F&R Livestock Resource, Winter 2018

Page 1

F&R LivestockResource

Winter 2018 | Volume 1, Issue 2

Your direct source for livestock news and information

Published by Farmers & Ranchers Livestock, Salina, Kansas

In this Issue: 1 Good Horses Make Good Competitors

Adding value by providing good customer service should be at the top of any business’ list. The F&R Preview before the equine sales provide a great opportunity for potential buyers to see a horse in action.

8 Market Momentum Poised to Continue Knowing when to “hold 'em” or “fold ’em” is an age-old dilemma for beef producers

moving into the new year. The overall consensus among most industry analysts is cautiously optimistic.

14 Indexing Opportunity

Registered beef producers are recognizing selection indexes, with economic factors included in the equation, among the most important genetic selection tools available today.

18 Consumer Implications Grow with Carcass Size

Consumer dining experiences are directly connected to signals relative to carcass size being sent down the supply chain. Too big and too heavy carcasses have economic consequences at multiple end points.

23 Enogen® Feed Corn Boosts Calf Feed Efficiency

Interesting new research indicating Enogen® fed to growing calves were 5.5 percent more feed efficient than calves fed conventional yellow corn. The specific corn variety was developed for ethanol production.

26 Precision for Modern Cattle

Backgrounding today’s cattle on yesterday’s “prescription” can mean missed profit opportunities.

36 CAB Opts for USDA Grading Modernization

USDA recently announced changes to modernize the grading standards, recognizing both marbling and maturity.

40 Beef Marketing Group Adds Value by Starting with the Consumer

There isn’t a one-size, fits-all in beef marketing. But, systems are being developed that provide consistent customer solutions.

42 Minimizing Pain is Important to Improving Animal Welfare

Award-winning veterinary researchers at K-State University and Iowa State have been awarded a $500,000 grant to develop an implanted vaccine to effectively suppress a calf ’s reproductive development, eliminating the pain of physical castration.

Good Horses Make Good Competitors and Satisfied Buyers By Micah Samples

When it comes to buying horses, it can be a nerve racking encounter. From studying a pedigree to eyeing their conformation it’s part of the process we all go through to find the perfect matchup. Maybe it’s looking for a horse to do a specific discipline or just a trusty steed to mosey through your herd, whatever your interest, we all want the experience to go as smoothly as possible. That’s exactly why Farmers and Ranchers Livestock host two horse sales a year.

The sales allow buyers to take a real look at horses consigned. From a futurity, ranch horse competition and previews where consigners can team rope, calf rope, cut cattle and barrel race, this comprehensive process lets buyers see the capabilities of their favorite sale picks.

The Senters Rick and Erin Senter have been attending the fall and spring horse Continued on page 4 ________________________________________

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Safe-Guard Drench and Paste RESIDUE WARNING: Cattle must not be slaughtered within 8 days following last treatment. For dairy cattle, the milk discard time is zero hours. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in preruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Safe-Guard is a registered trademark of Merck Animal Health. Panacur is a registered trademark of Merck Animal Health. Ivomec is a registered trademark of Merial, Ltd. Cydectin is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Dectomax is a registered trademark of Zoetis. LongRange is a registered trademark of Merial, Ltd. 1 FDA Public Resistance Forum-March 2012 2 Tests from 1/1/2008 - 4/12/2016 3 NAHMS 2008 4 Dobson R., Jackson F., Levecke B., Besier B., et al. Guidelines for fecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT). World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP) (2011) Proceedings: 23rd International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology 2 Giralda Farms – Madison, NJ 07940 – merck-animal-health-usa.com – 800.521.5767 Copyright © 2016 Intervet, Inc. d/b/a Merck Animal Health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. 5/16 BV-SG-55108

F&R Livestock

From the Editor


Volume 1, Issue 2 Winter 2018 Published quarterly by

Farmers & Ranchers Livestock, Salina, Kansas 1500 W. Old Hwy 40 Salina, Kansas 67401 785-825-0211 • 785-826-1590 (fax) FandRLive.com

find us on Facebook


Owner: Farmers & Ranchers Livestock, Mike Samples, Salina, Kansas (785) 826-7884 Editor: Deb Norton, Deb@CogentIdeasInc.com Production Coordinator: Julie Tucker Graphic Designer: Daric Wells Editorial Assistants: Dixie Russell, Dave Cumpton Contributing Editor: Wes Ishmael Contributing Artist: Ted Foulkes Sales Andrew Sylvester Farmers & Ranchers Livestock (785) 456-4352 Jay Carlson Carlson Media Group, LLC (913) 967-9085 Subscriber Questions: To be added to our mailing list, contact Julie Tucker, Julie@CogentIdeasInc.com. F&R Livestock Resource is published quarterly with mail dates of January 15, March 1, July 1 and October 15 by Farmers & Ranchers Livestock, Salina, Kansas.

