ranch.....................................................12 Wittenburg Beefmasters.............................................................................4

Arkansas Double L....................................................................................................23 Hood Beefmasters......................................................................................6 Heritage Cattle Company.........................................................................10 Rose Creek Cattle......................................................................................31 California Walking M Cattle Co................................................................................38 Western States Beefmaster Breeders.......................................................23 Colorado Western States Beefmaster Breeders.......................................................23 Idaho Western States Beefmaster Breeders.......................................................23 Kansas Flint Hills Classic Sale ..............................................................Back Cover Kentucky Channarock Farm.....................................................................................27 Louisiana Casey Crooked Bar C................................................................................45 McKenzie Beefmasters.............................................................................19 McManus Beefmasters.............................................................................26 Louisiana BBA Cowboy Classic Sale..........................................................6 Southern Louisiana Beefmasters.............................................................40 Missouri Berachiah Beefmasters.............................................................................10 Cedar Springs Beefmasters.......................................................................43 Headings Beefmasters..............................................................................10 Mountain View Ranch..............................................................................22 Wallen Prairie Ranch................................................................................22 Mississippi Cain Cattle Co...........................................................................................16 Windy Hills.................................................................................................7 Nevada Western States Beefmaster Breeders.......................................................23 Oklahoma Dance Creek Beefmasters.........................................................................10 Hargis Ranch.............................................................................................39 Hood Beefmasters.......................................................................................6 Kreger Ranch.............................................................................................44 OHOA Fall Roundup Sale.........................................................................15 Oklahoma Beefmasters............................................................................38

Utah Western States Beefmaster Breeders.......................................................23

Industry Advertisers Bush Hog....................................................................................................18 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show..............................46 Elgin Breeding Service.............................................................................30 John Deere.................................................................................................14 Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association.................................................41 Mix 30.........................................................................................................35 Ragland Mills.............................................................................................28 Ritchie.......................................................................................................37 Safety Zone................................................................................................42 Superior Livestock Auction......................................................................34 Tallgrass Commodities.............................................................................10 The Cattleman Magazine..........................................................................24

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