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a publication dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen and produced by Beefmaster Breeders United SPRING 2020

Vol. 6, No. 1

Section 1


Leveraging “Good” Genetics in Commercial Heifer Selection By Jamie T. Courter, Ph.D., Neogen Genomics Genetic testing in the calving ease, and milk. seedstock industry has These things have had become a well-established a large influence on the practice. Experience has seedstock industry, leading shown the addition of to faster genetic gain. genomic information (DNA) Gratefully, these effects to an existing pedigreetrickle down into the based evaluation has several commercial industry as impacts: well, especially as cattlemen 1) It increases the accurecognize the importance of racy of the expected genomic testing and begin to progeny difference require it in the bulls they are (EPD) providing more purchasing. But, here is the confidence in a bull’s conundrum – if seedstock performance. and commercial cattlemen 2) It decreases the gener- invest in the technology for ation interval. Progeny their sires and believe in equivalents illustrate the benefit it brings their that by testing an anoperation, why leave the imal, you know as other half of the mating to much about their gechance? netic potential as if Commercial producers they had already sired up to 30 calves, deplace a large investment pending on the trait. in seedstock bulls, with the intention of improving 3) It allows for more acthe genetics of their herd curate evaluation of traits that are hard to by selecting superior measure, or are meareplacement females sured later in life like from superior matings. carcass traits, maternal

Unfortunately, biology is not their friend in this instance. Due to random sampling of chromosomes from a bull or cow, closely related cattle have shown significant variation in genetic potential for a trait. Some data have shown that a single bull sired calves that ranged from the top 1% to the bottom 91% of the breed for calving ease maternal, with other half siblings falling in between. How does someone determine which heifers inherited the “good” genes they paid for, and those who did not? Easy, test them. There are genetic testing products for almost any kind of commercial cattleman. More importantly, in August of 2019 Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) released their own commercial product – Igenity Beefmaster. Unlike traditional genetic evaluations, these estimates of genetic merit, termed a

molecular breeding value (MBV), are based solely on the DNA of the animal. Without knowing any performance or pedigree information these tools identify the genetic potential of animals, helping select the best replacement heifers in a calf crop. So, how would a producer incorporate this information? 1) Use it as a tool to gauge the genetic potential of replacement females. These products offer a prediction for many important traits such as birth weight and tenderness - things that cannot be determined by just looking at an animal. However, this is still a tool, not a final decision. Physical assessment of the animal is necessary. If she has bad feet and leg structure then she will not last long in the herd, continued on page 4

Top 5 Reproductive Failures in Beef Operations (and how to avoid them) By Ryon Walker, Ph.D., Noble Research Institute Achieving high pregnancy rates is an important goal in every cow-calf operation. After every breeding season, we are either satisfied with the results or wondering why our pregnancy rates were so low and focusing on ways to improve them. Traditional thinking trains us to be satisfied with our results when we have met the industry average, or are as good as, if not better than,

our neighbor’s pregnancy rates. Nontraditional thinking should redirect our focus more on the causes of some of these failures and on correcting or minimizing the problem. Reproductive failures can occur in any cow-calf operation and account for a significant chunk of the financial loss incurred from a poor calf crop. Let’s take a look at the top 5 reproductive

failures that I believe are often seen in a cow-calf operation, beginning with No. 5. 5) Leaving the Bulls in Too Long I can already tell that some of you are shaking your head “yes” in agreement with this statement. This is not scientific but rather common sense. continued on page 5


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Letter From The Editor By Collin Osbourn Spring has sprung across much of cow country. Abundant new life is everywhere, reminding us of how bountiful God’s creation truly is. Many cattlemen are in the midst of calving season, which will quickly turn into breeding season. Consequently, sourcing bulls and replacement females are probably on your mind. In this spring 2020 edition of The Beefmaster Pay Weight you will find many topnotch quality sources of high performing Beefmaster genetics. Adding Beefmaster genetics to your breeding program will be the fastest

way to improve profits and reduce costs for any ranching business.

selected for marbling.

Beefmasters are your link to maternal excellence. The Beef producers are searching “just right” blend of Bos for maternal genetics that indicus genes in Beefmasters will anchor their herds lead to the optimum blend moving forward. Beefmasters of hardiness, maternal are uniquely qualified to worth, raw performance bridge the gap between and more efficiency than maternal excellence and eye any other breed. Simply put, opening performance. Beefmaster bulls are the ultimate heterosis delivery The headlong rush toward system. Include Beefmasters carcass traits our industry in a terminal crossbreeding has been on for the past system and watch your decade has created the bottom line grow. greatest supply of high quality beef in history, but Below you will find a list of at what cost? We are now articles that are in this issue. seeing an erosion of maternal They are full of information traits. Longevity, fertility, about cattle production temperament and the ability basics and even the more to thrive in the harshest complicated issues of DNA. production environments There is even an article to have been overlooked as teach you more about the the industry has single trait Beefmaster breed history.


The advertisers in The Beefmaster Pay Weight are totally dedicated to producing functional, adaptable genetics. Please contact these breeders and Beefmaster Breeders United to learn more about our cattle or to locate bulls and females in your area. Enjoy. If you have any questions or comments please contact me at cosbourn@beefmasters.org or 210-732-3132. Enjoy!

Collin Osbourn

Executive Vice President Editor, The Beefmaster Pay Weight

Articles In This Issue... Page 1: Leveraging Good Genetics In Commercial Heifer Selection - by Jamie T. Courter, Neogen Genomics Page 1: Top 5 Reproductive Failures in Beef Operations (and how to avoid them) - by Ryon Walker, Noble Research Institute Page 9: Q&A with Brian Fieser, Beef Field Nutritionist - by Brian Fieser, ADM Nutrition Page 11: How Grid Pricing Works - by Dusty Pendergrass, Beefmaster Breeders United Page 17: Navigating Disruptions to the Cattle Cycle - by Vermeer Corporation Page 21: Why I’m ‘Freaking Out’ Over Fake Meat - by Greg Henderson, Drovers Page 25: 7 Steps to Creating a Successful Ranch Management Plan - by Hugh Aljoe, Noble Research Institute Page 29: CattleFax Outlook: Strong demand, leverage shift adds optimism for year ahead - by National Cattlemen’s Beef Assoc. Page 31: Value Added Programs, Record Keeping & Simplifying Herd Management - by Emily Horton, Extra Dimension Marketing Page 37: Beefmaster Boost: Weaning Weights Rocket with Dose of Heterosis - by Victoria G. Myers, DTN/Progressive Farmer Page 39: Use the Numbers (CORRECTLY) this Bull Sale Season - by Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Page 40: Better Performance Through Genetic Selection - by Brittni Bates, Freelance Page 44: History of the Beefmaster Breed - Source: The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising by Laurence M. Lasater

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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: Hugh Aljoe, Brittni Bates, Dr. Jamie T. Courter, Dr. Brian G. Fieser, Greg Henderson, Emily Horton, Laurence M. Lasater, Victoria G. Myers, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Collin Osbourn, Dusty Pendergrass, Dr. Matt Spangler, Vermeer Corporation, Dr. Ryon Walker 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 Brandi Feller: Member Service Data Entry Donna Henderson: Office Manager Jeralyn Novak: Communications Coordinator Dusty Pendergrass: Eastern Field Representative

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. © 2020 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.


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continued from page 1 regardless of her DNA. 2) Identify what traits in a breeding goal are not ideal. A producer may be surprised to find that traits they believed to be adequate within their herd may need more immediate attention. Maybe their birth weight MBVs are too high, or if considering the end customer, their carcass

quality traits are low. Regardless, it helps the producer have traits in mind to look for in next year’s bull selection. 3) Verify parentage in multi-sire pastures. Most of these products come with complimentary parentage analysis. This can help determine which bulls sire the most calves and which are not earning


their keep. It can also help determine which bulls may be causing calving problems or siring the best heifers. Overall, cattlemen do an excellent job of making selection decisions for the betterment of their operation. However, why not take advantage of yet another tool available to help determine which heifers inherit the genetics they pay for?

Jamie T. Courter, Ph.D. Beef Product Manager Neogen Genomics

SIMON CREEK BEEFMASTERS est. 1982 Your S. Central Oklahoma Source for Foundation Beefmasters

Bulls & Females For Sale Private Treaty & at Red River Performance Bull Sale

Contact: Finley Morgan 580-668-2523 Overbrook, OK



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program is invaluable. It The longer we leave the bulls helps prevent certain diseases such as blackleg, pink eye, in with the cows, the more likely we are to shift some of and respiratory diseases, as well as some diseases the herd to calve later in the season. This ultimately causes that can cause reproductive some of the cows to fall out of failure at different stages of pregnancy. Infection by the herd because they come these pathogens (viruses, up open. We have trained bacteria, and protozoa) some of those animals can significantly reduce that it is OK to go through your calving rate through several attempts to get bred. abortions and stillbirths. Sometimes when those Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) animals are stressed prior virus can cause abortion if to or during the breeding the cow is infected in the first season, it makes it that three months of gestation much easier for that animal and is transmitted through to fall out of the breeding horizontal transmission season. There are also other (animal to animal) or pitfalls to leaving your vertical transmission (dam bulls in too long, including to fetus). Infectious bovine lack of uniformity in your rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus weaning date, weaning can cause abortion from weight and marketing of four months of gestation calves. Although fertility to term and is transmitted is lowly heritable, we can horizontally through select for fertility within direct contact or airborne. your management through Brucellosis (Bang’s disease) a shorter breeding season. “Defined” is the key word in is a bacterial disease that causes abortion at any a defined calving season. stage of pregnancy and is transmitted through direct 4) Infectious Causes of contact of milk or via the Reproductive Failure aborted fetus, afterbirth or A good herd health other reproductive tract

properly control internal and external parasites.

continued from page 1

discharges. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that causes abortion within one to three months after infection and is transmitted directly between animals or indirectly through the environment. Vibriosis is a bacterial venereal disease that causes abortion between four and seven months of gestation and is transmitted to the bull from breeding infected cows and then passing the bacteria back to naïve cows during the breeding season. Neosporosis is a protozoal disease that causes abortions during midgestation and is transmitted by other host such as canines. Trichomoniasis is a protozoal disease that causes abortion during the first three months of gestation and is transmitted to the bull from breeding infected cows and then passing the protozoa back to naïve cows during the breeding season. In order to reduce the incidence of infectious disease in your herd, maintain proper nutrition (including a good mineral program), minimize stress, maintain a good vaccination program, and