It’s been often said there are greater differences within individual breeds of cattle than between breeds of cattle. Consider geography, environment, access to forage and market access and the differences to sustain beef production become inordinately complex. Then, consider the distinctly different industry sectors—cow-calf, stocker/backgrounding, heifer development, cattle feeding, etc. The ability for stakeholders across all sectors to be successful and sustainable for a couple of centuries is remarkable. Sustainability is a broad and very important conversation these days. While attending the Sustainable Agriculture Summit 2017 recently held in Kansas City, it became clear how much progress has been made in vertically integrated and confinement systems. Much of dairy, poultry and pork production is aligned in their efforts and have established metrics to quantify progress being made. Technology companies are investing millions to develop resources to measure specific benchmarks reducing greenhouse gas emissions, turning waste into marketable products, reducing antibiotic use, improving the health and welfare of animals and striving toward greater sustainability. The environmental science is mind boggling. But, trying to design and implement sustainability goals in a diverse beef production system while considering geographic limitations may well be one of the next generation’s greatest challenges.

In our efforts to define sustainability relative to the diversity of beef production, we realize best practice ranch management is already meeting the broadest definition. If that wasn’t the case, the beef industry would have ceased to exist long ago. Each year we document the production of more pounds, more efficiently, all while improving beef quality and our ability to manage resources better. This issue of F&R Livestock Resource continues to explore value-added opportunities, another link in the sustainability discussion. An article written by Micah Samples in this issue features a Farmers & Ranchers Livestock (F&R) repeat equine customer that has taken advantage of the opportunity to critically evaluate their purchases during the F&R Previews. The previews prior to the sales have enabled the Senters to make informed purchases. Their successes have not been surprising. As a result of showing potential to a buyer, this equine customer considers F&R a first line resource. The extra effort of the equine preview is a win-win for both buyer and seller. In late November, the Profit Proven Group, a coalition of eight commercial Gardiner Angus Ranch customers, sold 640 head of replacement females. This was the 15th year for the Profit Proven Sale and first year to sell at F&R. As a group, the genetics were Gardiner-influenced, had similar management, the majority of the offering was bred AI, came from PI-BVD free herds, were genomically tested and backed by decades of success in the feedlot. The cattle sold in about an hour and grossed $1.19 million. A couple of weeks later, Enos Grauerholz, Beloit, Kansas, sold a group of SimAngus feeder calves at F&R. After encouragement from his seedstock supplier (John Irvine, Manhattan, Kansas), Grauerholz used the International Genetics Solution’s (IGS) Feeder Profit Calculator (FPC) to predict outcomes based on several tangible factors that influence profitability on up the food chain. The calves were among the first to sell at F&R backed by a third-party validation documenting specific value-added information, including weaning, vaccination and implant history. Grauerholz worked with Irvine to incorporate genetic evaluation tools when considering bulls, strictly culling his cow herd and replacing with predictable females that fit specific criteria. The calves ranking the highest on the IGS FPC were some of the high selling calves for the day. By the time this publication reaches your mailbox, we will have turned the page on 2017. The CattleFax December 2017 “Long Term Outlook” discusses several challenging factors in 2018, namely the progress or lack of trade renegotiations that will likely determine much of the demand for beef in 2018. “The theme for 2018 is simple: production will be larger for all proteins, and global demand will need to be the primary destination for the increase.” On behalf of F&R Livestock Resource, we wish you a safe, healthy and prosperous 2018!

Farmers & Ranchers Upcoming Sales Winney Angus Bull Sale.................. February 24 Wheatland Farms............................ March 13 Cow Sale.......................................... March 20 New Frontier Bucking Bull Sale..... March 24

Cow Sale.......................................... April 17 Cow Sale.......................................... May 1 Horse Sale........................................ May 19 (Consignment deadline is March 1. Call F&R or check our website for more information.)