3) Poor Nutrition Most people would say that nutrition is the most important factor contributing to poor fertility, and I agree to an extent. Cows need to be in good body condition at calving to speed up uterine involution (recovery process) and reduce the days to first estrus. If a cow starts off in a low body condition at calving, the increase in nutrient demands during and after calving can delay a cow’s ability to recover from calving sooner and begin cycling again. Good management practices allow a producer to increase nutrient availability during the last month of gestation, depending on the nutritional status of the cow at that time, to ensure those cows are maintained at a body condition score of 5 to 6 at calving. Cattle that calve in a poor body condition can still conceive during a longer breeding season; continued on page 7


continued from page 5 however, those cattle will typically conceive later on in the breeding season, eventually falling out of the herd because she was open. 2) Forgetting the Bull Bull management is overlooked most of the time and often comes second to cow management when it should be the other way around. Fertility issues with one cow only affect one calf. Fertility issues with one bull could affect up to 30 calves, or lack thereof. Breeding soundness exams are a cheap investment when compared to the alternative with a sub-fertile bull. A study conducted at Kansas State showed that pregnancy rates dropped more than 6% in cows serviced by bulls that did not have a breeding soundness exam conducted compared to bulls that passed a breeding soundness exam prior to the breeding season. Statistics show that 1 out of 5 bulls are sub-fertile across a random population. We are sometimes guilty of not paying attention to the bulls when they have their work clothes on, meaning when they are out with the

cows. Problems with the bull during the breeding season are often not detected until after the breeding season or pregnancy diagnosis at weaning, and then it’s too late. It is always a good practice to monitor each bull’s behavior throughout the breeding season and to make sure he is breeding cows. There are multiple reasons why a bull may not be servicing cows, such as lameness, disease, other mature bulls, or a lack of libido. Libido is a measurable trait and measures how aggressive a bull is at servicing a cow, regardless of any management or environmental factors that may get in his way. While we spend a lot of time on managing our cows, we need to spend more time managing and observing our bulls and how they perform during the breeding season. 1) Uncontrolled Infertility Probably the biggest contributor to reproductive failure is one we cannot control, and that is embryonic mortality during early pregnancy. Up until recent years, early detection of pregnancy was limited due to method of detection

(ultrasonography and blood test vs. rectal palpation alone). In addition, survival rates early on during pregnancy were difficult to diagnose until recent findings. Recent work has reported that early embryonic survival in beef cattle at seven days after breeding is approximately 95%. That means almost all cattle conceive and have a live embryo within the first seven days of gestation. By day 28, embryonic survival has dropped to approximately 70%. There is a 25% loss in embryo survival from day 7 to day 28 of gestation. By day 42, embryonic survival is approximately 62%. Why there is such a drop in embryonic survival is still not understood. Is it management, environment or genetic? These five contributors to reproductive failure should be evaluated every year. With this in mind, identifying what contributed to a failure is the first step to improving the results of an outcome. Once we accept that, we can react on that and reduce or eliminate the failure.

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Ryon Walker, Ph.D. Livestock Consultant Noble Research Institute



Hood’s Hidden Hollow Tom & Deidra Hood Tahlequah, OK 918.456.1199 918.316.6710 hhh89@lrec.org




**High Quality Semen $75/straw**


Diamond Hollow Dr. Wes & Carlinda Hood Siloam Springs, AR 479.228.8264 479.228.0977 hooddvm@gmail.com


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Q&A with Brian Fieser, Beef Field Nutritionist By Brian G. Fieser, Ph.D., ADM Nutrition What are the advantages of working with a nutritionist? Working with a nutritionist gives you an opportunity to work with a specialist: someone who does this job day in and day out. A nutritionist knows the right questions to ask to ensure your operation has what it needs to succeed. The industry is trending towards feedlots and large ranch operations to work with nutritionists. These customers understand the value these experts will provide in improving performance and managing resources on their operation. What is the difference between a private and company nutritionist? Sometimes there is a perception that nutritionists who work for a feed company may not be as objective as a private nutritionist. The nutritionist’s job is to work for the customer whether they are privately or company employed. In fact, nutritionists who are affiliated with feed companies often have access to resources that private consultants do not. For example, at ADM we have a large research farm and a team of R&D experts that we work closely with to test feed and ensure we are providing our customers with the best formulation for their operation. The advantage of a larger feed company such as ADM is the ability to perform application research that has been mostly eliminated from university program and funding. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that you work with someone who makes an effort to build a relationship with you and gets to know you and your needs.

Will a nutritionist want to physically visit the operation? I don’t always have an opportunity to visit every operation, but I prefer to. When you visit an operation, you get a chance to see the equipment, the facilities and the cattle. For example, we don’t want to recommend an ingredient or program that the owners aren’t able to store or manage properly. But being able to see the operation is not only important for understanding the physical layout, it also helps you build a relationship with the

owner. There is no substitute for developing that relationship and really understanding the owner’s goals and expectations.

kind of ingredients do they have on hand) and what their expectations are (desired spend and desired outcome). My job is to take that information and come up with a What information will a nu- nutritional plan that aligns tritionist want from me? resource inputs with desired Every operation is difperformance for our customferent. My job is to figure ers. out the requirements for the level of production, what the Do nutritionists specialize forage base is and what the in different types of operaexpectations are for produc- tions? tion. In order to do that, it’s Absolutely. There is a important for the owner to difference in how you apknow what their resources proach the nutritional plan are (what kind of storage depending on the operation. system do they have, what continued on page 10


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How should a nutritionist and vet work together? Most nutritionists work in Communication between feedyards. Others specialize your vet and your nutritionist in cow/calf and stocker operis key to preventing problems ations. from occurring. Nutrition and health are very closely What should I expect from tied. Health of the cattle will my nutritionist? be enhanced by providing A nutritionist should prothe nutrients they require. vide a clear plan to enhance Likewise, implementing prothe utilization of your availactive health and vaccination able feed resources to meet programs with improve cattle cattle performance goals. performance. Including both This may include rations, your vet and nutritionist in mixing sheets, supplement an operational management program, forage management plan will delivered dividends. plan, and more. That being said, your nuWhat are some challenges tritionist is only as good as that you typically see when the information he or she you visit producers? is given. Your nutritionist When you are engrossed should also know to be flexin your own operation you ible and ask the appropriate may not see the subtle changquestions so that they have a es that take place in your good understanding of your herd over time. However, the resources and expectations. reality is we’re not producing A nutritionist’s top priority the same animals today that is to do what’s right for their we were five, or ten years ago. customer and find the most Today’s cattle have differaffordable way to meet their ent needs and stressors, and goals without cutting any often, would benefit from a corners. different feeding program. Be open to that change and don’t let old habits get in the way. continued from page 9

What if we are limited on feedstuffs other than mediocre grass and hay, and what if we don’t have access to options like DDGs and other supplemental feeds? I’ve seen this a lot in the last month and have done quite a few rations using ADM supplements and soybean meal and cracked corn from the operator’s co-op. Cows do a phenomenal job of utilizing feedstuffs so there was only a subtle cost difference. Listen to your neighbors and know what’s available locally to you. Many are putting out cover crops and forage crops so this fall and winter there should be a lot of forages and feedstuffs available. Work with a nutritionist to get those ingredients tested and learn how the animal can best utilize it. How does stress impact breedback or other performance factors? Cattle are programed to perform – to eat and to grow – so the goal of owners and caretakers is to help alleviate any stressors


that might hinder that performance. We have come a long way in understanding how nutrition programs may help mitigate stress symptoms. For example, making a change to a nutrition program by adding supplements in the winter, or finding more ways to keep cattle cool in the summer. Nutritional management plays a fundamental role in coping strategies for any stress event. Understanding the nutritional hierarchy (the prioritization of nutrients needed by the animal) is the first step in utilizing nutrition as a proactive strategy to lessen the negative impact of stress.

Brian G. Fieser, Ph.D. Field Beef Nutritionist ADM Nutrition

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How Grid Pricing Works By Dusty Pendergrass, Beefmaster Breeders United Pounds matter. They always have, and they always will, the big difference is the value of every pound we produce. In the last decade, we as an industry have increased our quality grades from Select to Choice by 10%. That is an amazing number and a difference maker for the producers we know and love. The overwhelming majority of live cattle are now marketed on the grid. This is a formula used by packing companies to pay owners for the value of the entire carcass, rather that live weight alone. This article is a simple overview of gridbased marketing and some of the price determining factors. Quality grade is one factor that we LOVE to talk about as an industry. This is a benchmark that

most place on the highest priority, and for good reason. USDA Choice is the starting point for your premium or discount based on marbling score. As an example, on Tuesday May 28, 2019 if your carcasses reached select, you suffered a discount of $13.59/ cwt. (USDA AMS). On an 800 lb. carcass, you suffer a staggering $108.72 discount per head. Whereas, if the same dressed Beefmaster steer hit the choice mark (without other discounts) he was worth about $185.87/ cwt. This Choice carcass works to a value of around $1,486.96

whereas the select carcass is only worth about $1,378.24. While there are several other factors involved, quality grade is certainly of great importance. For this reason, you may commonly hear producers speaking of “the spread�, meaning the difference in value of a Choice carcass over a Select carcass. Figure 1 demonstrates how the Choice/Select spread can affect carcass value. FIGURE 1

Another major factor in grid pricing is your Yield Grade. This is the estimate of the retail yield of the four primal cuts, you may also hear it called cutability. While many can get a good idea of how an animal can yield, there is much more that goes into its calculation. The formula for this calculation includes adjustments for External Fat, KPH (Kidney, Pelvic, and Heart Fat), Ribeye Area, continued on page 14