F&R Advertisers / Page / Sale Date Advantage Angus............................34....March 10 Alcove Cattle Company..................12....March 17 Apex Cattle......................................34....January 29 Badger Creek.....................................9....February 17 Bieber Red Angus Ranch................23....March 1 Benoit Angus Ranch.......................35....March 15 BJ Angus.........................................27....March 8 C-Bar Red Angus............................42....March 12 Cow Camp Ranch...........................37....February 16 44 Farms..........................................24....February 24 Flaming Livestock............................34....March 10

Flat Iron Production Sale...................6....March 11 Gardiner Angus Ranch....................13....January 22 Green Garden Angus......................12....April 2 Jamison Herefords..........................10....February 23 Don Johnson Angus........................27....March 5 Lonesome Creek.............................34....March 10 Kansas State University..................21....March 2 Leachman Cattle of Colorado.........17....February 15-16 Loving Farms...................................22....March 3 McCurry Angus Ranch....................20....March 8 Mill Brae...........................................33....March 10

Oleen Brothers.................................31....March 26 Overmiller Gelbvieh & Red Angus....6....February 17 Post Rock........................................40....February 24 River Creek Farms, Inc....................29....February 14 Springhill Herefords.........................12....March 17 Sunflower Genetics.........................41....March 16 Swanson Cattle Company..............39....February 24 TO Ranch.........................................34....March 10 Wright Charolais..............................32....March 10

F&R Livestock Resource page 3

Continued from page 1 ________________________________________

sales for over a decade. Being residents of Missouri, the Senters are in a great location to return year after year. Factor in a little success and that’s just what their first purchase years ago has them doing. In May 2006, the duo made their purchase of an eleven-year-old gelding. The gelding was entered in the ranch horse competition and showed in the roping previews by the late, Larry Crum of Jamestown, Kansas. After returning to Missouri, Rocky was hauled all over the country to team ropings with great success by both Rick and Erin. Rocky was just sold this year to some of the Senter’s close friends. He still looks great and will live out his retirement. The great buying experience with Rocky was just the start of buying a total of six horses over the years. Erin’s current head horse, Biscuit, also came out of a spring sale. In 2013, Josh Lily of Kansas consigned a bay gelding he showed in the roping previews. Erin liked the flashy-baldfaced horse from the get-go. They spent the last four years hauling to many jackpots and United States Team Roping Championships (USTRC) competitions with little sign of slowing down anytime soon. Biscuit (when not busy turning steers) is ridden by Erin and Rick’s six-year-old daughter.


That might earn Biscuit’s keep over anything else. In October 2015, the husband and wife returned to Salina, watching the previews and eyeing a new roping horse. Mitch Murray of Alma, Kansas,


had a nine-year-old gelding he showed as a heel horse on Friday and Saturday. The Senters liked the looks and talent of the horse and decided once more to add another to their herd. Since 2015 the gelding they call Little John

has become an exceptional head horse with an outstanding move. Don’t be fooled though, Erin isn’t the only one reaping all the fun! Rick also finds himself riding a gelding from the 2010 Spring Spectacular Sale. The


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Winter 2018


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grey gelding now plays the role as his leading heel horse. “Great selection of horses and the friendly atmosphere keeps us coming back,” Erin states. She also notes that each seller they have purchased from has been completely honest, and that means something! Erin and Rick both note that the sale set up is much appreciated. “The futurities, ranch horse competition and roping previews

allow an honest look at the horses.” After eleven years of fortunate investments to their hobby of team roping, the Senters confidently return to Salina when they feel another addition is needed. After buying a total of six horses (and enjoying them all), this is the kind of buying experience we strive to accomplish at Farmers & Ranchers for all our equine customers.


e Dat e l Sa tion New& Loca

ANNUAL PRODUCTION SALE March 11th, 2018 • 1:30 pm • Haddam, KS Ranch Headquarters • 522 17th Rd Haddam Ks. • Right off Highway 36


Yearling Registered Angus Bulls Sired by Baldridge Compass C013, Baldridge Xceed X712, MAR Innovation

2 Year Old Registered Angus Bulls

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40+ virgin yearling heifers highly maternal and easy fleshing Fancy Angus heifer pairs with calves sired by Baldridge Compass C013

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Cattle will be available for viewing at the ranch on Sale Day!