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and a $4/cwt premium for a is where your pounds come different live weights they yield grade 2. For the average from, everything else we have will certainly bring separate and Hot Carcass Weight. 800 lb. carcass this could covered helps determine the base values. Each is weighted in the either earn you $32/head or value of each pound of HCW. Figure 3 demonstrates the following formula: 2.5 + (2.5 devastate you by $80/head. effect of Dressing Percent on X Adjusted Fat Thickness FIGURE 3 Dressing inFigure Inches) + (0.2 X %KPH) 1 Demonstrates how the Choice/Select Spread can affect carcass value.Steer A Beefmaster Steer B Beefmaster Steer C Beefmaster Percentage + (0.0038 X Hot Carcass Another Major factor in grid yield grade. This is1350 the is pricing a price is yourLive Weight (lbs) 1350 1350 Yield) - (0.32 X Ribeye estimate of the retail yield of the four primal cuts, you may also hear it called determinate HCW (lbs) 850.5 864 857.25 Area in Square Inches). As often cutability. While many can getthat a good idea of Dress how an animal can yield, there % 63% 64% 63.5% an example, let’s utilize the gets over is much more that goes into its calculation. The formula for this calculation Assumed ( $12.55 ) $12.54 0.0 following information: looked. includes adjustments for External Fat, KPH (Kidney, Pelvic, and Heart Fat), Premium/Discount Figure 2 illustrates the This may be Ribeye Area, and Hot Carcass Weight. Each is($/head) weighted in the following calculation of Yield Grade because there formula: 2.5 does + (2.5this X Adjusted Inches) + (0.2 X %KPH) (YG). So how affect Fat Thickness in 185.87 + 185.87 185.87 typically isn’t Carcass ($/cwt) your bankXaccount? (0.0038 Hot Carcass Yield) -a(0.32 X RibeyeCarcass Area in($/head) Square Inches). As an 1,580.82 1,605.91 1,593.37 premium example, let’s utilize the following information: associated FIGURE 2 carcass Here you can see that there is quite a difference in thevalue. base price of each see does that Rib Fat = 0.5 in carcass. While the numbers are completely arbitrary,Here the you tablecan above there is quite a difference KPH = 3% illustrate a decisive impact on your income. in the base price of each HCW = 800 lb. So far, we have covered Quality Grade, Yield Grade, and Dressing carcass. While the numbers REA = 13.5 Percentage. Now, lets tie the three main ends together to have a arbitrary, more are completely the 2.5 + (2.5 X 0.5) + (0.2 X 3) + (0.0038 X 800) – (0.32 X 13.5) = 3.07 YG table above does illustrate continued from page 11

Category Premium/Discount ($/cwt)on your a decisive impact Well, for one of our nation’s Figure 2 Illustrates the calculation Grade. withof it,Yield however, it certainly income. Quality Grade Let’s say that your average largest beef companies, affects your Hot Carcass dressing percentage is at So how does this affect your bank account? Well, for one of our nation’s Prime + $10.56 So far, we have covered where YG 3 is the base, When 63.5%, if you compare two Quality Grade, Yield Grade, largest beef companies, where Weight YG 3 is (HCW). the base, there is currently a $10/cwt Choice 0.00 there is currently a $10/cwt on the grid this Beefmaster animals with discountonona ayield yieldgrade grade4 4 andmarketing a $4/cwt premium Selectfor a yield grade 2. For the ( $13.59 )continued on page 15 discount average 800 lb. carcass this could either earn you $32/head or devastate you Standard ( $29.42 ) by $80/head. Yield Grade Dressing Percentage is a price determinate YG1 that often gets over looked. + $7.00 L with it, DOUBLE L 7008 - C941847 This may be because there typically isn’t a premium associated L L YG2 + $4.00 L BRED BY L BAR BEEFMASTERS however, it certainly affects your Hot Carcass YG3 Weight or HCW. When 0.00 OWNED BY LARRY LAIRMORE & WHISKEY RIVER marketing on the grid this is where your pounds come from, everything else YG4 ( $10.00 ) CE Let’sBWT YWT MILK MWWT MCE we have covered helps determine the value of YG5 each pound of HCW. say WWT ( $20.00 EPD 2.1 0.1 46.0 73.0 ) 9.0 32.0 1.3 that your average dressing percentage is at 63.5%, if you compare two animals %Rank 80 35 3 3 55 5 95 Carcass Weight SC REA IMF FAT $T $M with different live weights they will certainly bring separate base values. Carcass Weight < 575 lb 0.63 ( $15.00 ) 124.90 EPD 0.9 -0.19 -0.033 28.33 Carcass Weight lb 10 ) 2 %Rank >1,100 10 95 ( $30.00 40 4


sons & grandsons of DOUBLE L & KID ROCK also selling 5 Bred Heifers & 5 Open Heifers


EPD %Rank EPD %Rank

CE 3.8 35 SC 1.4 2

BWT 0.1 35 REA 0.28 40

WWT 39.3 10 IMF -0.16 90

YWT 63.7 10 FAT -0.049 3

MILK 11.3 20 $T 109.65 10

MWWT 31.0 10 $M 28.34 4

MCE 2.3 75


1350 1350 1350 HCW (lbs) 850.5 864 857.25 Dress % 63% 64% 63.5% www.beefmasters.org Assumed ( $12.55 ) $12.54 0.0 Live Weight (lbs)

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Premium/Discount continued from page 14

cwt. This cost the producer to the marketing $103.95/head. Beefmaster tools used by the 185.87 185.87 steer C dressed out the commercial sector 1,605.91 1,593.37 of the beef industry. ends together to have a more highest, which added 13.5 pounds of carcass weight, but Feel free to contact comprehensive view Grid Here you can see that of there is quite a difference in the base price of each was over finished at a Yield us with any Pricing. carcass. While the numbers are completely arbitrary, the table above does Grade 4. Because of this, he questions you may Figure 4 illustrates illustrate a decisive impactthe on your income. lost the final price advantage have on fed cattle premiums So far, we and have discounts covered Quality Grade, Yield Grade, and Dressing by $61.31/head. As seen in marketing. associated withlets three major Percentage. Now, tie the three main ends together to have a more Figure 5, the grid price paid FIGURE 4 ($/head) and Dressing Carcass ($/cwt) Percentage. 185.87 Now, lets tie the three main Carcass ($/head) 1,580.82

Category Quality Grade Prime Choice Select Standard Yield Grade YG1 YG2 YG3 YG4 YG5 Carcass Weight Carcass Weight < 575 lb Carcass Weight >1,100 lb

Premium/Discount ($/cwt) + $10.56 0.00 ( $13.59 ) ( $29.42 ) + $7.00 + $4.00 0.00 ( $10.00 ) ( $20.00 )

Dusty Pendergrass Field Representative Beefmaster Breeders United

( $15.00 ) ( $30.00 )

FIGURE 5 BM Steer A Live Weight 1350 Carcass Weight 850.5 Dress % 63% Quality Grade CH Yield Grade 3 Base Price 185.87 Premium/Discount $0.00 ($/cwt) Carcass Value $185.87 ($/cwt) Carcass Value $1580.82 ($/head)

BM Steer B 1350 857.25 63.5% SE 3 185.87 ( $13.59 )

BM Steer C 1350 864 64% CH 4 185.87 ( $10.00 )





a higher amount per head for factors grid pricing.how Dressing Figure 5of Demonstrates Quality Grade and Yield Grade thePercent, desirable characteristics Figure 5 demonstrates how effect carcass value. over the slight differences in Dressing Percent,we Quality In this example have three steers that were harvested in the same Grade and Yield Gradecharacteristics effect weight. group. Steer A possesses of the average beef animal. His This may be a simplified carcass value. carcass price was left unaffected by any premium or discount. Steer B dressed version of a grid pricing example weover, havebut only outIn at this one half percent reached select grade. His carcass added model, it does illustrate three that but sufferedbut about Beefmasters seven pounds steers of product, a discount of $13.59/cwt. This theCeffects of Quality Grade, cost the producerin $103.95/head. dressed out the highest, which added were harvested the same Steer Yield Grade, andatDressing 13.5 pounds of carcass weight, over finished a Yield Grade 4. group. Beefmaster steer A but was Percentage on the carcass As seen in Because of characteristics this, he lost the final price advantage by $61.31/head. possesses value. While manyforseem Figure 5, the grid price paid a higher amount per head the desirable of the average beef animal. to emphasize characteristics overwas the slight in weight.one area of His carcass price left differences pricing overmodel, the others, This mayby be any a simplified versiongrid of a grid pricing but it does unaffected premium justYield remember thatDressing it is a Percentage illustrate the effects of Quality Grade, Grade, and or discount. Beefmaster cumulative priceone based on theBcarcass value. to emphasize areaon of grid pricing steer dressed out While at onemany seem several factors. There are half percent over, but only many resources producers reached select grade. His may use to learn more carcass added about seven about fed cattle pricing, pounds of product, but suffered a discount of $13.59/ hopefully, this is a start to a clearer understanding

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Navigating Disruptions to the Cattle Cycle By Vermeer Corporation

Follow cycle, market trends to help prevent market losses.

demand. For example, if demand is trending higher, it often takes years for producers to ramp up inventory to match it. The beef cattle marketThe cattle cycle is a priplace is large and relatively mary factor determining slow, and it takes a long the size of the U.S. cattle time to change direction based on variables like sup- herd at any given time, according to a report from ply and demand. But on U.S. Department of Agoccasion a “black swan” riculture-Economic Redisrupts normal production and marketing cycles. search Service Agricultural Economist Russell Knight. The cattle cycle that takes 8-12 years to complete is a “If prices are expected to process in which cattle in- be high, producers slowly build up their herd sizes. ventory shifts in response If prices are expected to be to adjusting demand and low, producers reduce their prices. It is slow and long herds by culling older cows because of the lifespan of and keeping fewer heifers beef cattle, as well as the to replace older cows or time it takes producers to add to their herd.” adjust herd size to match

In early 2020, the cattle cycle in the U.S. is at a turning point. Herd expansion has been underway since 2014; that trend looks to be ending this year as inventory plateaus. One of several black swan events could alter the likely trend toward a leveling off or slightly contracting herd size in the coming year. When a black swan occurs

the event and the direction of the cycle when it happens. “A black swan event is something completely unexpected. When it occurs — like a literal discovery of a black swan — it changes everything we thought possible before,” said Darin Newsom, longtime market analyst of Darin Newsom Analysis Inc. “They can be major disruptions in the industry, but these events don’t always disrupt the present cycle of expansion or contraction.” Take the wildfires in California, and the harsh winter weather and spring flooding that severely

Black swans are major events that have the potential to fundamentally change how specific variables influence the marketplace. In the cattle cycle, a black swan can cause a trend to either reverse or accelerate, depending on continued on page 18