HEATH ALLEN • 785.556.8982 BOB ALLEN • 785.556.8980


OVERMILLER GELBVIEH & RED ANGUS February 17, 2018 at the Ranch north of Smith Center, KS

**1 0f 9 Red Angus ET bulls that will sell out of 2 of our Elete donors

**One of the largest groups of red Balancers you will find, also Red Gelbviehs - he sells

**Powerful Red Angus bulls backed by strong maternal families

**My Balancer sired calves topped the market in Dec. for 900#’s at Farmers an Ranchers in Salina ~ Ekholm, KS

**Several suitable for heifers **My big steers sired by Overmiller Red Angus bulls weighed over 900 the first week of Dec. ~ Key, KS


50 ~ Red Angus Bulls (12-18 mo. old) 35 ~ Gelbvieh/Balancer Bulls

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Kelly & Risa Brent & Brittany Roger & Norma 785-389-3522 785-389-1959 785-389-6281 4062 O Road Smith Center, KS 66967 www.overmiller.com

page 6

Winter 2018

(12-18 mo. old)

**This is one of the Deep bodied stout Blk Balancers that sell **My calves sired by Overmiller Balancer bulls weigh enough more than the straight Angus calves in a herd I manage that I brought home $150/head more. ~ Godsey,KS

60 ~ Commercial open heifers Red & Black 15 ~ Fall bred hfrs Red & Black

Cow Camp Ranch

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Friday, February 16, 2018 1:00 PM CST At the Ranch, Lost Springs, KS

selling: . 200 SimAngus & Simmental Bulls - Featuring 100 18-Month-Old Fall Bulls . 60 SimAngus & Simmental Registered Bred Heifers - AI Bred to CCR Boulder & SDS Graduate. Due in March & April. TM

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Cow Camp Genetics are topping the Markets

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"Purchasing bulls from Cow Camp Ranch was a great decision for our livestock operation. These bulls have produced high-end calves that sell themselves at Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission in Salina, Kansas for top market prices."

Lamatsch Farms - Claflin, KS

CCR Bulls are the Total Package

“We’ve been using Cow Camp Ranch bulls for 8 years or so with great success. The added bone, muscle and hybrid vigor is what the order buyers are looking for. CCR bulls are the total package…carcass, maternal and calving ease all in one.” Greg Patrick - Lindsborg, KS

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“The bulls I have bought at Cow Camp have always performed well. Cow Camp uses some of the best herd sires in the Simmental and Angus breeds ensuring that the calves I raise from their bulls gain well and efficiently. The replacement heifers have made excellent mothers and greatly enhanced the genetics of my herd.” Michael Bachand – Clyde, KS


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Family Owned & Operated for 5 Generations Kent Brunner (785) 466-6475 Mark Brunner (785) 258-0173 Nolan Brunner (785) 466-1129 Tracy Brunner/Feed Yard (785) 965-2228 bullsale@cowcampbeef.com www.CowCampBeef.com








Market Momentum Poised to Continue Calf and feeder prices should remain higher in the first quarter By Wes Ishmael

Buoyed by the same forces that pushed cattle markets higher than most expected last year, calf and feeder cattle prices should continue at higher year-over-year levels through the first quarter of 2018. “By and large, 2017 was a pleasant surprise,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University. “I believe we’re carrying some of the same momentum into 2018.” That’s despite prices losing some luster late in the fourth quarter. In fact, price estimates from the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) in mid-December pegged first-quarter calf prices at $164-$168/cwt. (500-600 pounds, basis the Southern Plains), according to Glynn Tonsor, agricultural economist at Kansas State University. That’s higher than the same quarter last year. Feeder prices (700-800 pounds) were also projected higher by LMIC at $149-$152. Fed cattle prices (5-area average) were projected at $119-$121, which is on par with the previous year. Closer to home, Mike Samples, manager of Farmers and Ranchers

The Bull Sale at Badger Creek vol.II February 17, 2018 Selling 75 Angus & SimAngus™ bulls, including several heifer bull prospects.

Visit www.badgercreekcattle.com to view or request a sale book.

bulls sell!

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Sale Manager 1668 Road 235 Emporia, KS 66801 Clint Woodrow — 620-794-7601 • clint@badgercreekcattle.com Chance Stout — 620-803-9494 • Glenn Woodrow — 618-316-0039

page 8

Winter 2018

Graham Blagg • 530-913-6418 graham@innovationagmarketing.com


Livestock says, “Seasonally, marketing early in the first quarter is usually better than later, until you get close to the second quarter when buyers are looking for summer grazers.” In this case, primarily, cattle headed for the intensive, early double-stocking common in the Flint Hills. Samples adds that buyers looking for summer cattle put more value on lighter, greener yearlings than heavier, soggier types.