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impact in overall numbers impacted many cattle pro- and influence the cattle cycle,” according to Okladucers in the Northern homa State University AgPlains and Midwest in 2019. Though these events ricultural Economist and beef market expert Derrell qualify as black swans in the context of general chaos Peel. “Those events were hortheory, they did not cause rible for the producers dimajor disruptions in the cattle cycle when they hap- rectly affected. But the botpened since the number of tom line is that if 50,000 or 100,000 head are affected, it animals affected was relatively low in the context of won’t impact the whole cycle on a national scale.” the entire U.S. herd. “In the grand scheme, Disruptive black swans major winter storms and Other events do inthe flooding that happened fluence the cattle cycle, last spring did not cause an though the extent usually

continued from page 17

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depends on the status of the cycle at the time of the incident. When the Tyson Fresh Meats processing facility in Holcomb, Kansas, caught fire in early August 2019, it shut down operations completely for weeks. The plant represents around 6% of the nation’s beef slaughter capacity, and though operations have mostly been restored (a full recovery is expected by early 2020), the immediate loss of that much capacity caused significant price response, according to American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Michael Nepveux. “After the fire at the Holcomb facility, both the beef and cattle markets saw significant price movements, which led to historic gross margins for those involved in the beef packing industry,” he said. “Much of this movement is right in line with what one would expect under these conditions.” See chart to the right. There was definite “market shock” with the plant closure. Though much of the price response has passed, it exposed the nation’s tightening beef processing capacity. Since the cattle cycle is gradually transitioning out of an expansion phase that’s been underway for about the last six years, a 6% setback in processing didn’t cause a reversal in the cycle. Instead, it fell in line with a transition already underway and expected to remain in early 2020. Another potential black swan is African swine fever (ASF). This highly virulent disease has decimated groups of hogs in countries around the world where it’s


prevalent, especially China, the world’s largest hog producer. ASF only affects hogs but could influence the cattle cycle if it is confirmed in U.S. hog operations given the interconnectedness of the overall protein market today. If the disease remains overseas, it could cause a return to domestic beef herd expansion, as demand for U.S. protein — pork, beef and poultry — will strengthen, especially from China, where an expected 80% of the nation’s hogs will have been lost because of the disease by early 2020. That could cause a premature upturn in the cattle cycle as producers grow inventory to match increased demand. “The ASF disease is a big deal for the beef sector because it will positively affect our exports,” Peel said. “We have record production of all meats right now and the beef industry is counting on being able to export part of its supply to backfill protein demand in other nations.” If ASF is confirmed in the U.S., pork exports could be shut off altogether, causing a general buildup of domestic protein supply that could cause a downturn in demand for all domestic protein sources, including cattle. While it seems intuitive that beef demand will increase amidst a protein shortage centering around hogs, the cattle cycle’s fundamental downturn in inventory and demand will likely accelerate. As with past instances like animal disease outbreaks, overall protein demand and therefore the cattle demand could decrease. continued on page 19

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continued from page 18

ing plans. “Don’t get crossways Looking for opportunities What does all this mean with the trend. Focus on spotting changes in trends for producers? Because and price direction over it’s next to impossible to time,” Newsom said. “Let develop a marketing plan the market dictate your acthat accounts for the next black swan event in the cat- tion and look for potential forward contracting opportle cycle, it’s important for tunities at times when the producers to stick to what they can confirm and what market’s long-term trend is a toss-up, like right now. they know. Knowing that Keep a close eye on potenthe cattle cycle is entering tial changes in trend for a leveling-off period with contraction as a likelihood marketing opportunities. in the coming year or two Reprinted with permission will help with developing from Vermeer. management and market-

Vermeer Corporation


Cattle Futures Changes Since Fire % Change in Nearby Daily Feeder Cattle Futures


% Change in Nearby Daily Live Cattle Futures




2% —2%

0% —2%




—6% —8% —8% —10%

—10% 7/9




Source: USDA AMS, LMIC, AFBF Analysis














- Russell Knight, United States Department of Agriculture sector report: www.ers.usda.gov/topics/animal-products/cattle-beef/sector-at-a-glance/ , Aug. 28, 2019 - Darin Newsom, direct conversation with author, Vermeer Corporation, Nov. 7, 2019 - Derrell Peel, direct conversation with author, Vermeer Corporation, Nov. 8, 2019 - Michael Nepveux, AFBF report on Kansas packing plant fire: https://www.fb.org/market-intel/impacts-of-the-packing-plant-fire-in-kansas, Sept. 10, 2019



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Why I’m ‘Freaking Out’ Over Fake Meat By Greg Henderson, Drovers Are you “freaking out” over fake meat? The editorial board at The Los Angeles Times thinks so. The Times published an editorial championing the rise of plant-based burger alternatives such as those from Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. The Times suggests the plant-based burgers have evolved “so far from the card-board tasting alternatives of yore that they have triggered a backlash from the beef industry.” Well, yeah, I guess cowboys are a little concerned about the rise of fake meats, especially when news organizations such as The Los Angeles Times publish blatantly biased and factually erroneous material. Much of The Times’ editorial is devoted to an attempt to

minimize the fact plantbased fake foods are highly processed. For instance, The Times notes that plant-based burgers contain some ingredients like titanium dioxide and methylcellulose that may sound scary, but, well, eating a plant-based burger is not as healthy as “a pile of raw vegetables.” As reassurance, The Times says, “the truth is that additives such as those listed …are regularly used in all sorts of packaged foods.” Yes, they are, and I’m sure we’ve all eaten our share of such ingredients. But The Times was just getting warmed up. “And if methylcellulose, a food thickener, sounds unappetizing, it’s really nothing compared with

the E. coli or salmonella poisoning you can get from regular meat. The truth is that beef and other industrial meats are often packaged with things a lot more dangerous to human health than food additives.” That’s a jab below the belt, and without any context, written only as a scare tactic in an effort to damage an industry upon which many Americans depend for a living. Here’s the context needed: E. coli and salmonella can also be found on plant foods such as lettuce and other vegetables. Indeed, plantbased burgers – or other foods for that matter – are not immune to food safety issues. Since Jan. 1, for instance, USDA and the Food and Drug Administration

have already issued eight food recalls for products such as granola, ice cream, cashews, soup, string cheese, brownies and eggs. None for meat or poultry. But, The Times says, the “bigger point” of their endorsement for fake meat is you won’t suffer “the bitter aftertaste of guilt,” and you’ll help stop climate change. Yes, you should feel guilty for being at the top of the food chain, The Times’ editors believe. “Humans also know full well that many animals live short, brutal lives in appalling conditions for the sole purpose of becoming … foods for humans to enjoy at dinner.” No. No, we don’t know that at all. Believing such nonsense ignores the most continued on page 22


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continued from page 21

Research Service (ARS) with support from the basic of animal husbandry principles – that comfortable, Beef Checkoff, researchers found that U.S. beef cattle well-fed and cared for production accounted animals are the most for 3.3% of all U.S. GHG profitable. emissions. By comparison, But the most appalling transportation and electricity statement in The Times’ generation together made up editorial was that “cows and 56% of the total in 2016 and livestock is responsible for agriculture in general 9%. about 14.5% of greenhouse Separate research at the gas emissions.” The Times University of California/ did not cite a source for Davis found that livestock the number, but 14 years account for 4.2% of all GHG ago in a publication called emissions. Professor of air “Livestock’s Long Shadow” quality Frank Mitloehner published by the Food and says that’s a far cry from Agriculture Organization the 18% to 51% range (FAO) of the United that some advocates often Nations, a similar number cite. “Comparing the 4.2% was attributed to livestock GHG contribution from production. The number is exaggerated, and the authors livestock to the 27% from the transportation sector, or 31% of the report later admitted from the energy sector in the their calculations were U.S. brings all contributions wrong. to GHG into perspective,” In a recent life cycle assessment (LCA) published Mitloehner said. In fact, Mitloehner says if by the USDA’s Agricultural

every American went vegan we would reduce our nation’s GHG emissions by only 2.6%. “That’s minimal compared to the 80% of GHG emissions caused by fossil fuel use in the U.S.” Conclusion? The editors of The Los Angeles Times, sitting in a smog-shrouded


city due to burning fossil fuels, want Americans to believe our climate problem is cattle ranching. Such flawed logic shows The Times’ editors to be utterly clueless about ranching and climate. And that is why I’m “freaking out.” Reprinted with permission from Drovers.

Greg Henderson Editorial Director Drovers



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The Beefmaster Pay Weight


BEEFMASTER Pay Weight The Beefmaster Pay Weight




a publication dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen and produced by Beefmaster Breeders United SPRING 2020

Vol. 6, No. 1

Section 2


7 Steps to Creating a Successful Ranch Management Plan By Hugh Aljoe, Noble Research Institute

Manage with Intent Intentional management is the active management of the collective components - You don’t routinely test and of an operation toward the analyze your pasture soils, yet achievement of realistic, you routinely apply fertilizer. well-defined goals. It is a I’m sure you can think holistic and forward-focused of other examples of how management approach we as producers too often in which an operational go about “running” cattle management plan is created - Your record-keeping system with little forethought and and used as a template to is a shoe box or a file folder planning. In favorable years, plan and prioritize activities in which you keep receipts we can get by easily enough, then to monitor and measure until tax time. but in unfavorable years progress toward defined - Your marketing plan is to (due to weather, markets production and economic sell the largest calves each or other issues), difficulties objectives. Management time you pen the herd, arise. These unanticipated plans need to be built to weaning the calves en route surprises can be costly and complement the resources to the sale barn. often difficult to overcome. of the operation — the Hopefully, most of us learn land, facilities, personnel - Your winter-feeding from our mistakes and and production system(s) program is to provide cubes a failures and, if we survive, being operated. Even couple of times a week to the can laugh at them in though there is always herd without knowing the hindsight. The secret is to some uncertainty within an quality of the hay or standing fail early, fail often, but fail agricultural operation, with forage on offer. cheaply — and adapt our a management plan in place, - Your stocking rate was set management so that we do a producer has a road map by what the neighbor, your not repeat our mistakes. to guide him or her toward granddad or your real estate a predetermined outcome. What is intentional management? It might be easier to describe what it is not than to describe what it is. In an attempt at “tonguein-cheek” humor, let me describe what intentional management is not. You might not be managing intentionally if …

agent suggested, and you don’t adjust it until drought forces you to.