Lighter Carcasses Dilute Tonnage Part of the bullish price outlook had to do with the continuation of aggressive feedlot marketing that continued to pull carcass weights lower and dilute beef production relative to increasing cattle numbers. While steer and heifer slaughter was 5.3 percent more year over year at the end of November, beef production was up 4.1 percent, according to Peel. Steer carcass weight was 16 pounds less than the same week a year earlier. “Steer carcass weights were lower 44 of 46 weeks this year and the average decrease for the year to date was 14 pounds below last year,” Peel explained at the time. “Heifer carcass weights were 13 pounds below last year and were lower every week of the year resulting in an average of 12

“If producers are more optimistic following sound demand developments and better than projected 2017 returns for most operations, then the largest herd size impact likely will be another year or two of slow or moderate expansion than we otherwise would have expected,” Tonsor says. pounds lighter year over year for the year to date.” However, Peel notes steer and heifer carcass weights have increased an average of five pounds per year for the last 50 years, and there’s no reason to believe this year’s unique factors suggest a change.

Continued Herd Expansion Expected “The biggest unknown going into the January Cattle Inventory report release is how much of the surprise in fall 2017 calf prices impacted these estimates,” Tonsor says. To the extent most retention decisions occurred before the fall marketing run, I would expect 2018 inventory numbers to be up around 1.5 percent.”

Likewise, Peel says, “There seems little doubt that herd expansion continued in 2017, albeit at a slower pace than 2016.” When the January Cattle Inventory report comes out at the end of January, Peel expects the numbers will show that the beef cow herd grew 1.5-2.0 percent this year. Higher expansion rates are possible, but he doesn’t see it in the current data. A lower rate of expansion is possible, but Peel says that would mean an unusually large percentage of bred heifers available on Jan. 1 of 2017 never entered the herd, which is unlikely. For perspective, there were 31.2 million beef cows at the beginning of this year. That represented 7.2 percent growth in the beef cow herd since the start of 2014.

“If producers are more optimistic following sound demand developments and better than projected 2017 returns for most operations, then the largest herd size impact likely will be another year or two of slow or moderate expansion than we otherwise would have expected,” Tonsor says. “For instance, USDA tabs the peak herd at 32.225 million cows in 2019, yet optimism among producers, in the absence of an adverse trade and hence export support development, which cannot be ignored, may push the cyclical peak out to 2021.” Estimated net cow-calf returns certainly favor expansion. Last fall, LMIC estimated cow-calf returns at about $69 per cow for 2017 compared to a negative $21 per cow the previous year. That’s based on a

“For the next two years, the major market outlook issue or headwind for all the U.S. livestock and poultry markets is the sheer tonnage of product that will be produced,” say LMIC analysts. typical commercial full-time spring calving and fall weaning operation in the Southern Plains. “Those estimates are not survey-based and are developed for market analysis purposes,” LMIC analysts explained in their mid-November “Livestock Monitor.”

“They do not represent an individual ranch/farm resource base. LMIC calculations only include cash costs of production and pasture rent. That is, returns to owner management, labor, etc., are not included. The returns are useful only in a general context. For example, the LMIC uses those estimates because producer return is a key factor influencing national herd growth or contraction.” Peel expects little to no additional herd expansion in 2018, but says he wouldn’t be surprised if the herd grew slightly more this year. “The numbers indicate we’re not holding heifers as hard as we did, but we’re not liquidating,” Peel says. “We’re not seeing the elevated culling levels you’d see if we were liquidating.” Of course, any herd expansion means another increase of the calf crop in 2018 followed by more beef production.

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“Cyclically, U.S. calf crops are forecast to continue increasing throughout 2019,” LMIC analysts say. “U.S. beef tonnage produced in 2018 is expected to be record-large and should rise again in 2019. Unless demand (domestic and foreign) for beef comes in much better than anticipated, calf prices are forecast to slip for the next two years. Still, calf prices in the fourth quarters of both 2018 and 2019 could remain above 2016’s depressed level. However, any faltering in demand relative to 2017 could quickly send cattle prices back down to 2016 levels.” At the same time, pork and poultry production is projected to increase significantly. “For the next two years, the major market outlook issue or headwind for all the U.S. livestock and poultry markets is the sheer tonnage of product that will be produced,” say LMIC analysts. “In both 2018 and 2019, forecasts call for record-large total U.S. red meat and poultry output. It is important to note that even though many consumers do some substituting between categories, it is not one-forone. That is, for example, in the overall retail marketplace one pound of beef does not substitute for that same amount of chicken.”