When variations in climate or markets or other surprises occur and force a change of course, having the plan in place helps guide a producer to either continue to navigate toward the original outcome or alter the course toward a new, more realistic or attainable goal, given the circumstances. Planning Brings Clarity of Purpose For intentional management to be more than a concept, it takes forethought, planning and action. The biggest challenge for most producers is getting started. It is much too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of running a cattle ranch or agricultural operation. It is in the intentionality of developing a management plan where clarity of purpose continued on page 26


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continued from page 25 is achieved. This is where a manager establishes a vision of a desired future for the ranch, identifies the key management objectives to be accomplished, devises an action plan that addresses the critical aspects of each management component, and integrates these components into the management plan for the ranch that the entire staff will implement. The management plan for the current year becomes the template for the following year, with continual finetuning and adjustments over time while adapting to the changing industry, market conditions and climate variations that will occur. Through intentional management and use of a management plan, managers are more likely to attain their

desired goals, will experience fewer surprises, and are better prepared for the unexpected when it occurs. Then, instead of just laughing at mistakes of the past, we can laugh ourselves all the way to the bank. 1. Management Plan - First is the management plan itself, which is the compilation and integration of the other six components.

3. Stocking Rate Management - Third is the stocking rate management plan, which entails the matching of grazing livestock numbers to forage production as well as managing and adapting livestock numbers as forage production changes within and over years.


this means managing the ranch resources so there is an element of flexibility within the stocking rate for retained ownership of calves or other stocker cattle enterprises as well as timing sales with favorable cattle markets and market cycles. 6. Record-Keeping System

- The sixth component is a 4. Cattle Management good record-keeping system for ranch operations. This - Fourth is the cattle is a record-keeping system 2. Pasture Management management plan. The cattle that allows easy tracking management plan includes - Second is the pasture and monitoring of critical the breeding, nutrition, management plan, which production and economic health and husbandry aspects includes the soils, forages information. It also provides of a cattle program, which and water resources. The managers the ability to ideally complements the land management plan is literally conduct enterprise analyses, resources of the operation. grounded by the pasture prepare financial statements, management plan, which 5. Marketing Plan and develop monthly and forms the foundation annual operational reports. - Fifth is the marketing upon which the other continued on page 27 plan, which leverages the components rest. The pasture attributes of the cattle and management plan is the first management for optimum component to address in economic results. Typically, intentional management.


continued from page 26 7. Personnel Management Plan - Seventh is a personnel management plan, which allows a manager to intentionally develop the skills and knowledge of ranch staff to build competencies and enhance their value to the operation. A personnel management plan addresses

the needs of the operation, from on-boarding a new employee to rewarding valued and tenured employees. It also includes performance evaluations, goal-setting sessions, training and professional improvement.

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Hugh Aljoe Director of Producer Relations Noble Research Institute

BERACHIAH BEEFMASTERS Breeding Polled Beefmasters since 1982

Lawrence and Connie Shuey Dale and Karen Shuey

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CattleFax Outlook: Strong demand, leverage shift adds optimism for year ahead Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Beef demand is strong and with U.S. cattle numbers plateauing, prices are likely to be stronger in the year ahead as consumers at home and abroad support industry profitability. That was the message delivered on Feb. 6 during a CattleFax outlook, held as part of the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio. Weather is expected to play a supporting role for agriculture during the year ahead, according to Dr. Art Douglas, professor emeritus at Creighton University. He said that following repeated El Niño events during the past five years, the U.S. will shift to a La Niña pattern, which will shift much of the nation outside of the northwest and southeastern portions of the country toward conditions slightly warmer and drier than last year, which will be favorable for planting and growing conditions during the spring and

summer. CattleFax Vice President of Research and Risk Management Services Mike Murphy predicted that corn and soybean acres will increase during the year ahead, with corn plantings rising 4 million acres to 94 million acres and soybean acreage rising 7 million acres to reach 83 million acres. He predicted 2020 spot corn prices to trade in a range of $3.50 to $4.00 per bushel, down 15-20 cents per bushel from 2019, unless weather issues become a significant factor. He noted, however, that trade could present an upside to the projected prices, particularly in light of the recently signed U.S./China trade agreement. Trade also will play a significant role in beef and cattle markets, according to CattleFax Vice President of Industry Relations and Analyst Kevin Good, who said he expects higher total animal protein production to be

offset by strong demand and increasing exports. During the year ahead, Good said record-large U.S. beef production will reach 27.7 billion pounds. However, he projected that increases in beef exports and decreases in beef imports will result in per-capita beef supplies of 58.4 pounds, an increase of just 0.4 pounds over 2019 levels. “With strong demand for U.S. beef at home and rising demand overseas, the modest increases in supply will be more than offset by a growing consumer appetite for our product,” said Good, who projected all-fresh retail prices will rise to reach an average of $5.87 per pound during the year ahead, an increase of 5 cents per pound over 2019. “Higher wholesale beef values are a reflection of improving domestic and global beef demand,” Good noted, pointing out that CattleFax projects compos-

ite cutout prices will rise $3 during the year ahead to reach $222 per hundredweight. Growing demand and increasing beef prices at the consumer level will be supportive of cattle prices, with leverage beginning to shift away from the packing sector as more shackle space becomes available during the year ahead. Good said CattleFax projects fed steer prices to average $120 per hundredweight during 2020, an increase of $3 from the previous year. Through the year, he noted downside risk to the $108 level, with resistance at the top near the $130 level. Calf prices are also expected to move higher in the year ahead, with 550-lb. steer prices trading in a range of $155 to $180, averaging $170, up $6 per hundredweight from 2019 levels. Feeder prices will also rise, with 750-lb. steers trading from $140 to $160, continued on page 30


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continued from page 29 with a yearly average of $150, also $6 per hundredweight higher than last year’s average. Good noted that additional supplies of utility cows, the product of several years of aggressive expansion, are likely to challenge the cull cow market. “However, increased demand for lean trim and a decline in the availability of imported grass-fed trim from Australia and New Zealand will be supportive of cow prices,” he said. He projected utility cow prices should range from the low $70 level to a fall low near $55, while averaging near $65 per hundredweight for the year, an increase of $5 per hundredweight over 2019 levels. CattleFax CEO Randy Blach closed the session highlighting the strong demand that is highly favorable

to the entire industry. He noted that there is significant outside interest in U.S. protein production, which is also highly supportive and a positive sign for the future. “The days of boom and bust in our industry are behind us,” said Blach. “Thanks to strong demand at home and abroad, we’re likely to see far less volatility in the market during 2020 than we saw last year.” Blach noted that global demand for all proteins is strong, with beef being a major beneficiary of that demand. “Rising demand has meant more dollars flowing into the industry, which adds to the profitability of all segments of our business,” said Blach, who noted that although the leverage has been largely held by the packing sector, that too would begin to shift during the year ahead, with more dollars flowing back

into the live cattle segments. “That investment should begin to incentivize increases in shackle space during the years ahead,” Blach said. “In turn, as supplies begin to flatten out, packing margins have likely peaked and we’ll begin to see margins at the packing sector begin to narrow as we move through 2020.” However, Blach pointed out that although the market outlook is positive during the year ahead, the U.S. beef industry needs to be vigilant and maintain a competitive posture. “There is strong demand for our product, but that’s the result of the fact that our business has paid attention to market signals and we’ve been producing a consistent, quality product that has gained a greater piece of that retail dollar. We need to protect that,” said Blach. “Cattle must continue to be better over time. We must


pay attention to what the consumer is telling us. That means conversations about topics like traceability and sustainability only become more important as time goes on. We have to listen to the consumer and respond with action to meet their needs and demands if we’re going to continue to be successful in a hypercompetitive global protein market.”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Media News Release Denver, Colo.

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Value Added Programs, Record Keeping, and Simplifying Herd Management By Emily Horton, Extra Dimension Marketing As producers, our main focus should be doing the right thing for our animals, the beef industry and consumers. Value added programs and good record keeping practices play a significant role in both ensuring quality and simplifying your herd management. “I like that they call these programs, ‘value-added’ because that’s exactly what they are,” said Robert Conley, DVM. “The old argument from producers was, ‘Well yeah, I can do all these things to participate in a value-added program, but it’s not going to make me any money. I’ll vaccinate my calves for blackleg, and it’ll keep them alive until I get them sold.’ “That’s right, it probably will keep them alive until you get them sold. But, if you vaccinate your calves properly and have a competent immune system that can respond to challenge, you’ve not only helped the next guy, and the next guy, and the next guy

on down the production line, but you’ve ultimately helped yourself as a reliable producer and consumer of beef.” Now, value added programs aren’t just about following a certain vaccination schedule or even using certain brands of vaccines. “I’ve never seen a program require producers to use a certain brand of vaccine,” said Conley. “They’ll say ‘use a modified live respiratory vaccine.’ Which is great because there are differences in those vaccines and the type of cattle you’re dealing with. There may be two products that are both modified live respiratory vaccines, but one is going to work better for your particular situation. Which is why, it’s important to make individual selections and consult with your veterinarian.” The same goes for selecting an added value program or determining a record keeping system

for your operation. There are many different types of value-added programs for producers to participate in. Some are nationally recognized, and others are through local individual sale barns. There are also several different record keeping programs available from simply keeping a handwritten notebook to systems that run on your smart phone and communicate directly with your veterinarian. Working with experts like veterinarians, nutritionists, and livestock marketing specialists can be extremely helpful in determining the right program for you, Conley said. “If you’re going to claim these calves qualify for a certain value-added program, we need to be able to back that up, Conley said. “We need to have proof that we did due diligence; we administered the right vaccines at the right time, treated with the correct vaccines when they were sick, and then observed the proper withdrawal periods. Those

issues play into both record keeping and the veterinarianclient-patient relationship. “If I did not perform the treatment, all I can say is ‘I sold these vaccines to this person on this day.’ Which is good, but it’s not the same amount of information as if a producer takes it upon themselves to keep those records or a vaccination map. “If you keep a record where you can say, I put the blackleg here, the IBR here, and the injectable dewormer here and every calf got the same vaccination in the same place, that’s an amazing piece of information. That record goes a long way in proving we are doing everything we can do and that will add value to your cattle.” Conley said these practices are simply following Beef Quality Assurance. “It’s making sure we’re properly administering vaccines, antibiotics, dewormers, etc. and we’re following a guideline where we can jot down in a notebook, ‘I gave continued on page 33



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continued from page 31

thought you were treating, what exactly you treated these vaccines on this day it with, and the animal’s following BQA standards,’ temperature. Typically, and everyone knows what we see the barebones that means. minimum, and that’s okay. “If we have a sick calf, We can get information we’re going to treat that from that. But if you add just calf because it’s the right a little extra information, thing to do. No matter what it’s going to be a lot easier antibiotic we use, there’s for your veterinarian to going to be a withdrawal make recommendations period. There needs to be a record somewhere that says, throughout the year,” Conley said. ‘Calf No. 123 got a shot of Keeping informative XYZ on this date.’ That’s all records isn’t only important it has to be, just as simple when diagnosing and treating as a notebook you carry around in your pickup, where sickness. Accurate records play a big role in breeding/ you can go back, look, and confirm that every calf is out calving management as well. “It all starts with keeping of the withdrawal period and a record of what bulls are ready to be sold.” turned out in what pasture There are programs with what cows,” said available that operate off Michael Allen, DVM. “Even your smart-phone and relay information directly to your if it’s a group of bulls in the same pasture, from a health veterinarian, but all most standpoint, we need a record veterinarians and valueof that. added programs need are “a “We see a lot of herds get few lines in a notebook.” trichomoniasis or ‘trich’ and At a minimum, Conley that simple record helps us said he would like to see narrow down where it may the date (either the day or even the week of treatment), have come from. Knowing identification (ear tag, tattoo, what bulls are on what cows also allows us to select better or brand), and how you genetics and retain better treated the animal. animals.” “Now, ideally, I would Records on bulls should like to see each of those include annual breeding things along with, what you

soundness exams and a timeline of when they were on females, said Allen. “We need record of when bulls were turned out and picked up or if they were left out year-round,” said Allen. “There’s a lot of people who leave bulls out all year, which probably doesn’t work the best, but sometimes that’s the only option available. Those records are the most helpful when you’re trying to hunt down a problem such as a lot of open cows, abortions, or dystocia’s. “Producers must be able to identify their animals to be able to record any issues and know where potential problems may be coming from.” Both veterinarians, emphasized that keeping records as simple as a few lines in a notebook can greatly simplify your herd management while adding value to your animals. “There are a lot of issues with records, some producers get too excited and make them too complicated, others don’t keep them at all,” said Allen. “It just needs to be some simple information to help you make management decisions and if you’re participating in

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a value-added program you must have those records as verification that you followed those standards.” Allen said any complications with breeding or calving should be kept in your records as well whether or not you’re participating in a value-added program. “When you’re calving out, make note of any issues a cow has, be it calving late, aborting, a dystocia, etc. Then when you preg check, make sure to record if she bred back on time or if she was late. Those things will help you make more informed management decisions.” “When it comes to calving a lot of producers have good intentions to keep records but may lose them or don’t have them available when they really need them,” said Allen. “One thing they can do to simplify things is to tag those cattle with that basic information. “At preg checking time, we age and preg check cattle and then we’ll put a tag with their age and the approximate month they’re going to calve in their ear. That way your cows keep up with your records for you. continued on page 35


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The Beefmaster Pay Weight


continued from page 33 When you’re checking cattle, you can look at an ear tag and know what to expect,” said Allen. “At the end of the day, as producers, we’re trying to do things right,” said Conley. “Which means we’re going to try to keep records as accurately as possible because everything we do from day one effects that beef at the grocery store. Whatever we

can do to make that a better, safer product for consumers, we should be doing.”


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Beefmaster Boost: Weaning Weights Rocket with a Dose of Heterosis By Victoria G. Myers, DTN/Progressive Farmer There’s a saying that heterosis is the only free lunch a cattle producer ever gets. But, what kind of “free lunch” are we really talking about? Tennessee’s Clark Jones can put a number on it for you. He says a Beefmaster bull on an Angus herd will add 63% heterosis in one generation. What that looks like on the ground is 100 pounds more weaning weight per head. Jones’s numbers come with a lot of experience. He is a longtime seedstock breeder of Beefmaster cattle and a former member of the American Angus Association. He’s been on his family’s rolling, lush, Savannah ranch for 56 years. And, for most of that time, he’s been in the cattle business. First, Jones worked the commercial side with an Angus herd, a breed he says he still loves. But, after he used a couple of Beefmaster bulls on that cow herd, he was so impressed with the next two calf crops, he decided to shift into the Beefmaster purebred

business. That was in 1986, and his mission has remained pretty constant ever since. “I really see this as my life’s work, my passion,” Jones explains. “I like to think of being a seedstock producer like this ... we are a servant for the commercial industry. Our goal is to help them raise a more profitable animal that will, in turn, give consumers a better eating product. Our motto is ‘Quality is a Powerful Thing,’ and we believe that now more than ever.” Jones’s ranch manager, Justin Williams, is equally committed to the Beefmaster breed. He says there are several points he believes set the breed apart. “Longevity is one key advantage, and that offsets one of the biggest costs a cattle producer has today: developing heifers. These cows will be productive 12 to 13 years easy.” In addition, Williams notes the breed is unique in that it seems to have no issue with fescue toxicosis, a common complaint in parts

Clark Jones says after he tried Beefmaster bulls on his cow herd, he was so impressed with the calves he moved into the seedstock side of the business. (Photo by Lauren Neale, Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association)

of the country where fescue is the dominant forage. The fescue, when it heads out, can carry high levels of a toxin, which impacts important production traits in a cow herd, most notably feed intake, gains and milk production. Williams says Beefmaster’s tolerance to fescue gets a lot of cattle producers’ attention. “We have all Kentucky 31 here,” notes Williams of the Savannah operation. “The Beefmaster handle it well.

The endophyte doesn’t bother them, and they are also heat tolerant. The two go hand in hand.” Value of Heat Tolerance The heat tolerance of the Beefmaster breed is of special interest to researchers at Texas A&M University (TAMU), where the announcement recently was made that the university’s animal science department is adding two new breeds to its research herds: Beefmaster and Red Angus. continued on page 38

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to be globally recognized as a department that focuses on Beefmaster Breeders Unitcattle adapted to those type ed (BBU) began collaboratregions, and we are well-poing with TAMU leadership sitioned for that geographiin fall 2018 to work toward cally.” this goal. It’s a partnership Lamb says the Beefmaster that recognizes the breed’s herd, which should eventualoutstanding maternal traits, ly number 50 to 60 top-end growth, efficiency and adaptfemales, will be the “front ability globally. door” to our department. Cliff Lamb, head of TAData Points the Way MU’s animal science departJones has played an imment, says there are a numportant role in the initial ber of reasons they are buildwork going into refining the ing these two new herds, but Beefmaster breed, as well as adaptability and heat tolerthe new TAMU herd. ance head the list. He notes today’s Beefmas“Globally, about 70% of ter bull isn’t the same one the world’s beef cattle are in your grandfather may have tropical or subtropical retried. A lot has changed. gions,” he notes. “One of our Jones says a concerted effort initiatives at Texas A&M is has been made through BBU continued from page 37

to breed in improved carcass traits and to have the genetic data available to provide as much information as possible on both bulls and cows in the breed. Jones says he has five of the top 10 cows in the breed for carcass data now, as well as the top terminal bull. “When BBU built its genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences [GEEPD] evaluation in 2009, nearly 25% of the carcass data that went in was mine,” he says, noting they had made a commitment to collecting and analyzing the data when the technology became available. Williams adds they use the data they collect on animals constantly to be sure the


farm’s herd stays on track and is constantly improving. “If you’re not doing the job, you can see it statistically sooner than you can see it any other way,” he says. He explains they use the GrowSafe collection system. It allows them to measure individual animal feed intake and weight, monitor animal behavior and growth, predict feed efficiency traits and optimize breeding decisions. Jones says the operation maintains strict criteria for which animals they will keep, either for their own herd or to sell in their annual bull sale or annual female sale. For females, they focus on weights, weaning weights, udder and teat scores, and milk production. On bulls, they are especially tough. “You can buy a dozen heifers, and maybe one doesn’t work,” Jones explains. “But, when you sell a bull, there’s no room for anything less than perfect. We BSE [Breeding Soundness Exam] them at 14 months, and they must pass. If they don’t, they go to the sale barn.” He adds the criteria is that the bull falls within the top 5% of the breed for fertility and carcass data to fit their program. To check carcass quality, the operation feeds out a lot of calves going all the way to the rail with data to see how they perform. Jones stresses, “We don’t give up anything. We have friends in the feeding business, and they say the health of Beefmaster is great. If they’re feeding in a natural program, they do really well there too, because they just tend to be healthy and vigorous.” Reprinted with permission from DTN/Progressive Farmer.

Victoria G. Myers

Senior Editor DTN/Progressive Farmer


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Use the Numbers (CORRECTLY) this Bull Sale Season By Matt Spangler, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln This bull sale season, profit-minded cattle producers will utilize expected progeny differences (EPD) and economic selection indices when selecting their next group of bulls. These tools are far more accurate at predicting the average difference in offspring than visual appraisal or actual weights. This is beyond contestation. That said, it is completely unrealistic to expect all commercial bull buyers to completely understand all available EPD and economic selection indices. Commercial cattle producers have a cattle enterprise to run leaving little (if any) time to dedicate to understanding the intimate details surrounding genetic prediction. There are resources (e.g., www.ebeef. org) designed to help. Ideally, seedstock suppliers should also aid in the understanding and use of these tools. To perhaps “kickstart” the process, I’ve detailed a few key points below. 1. Have a breeding objective in mind (or better yet written down). This should include how you plan to sell calves, if you plan on retaining replacement females, and any labor or other environmental constraints (e.g., limited forage). This helps identify the traits that are economically relevant to you. 2. Choose a breed (or breeds) that fit your current crossbreeding system and match your objectives. Compare breeds based on current research (i.e., US Meat Animal Research Center) and not a historical view as breeds have changed overtime. 3. Identify a seedstock supplier (or suppliers) that you trust and that have bulls for sale that match your breed needs and your breed-

ing objective. provided and has continually 4. Identify bulls, based on improved and validated. EPD or (preferably) economic index values that match your objectives. a. If calving ease EPD exist, do not use birth weight EPD. Calving ease EPD are generated using birth weight information. Matt Spangler, Ph.D. b. If you retain replaceUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln ment females, pay attention Beef Genetics to calving ease maternal Extension Specialist EPD. These are really ‘Total Maternal Calving Ease’ EPD, and reflect how easily a bull’s daughters will calve as two2020 year olds. c. Reproductive longevLone Star ity is a key profit driver for Beefmaster self-replacing herds. If a StayBreeders ability EPD or Sustained Cow Fertility EPD exists, use it. Association d. If you retain replacement females in limited feed Events environments, consider se& Sales lecting bulls with more modMay 23, 2020 erate mature weight and milk (maternal weaning weight) Ultrasound Scan Day EPD. at Champion Genetics e. Understand that even if you sell calves at weaning, June 20, 2020 someone is going to own Female Sale them in the feedyard. If you Sulphur Springs, Texas want to build a market for your calves, do not completeAugust 8, 2020 ly ignore post-weaning gain Field/Scan Day & JBBA Show and carcass merit. Sulphur Springs, Texas f. Use an index that fits your objectives – this can December 5, 2020 greatly simplify bull selection Fall Sale decisions. Do not use a completely terminal index if you Sulphur Springs Texas retain replacement heifers. Lone Star BBA members are continually striving to offer sound, g. Buy quality, but do not phenotypically correct, performance data females and bulls for your overpay. Sometimes the bull herd. The sales will be fully graded by a panel of judges and ready to that is not top on your list is go into your operation as great working cattle. Please join us this year! actually the better economic decision. Lone Star BBA Leadership & Board of Directors: This bull sale season Robert Williams - President - 817-946-4431 do not make the process Randy Cook - Treasurer - 214-507-2889 Debbie Cheatham - Secretary - 972-979-8556 more complex than it really Kelly Cupp - Sale Chairman - 903-453-5735 needs to be and certainly Jerry Davis - Sale Chairman - 214-802-4913 do not get caught in the Chris Fannin - Director - 903-456-1556 trap of believing that you William Hall - Director - 817-374-3090 Howard Hunt - Director - 903-738-5588 can visually see the genetic Eric Rodriguez - Director - 469-236-9496 potential of a bull – use Jimmy Simmons - Director - 903-649-2054 the tools that science has



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Better Performance Through Genetic Selection - Breed Differences on Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue

By Brittni Drennan Bates, Freelancer Tall fescue is the most commonly used grass in the U.S. used to graze and feed cattle. Widespread throughout a majority of the country, fescue grass provides multiple benefits for pasture performance due to its persistence, long growing season, and nutritional quality as well as drought, insect and disease resistance. However, producers have a love-hate relationship with this seem-

ingly desirable plant. The same fungal endophyte that makes the grass so hardy also contains some alkaloids that studies have shown are detrimental to the performance of grazing livestock. Common side effects of toxicosis include heat stress, suppressed appetite, poor growth or reduced calving rates, ultimately costing the beef industry approximately $500 million to $1 billion

annually in losses due to decreased reproductive and growth rates, according to an abstract from Richard Browning, Ph.D., Tennessee State University. Researchers have determined the endophyte can be alleviated using several forage management practices including replacing endophyte-infected tall fescue with low-endophyte strands, diluting endophyte-infected fescue with other grasses or legumes, ammoniating fescue hay, or increasing stocking rates to prevent plant maturation since the endophyte is highly concentrated in the seed head. However, due to high costs, vast amount of acreage covered in endophyte-infected tall fescue, along with reluctance to eradicate long-standing pastures, forage management for eradication purposes does not seem likely or advantageous. A more practical, effective solution for alleviating the negative effects caused by high-endophyte fescue is with animal management practices by genetic selection. Browning pointed out heat stress is a known symptom of fescue toxicosis, causing increased panting, respiration rates, and time spent in the shade, which means cattle spend less time grazing and

gaining. The University of Kentucky (UKY) conducted a trial using 120 spring-born calves out of cows with varying degrees of Brahman-influenced genetics bred to Hereford bulls. Roy Burris, Ph.D., Extension Beef Specialist at UKY was the lead researcher on the study. “There’s five million acres in Kentucky and most of it is high-endophyte fescue. When dealing with fescue endophyte, there’s a lot we don’t know and pastures vary,” Burris said. “What we found from the trial is an improvement in the adjusted weaning weights. We did see better performance on those calves with Brahman influence, such as Beefmaster cattle, and they gave us higher adjusted 205-day weaning weights.” Burris reported the results from those calves having zero Brahman influence had an adjusted weight of 499.2 pounds, calves out of 3/16 Brahman influenced cows were 512.5 pounds, and calves out of the 3/8 percentage cows were 533.9 pounds. Burris said there was no significant difference between findings on the high-endophyte versus the low-endophyte fescue. continued on page 41


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continued from page 40 The better performance from Brahman-influenced calves might be attributed to their natural ability to tolerate heat better than Continental breeds. Burris said calves raised on fescue grass tend to be a little woolier and hairier, and Brahman-influenced, such as Beefmaster cattle, tend to be slicker hided, allowing them to more effectively dissipate excess body heat caused by fescue toxicosis. “We sent the resulting calves to the feedlot, and there wasn’t much difference in the results between the different sets of calves out of the feedlot, and there wasn’t any difference in carcass data between the calves.” Burris said. “We did, however, make more money off the Brahman-influenced cattle because they were evaluated lower initially because of their Brahman-influenced characteristics.” Fescue toxicosis has an impact on more than just performance to weaning in

cow-calf operations. Browning also noted studies in which the average daily growth rates (ADG) in Bos indicus crossed steers were less affected by fescue toxicosis (Table 1). To briefly summarize, Goetsch et al. (1988) demonstrated the reduction in ADG of Brahman cross steers was comparable to the reduction of British cross steers in a 12-week period in the spring as well as fall. An exception was noted during the first half of the fall season when the ADG of Brahman crosses was statistically less affected by the endophyte. McMurphy et al. (1990) tested An-

gus, Brahman x Angus, and Simmental x (Brahman x Angus) steers and found the half-blood Brahman steers’ post-weaning ADG were less affected by high endophyte levels than the straight Angus or quarter-blood Brahman steers. “Collectively, a consistent trend is apparent,” Browning said. “High endophyte levels in the tall fescue diets invariably reduced ADG of Brahman-cross steers to a lesser degree than when steers did not possess the Brahman influence. Brahman genetics reduced the adverse effects of endophyte-infected tall fescue on post-weaning ADG by

26 percent on average (range = 10 to 65 percent) across the studies.” These studies also demonstrate another important factor for producers to recognize. It’s not about fighting fescue and completely eliminating toxicosis; it’s about doing what it takes to reduce loss and decrease the negative impacts caused by high-endophyte fescue. Having worked with Beefmaster cattle and other Brahman-influenced cattle since 1974, Burris is very familiar with the benefits these kinds of cattle provide, aside from their ability to thrive in areas continued on page 42












































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continued from page 41

love the phenotype, but they with high-endophyte fescue. find they do perform well.” Regardless of production Beefmasters are a stabilized stage or industry sector, composite breed developed Burris said producers would by maintaining 50 percent benefit from evaluating their Brahman influence, 25 percent Hereford and 25 percent own cattle and breeding those cattle to genetics that Shorthorn. Currently, the UKY cowherd is fall calving, will complement their herd. “Breed to improve strucand Burris has found Brahture and soundness or breed man-influenced cattle perform just as well in the winter to improve carcass or performance,” Burris said. “Find months as they do in the those weaknesses within your summer. herd and work to eliminate There is a misconception among producers in the beef those weaknesses.” It comes down to using cattle industry that Beefthe tools available to select master cattle or cattle with genetics that will compliment Bos indicus genetics will not a producer’s herd, coincide perform in colder climates, but that simply could not be with his production goals, and work well in his environfarther from the truth. In the colder seasons and envi- ment, not against it. Burris also said disposironments found in northern tion of Bos indicus cattle was areas of the country, Bos indicus cattle thrive just as well a concern among cattlemen. Let’s be realistic. Docility was in the winter months due to a problem in the past for protheir hardiness and natural ducers raising Brahman-inadaptability characteristics. fluenced cattle. Although, Burris said Brahman-influ-

enced females, in particular Beefmasters, are in high demand because of their performance and especially their mothering abilities. “What we found most of the time in cross-breeding programs, some Brahman influence has proved to work very well in the south as well as the north,” Burris said. “What we see here is that a lot of people like, and there’s a lot of demand for, F1 heifers due to their longevity and their performance. Most people in this area aren’t used to looking at Brahman-type cattle, so they don’t necessarily

since Beefmaster producers in cooperation with Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) have recognized the issue, they have worked to effectively minimize the problem by selecting for improved disposition within their operations. “Disposition seems to be more of a problem in some other Brahman-influenced breeds than in the Beefmaster breed,” Burris said. “I always look at docility and disposition and select for that. When I bring a bull in, I want to be sure I’m not bringing in

problems, and I do the same thing with Angus cattle. If my herd has a problem, that’s what I’m going to try to take care of first.” In regards to the perception that all Brahman-influenced cattle have problems with disposition, Burris said it would be a mistake for producers to affirm those negative perceptions and give critics something else to pick apart. “In my experience, Brahman-type cattle tend to respond better and more quickly to the way they’re handled and the way they’re treated,” Burris said. “There are always some outliers, but they need to be culled and disposition needs to be looked at within all Bos indicus breeds.” Burris keeps approximately 200 brood cows at the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center and tries to maintain some Brahman-influenced cattle in the herd. He keeps a few purebred Angus and Brahman-influenced bulls and breeds replacement females to uphold a 3/16 Brahman-cross. Because of their hardiness

and adaptability, longevity is an indirect advantage of Bos indicus cattle. “Longevity, to me, is the biggest benefit of Brahman-influenced cattle—their ability to stay structurally sound, stay in the herd and continue producing,” Burris said. Ultimately, implementing Beefmaster and/or Brahman-influenced genetics provides tremendous profit potential for cow-calf producers as well as stockers, introducing benefits from heterosis, more longevity and improved performance on high-endophyte fescue. “Infusion of Brahman genetics seems to offer an alternative means of reducing the impact of fescue toxicosis on both cow-calf and stocker performance,” Browning said. “Use of Brahman genetics to overcome challenging environmental conditions is not a new concept. Somewhat overlooked, however, may be the potential of Brahman germplasm to enhancing cattle performance in another challenging production environcontinued on page 43


continued from page 42 ment, the high endophyte-infected tall fescue pasture.â&#x20AC;? For more information about Brahman-influenced genetics or to find a Beefmaster seedstock provider, visit www.beefmasters.org.

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History of the Beefmaster Breed

Source: The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising by Laurence M. Lasater Beefmaster cattle are the first American composite breed (combination of three or more breeds). They were developed by Tom Lasater in south Texas, beginning in 1931. The Beefmaster breed was recognized in by the USDA in 1954, and today Beefmaster Breeders United

is the fifth-largest breed registry in the United States. Beefmasters are a composite breed made up of roughly one-half Bos taurus (Hereford and Shorthorn) and one-half Bos indicus (Nelore from Brasil, Gir & Guzerat from India). Tom Lasater closed his herd in 1937, and

no outside genetics have been introduced into the foundation herd since that time. Intense selection for economically important traits over the last 80 years has resulted in a homozygous beef breed that has locked in the explosive growth potential of a hybrid.

to maximize production efficiency and improve our cattle. We talk about the Six Essentials a lot, but what do they really mean? Disposition—Gentle cattle are cheaper to manage, sell better, breed better, feed better and calve easier. Fertility—This is the first among equals and the cornerstone of the philosophy. Cows that do not have a calf every single year are not economically viable. Weight—Of obvious importance—ranchers sell pounds. Weight is another highly heritable trait. We select for cattle that produce optimum (not necessarily maximum) weight with minimum input. Conformation—This refers to the visual appraisal of a live animal with regard to carcass merit. We select for long, trim, well-muscled bulls, and smooth, feminine cows that meet industry demands. Hardiness—It is critical for cattle to be able to thrive under tough conditions. Beefmasters excel in calf livability, low death loss, low maintenance costs and resistance to disease and parasites. Milk Production—Next to genetics, milk production is the single most important factor in weight. When asked to describe the perfect cow, Tom Lasater said, “She’ll look like a cow that gives a hell of a lot of milk.”

The Beefmaster Philosophy The thing that probably most differentiates Beefmaster cattle from other breeds is the Six Essentials, which were the founding selection principles on which the breed was formed: Fertility, Weight, Conformation, Milk Production, Hardiness and Disposition. Lasater’s concept was that you select for cattle only based on these six traits of economic relevance, to the exclusion of many traits that other breeds have expended genetic energy on like color pattern, horns, height, etc. This unique approach is why Beefmasters are known by the slogan “The Profit Breed.” Lasater applied the Six Essentials in a number of ways that were completely revolutionary in his time. He began individually weighing his calves in 1936, at a time when cattle were sold by the head. He required heifers to breed at 14 months and to calve as two-year-olds in a 90-day season at a time when many ranches left the bulls out year-round. Perhaps most importantly, he culled every cow that for any reason did Why Beefmasters? not wean a merchantable calf The Lasater family has been every year. following a very balanced approach to cattle selection for Beefmasters Excel Due to Six more than 80 years. They call Essentials their road map the Six EssenBeefmasters are complete- tials, and they have tried dogly unique in that they are the gedly for three generations to only beef breed with a guid- share it with anyone who will ing production philosophy. listen. So it’s refreshing to see These principles are called a renewed interest in practithe Six Essentials, and they cal and productive cattle and give us road map by which continued on page 45


continued from page 44

a few of the things that make Beefmasters truly unique in beef cattle production.

- Longevity - Built-in heterosis - Outstanding replacements

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- Grade and yield - Lean, tender & tasty BEEF a focus on economics rather If you are a grass-based than aesthetics. rancher who likes thrifty catProducers sometimes ask, On the Ranch In the Beef Chain tle that raise profitable calves “Why Beefmasters?” It’s an Low-maintenance females High weaning weights in any climate with a miniimportant question because - Gentle, responsive handling - Fast-growing yearlings mum of attention, these wonderful cattle often Excellent mother cows Low sickness and death loss Beefmaster is the breed for don’t get enough credit for all - Heat, disease and insect - Incredible feed conversion you! the subtle things they do so resistance Long-feed efficiency magnificently. Following are


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2020 Beefmaster Sale Calendar March 06, 2020 - STBBA Houston Futurity Sale, Houston, TX March 06, 2020 - Houston Magic XX Sale, Houston, TX March 18 - 19, 2020 - Isa Beefmasters Spring Genetics Internet Sale March 21, 2020 - Beef on Forage - Texoma Bull & Female Sale, McAlester, OK March 21, 2020 - Live Oak Spring Sale, Three Rivers, TX March 28, 2020 - Emmons Ranch Annual Bull Sale, Groesbeck, TX April 04, 2020 - Collier Farms Advantage Sale, Giddings, TX April 04, 2020 - Louisiana Beefmaster Rose Capital Classic, Shreveport, LA April 11, 2020 - Ozark & Heart of America Sale, Springfield, MO April 18, 2020 - East Texas/Louisiana Marketing Group Spring Sale, Crockett, TX April 25, 2020 - Springtime in Texas Sale, Brenham, TX April 26, 2020 - National E6 Sale, Columbus, TX May 02, 2020 - Southern Alliance Beefmaster Marketing Group Sale, Cullman, AL May 02, 2020 - Southern Plains Performance Group Replacement Heifer Sale, Valliant, OK May 09, 2020 - Miss Mid-America Futurity & Central States BBA Sale, Locust Grove, OK May 16, 2020 - T5 Dispersal and Friends, Salado, TX May 16, 2020 - Red River Premium Female Sale, Bonham, TX May 23, 2020 - Sweet Home Alabama Sale, Cullman, AL June 06, 2020 - Emmons Ranch Production Sale, Fairfield, TX June 13, 2020 - Wallen Prairie Ranch Power & Performance Production Sale, Lockwood, MO June 20, 2020 - Lone Star BBA Focus on the Female Sale, Sulphur Springs, TX June 27, 2020 - Clark Jones & Cottage Farms Southern Tradition XX Production Sale, Savannah, TN August 22, 2020 - Rio Grande Valley Sale, Rio Grande City, TX August 22, 2020 - SEBBA Convention and Sale, Lexington, TN September 05, 2020 - Third Beefmaster Breeders Harvest Production Sale, Location TBA September 05, 2020 - Beefmaster Breeders Harvest Sale, Location TBA September 12, 2020 - Arkansas BBA Fall Classic Graded Sale, Damascus, AR September 12, 2020 - The Beefmaster Network Sale V, Raymond, MS September 19, 2020 - J & T Farms Production Sale, Lexington, TN September 25, 2020 - Beef on Forage - Florida Bull Sale, Arcadia, FL September 25, 2020 - Flint Hills Classic Female Sale, Paxico, KS September 26, 2020 - 3rd Annual Flint Hills Classic Bull Sale, Paxico, KS September 26, 2020 - Live Oak BBA “Perfect Pair” Futurity and Sale, Three Rivers, TX October 03, 2020 - Lyssy’s Heart of the Herd Production Sale, Luling, TX October 03, 2020 - Isa Beefmasters 59th Performance Test and Sale, San Angelo, TX October 10, 2020 - South Texas BBA Buccaneer Classic, Robstown, TX October 10, 2020 - Ozark & Heart of America Fall Sale, Locust Grove, OK October 17, 2020 - Beef on Forage Bull Sale, Brenham, TX October 17, 2020 - Carr & Others Fall Sale, Floresville, TX November 06, 2020 - Maternal Compass Commercial Beefmaster Female Sale, McAlester, OK November 07, 2020 - Louisiana BBA Cowboy Classic, Kinder, LA November 07, 2020 - Cain Cattle Co. Beefmaster Production Sale, Perkinston, MS November 07, 2020 - Red River Beefmaster Bull Sale, Bonham, TX November 21, 2020 - Collier Farms Performance Bull Sale, Brenham, TX December 05, 2020 - Lone Star BBA Fall Sale, Sulphur Springs, TX

*sale catalogs posted online a few weeks before sale date at www.beefmasters.org/purebred/calendar.php*


The Beefmaster Pay Weight


Advertisersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Index Breeder Advertisers Alabama D&D Beefmasters.....................................................................................27 Arkansas Lairmore Beefmasters...............................................................................14 Heritage Cattle Company.........................................................................35 Hood Beefmasters.......................................................................................7 California Cherry Glen Beefmasters.........................................................................25 Idaho Johnson Beefmasters................................................................................17 Kansas Hurla Cattle Co.........................................................................................21 NextGen Cattle Co....................................................................Back Cover Kentucky Channarock Farm.....................................................................................29 Ella Mae Farms..........................................................................................27 Louisiana I-O-C Beefmasters & McKenzie Beefmasters........................................41 Rhodes Ranch...........................................................................................31 Rocking D Beefmasters.............................................................................5 Missouri Berachiah Beefmasters.............................................................................27 Cedar Springs Beefmasters......................................................................45 Headings Beefmasters..............................................................................27 Mountain View Ranch..............................................................................35 Ozark & Heart of America Spring Sale...................................................36 Wannabe Beefmaster Farm........................................................................9 Wallen Prairie Ranch..................................................................................4 Mississippi 4G Farm.....................................................................................................35 Cain Cattle Co...........................................................................................24 North Carolina Adam Taylor Farms..................................................................................19

Oklahoma Beef on Forage Texoma Beefmaster Sale ..................................................3 Dance Creek Beefmasters.........................................................................27 Frenzel & Meacham, LLC.........................................................................20 Hargis Ranch.............................................................................................40 Hood Beefmasters.......................................................................................7 Kreger Ranch.............................................................................................35 Oklahoma Beefmasters............................................................................26 Simon Creek Beefmasters..........................................................................4 Tennessee J2 Beefmasters...........................................................................................33 Jones Beefmasters.....................................................................................37 Texas 3B Beefmasters..........................................................................................45 Blau Beefmasters.......................................................................................15 Buckner Polled Beefmasters....................................................................35 Buena Suerte Ranch..................................................................................27 Collier Farms....................................................................................12 & 13 Colvin Beefmasters...................................................................................11 Dancing Gâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Beefmasters.........................................................................18 Emmons Ranch.........................................................................................38 Flying B Ranches......................................................................................30 Golden Meadows Ranch...........................................................................16 Isa Cattle Co. Beefmasters.......................................................................22 Lone Star Beefmaster Breeders Association..........................................39 Lyssy Beefmasters.....................................................................................34 Red River Beefmaster Female Sale................ .............................................8 Red River Beefmaster Bull Sale..................... ...........................................10 Rocking A Beefmasters............................................................................35 Swinging B Ranch.......................................................................................6

Industry Advertisers AgAmerica Lending.................................................................................32 Arrowquip..................................................................................................23 Elgin Breeding Service.............................................................................28 Moly Manufacturing................................................................................44 NextGen Trading......................................................................................35 Omni Advertising and Graphics, Inc......................................................27 Ragland Mills.............................................................................................43

Profile for Beefmaster Breeders United

The Beefmaster Pay Weight - Spring 2020  

A publication dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen and produced by Beefmaster Breeders United.

The Beefmaster Pay Weight - Spring 2020  

A publication dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen and produced by Beefmaster Breeders United.