Demand Remains Key “It continues to depend on demand above and beyond everything else,” Peels says. “Domestic beef demand continues to stay strong with retail beef prices holding up well. Meat exports, in general, are good. That helps move supply offshore.” Relative economic strength and low unemployment continued to bolster

- Your Success You are certain to find several bulls that meet your goals. Listening to the needs of the commercial producer drives every decision we make.

- Year-around Resources In a competitive climate we have your back: customized consulting and herd visits, guaranteed sight-unseen bull purchasing options, calf and replacement heifer marketing assistance and more…

- Exclusively Private Treaty You won’t be choosing from bulls that “didn’t make the sale” or were “caught” in the auction. HPR customers receive personalized assistance to view the entire offering when you visit.

- Find Your Fit Over 250 18-month-old and spring yearling bulls in three breeds to select from. Managed in large contemporary groups, we raised and own the dam of every bull in our offering. Our goal: The right bull to the right herd every time.

For more than 20 years this has proven to be a successful path for hundreds in the HPR Family. On your journey for genetic solutions you will find Harms Plainview Ranch is a comfortable place to call home.

Here is a sample of last year’s Sale Bulls. Visit our web site for updated photos and videos the first week of February 2018.



Your Partner In Progress Photos, Videos and Sale information will be available on our web site the first week of February. www.HARMSRANCH.com Please contact us to request a print catalog. Harms Plainview Ranch • Mark & Kim Harms & Family 2528 250th Street • Lincolnville, Kansas 66858 Office: (620) 924-5544 • Cell: (620) 382-6388 • hprbulls@tctelco.net


domestic beef demand at higher levels than many expected heading into last year. At the same time, international demand continued at a strong pace, removing beef supplies from the domestic market. In fact, based on October data (the most recent available) released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), U.S. beef exports were poised to break $7 billion this year for only the second time. For January through October, exports totaled 1.038 million metric tons, which was 9 percent more than the same period a year earlier. Value was 16 percent higher at $5.93 billion. That was slightly ahead of the record value pace established in 2014. For perspective closer to home, export value per head of fed slaughter for January through October was $279.85, up 10 percent from the previous year. All told, Peel sees balance between beef and cattle prices across the complex; each sector had a chance to make money last year. Consequently, he says shocks external to the cattle and beef industry and external to the U.S.—a by-product of living in a global economy—are the primary concerns. But, you can’t plan for those.

Watch the Margins— Stay Flexible In the meantime, Tonsor says, “The

spread between November 2017 and March 2018 Feeder Cattle futures was narrower than the prior three years, which supported fall 2017 calf prices and encouraged a host of ongoing wintering programs. Producers engaged in this enterprise should leverage BeefBasis.com to periodically assess marginal value of each additional 50-100 pounds and compare that with their own cost situation.” The spread Tonsor refers to is commonly used to gauge the current, relative discount of added pounds. The value of gain through much of the fall encouraged adding more weight to calves. As for BeefBasis.com, it is a free website with information including local basis data and buy-sell calculators. Peel says to keep in mind that there was little seasonal price pressure last year. He expects it to increase in the second half of 2018. “I think producers who retained or bought fall-weaned calves need to very closely monitor margins between the value of weight gain and the associated cost of ongoing ownership,” Tonsor says. Moreover, given the typical first-quarter fluctuations in markets, Samples says, “Producers need to be aware of what the market is doing and leave their options open. When you have a chance to make good money, take it.”`

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Winter 2018

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We serve customers with a wide range of dates when they begin their breeding season. We often receive calls from customers who want to turn out bulls in March or early April, before our annual production sale. Those customers were disappointed they did not have access to some of our very best bulls scheduled to sell the first weekend in April. Now, with the completion of the new marketing center and the development of a spring calving herd at the ranch, we have both the cattle and the facilities to host a January sale and are excited to do so for the first time. We saved an outstanding group of 70 ET bulls from our spring calving herd to sell at 20 months of age. This is an age group we would not have had access to without the expansion of our spring calving herd over the past few years. We also selected a group of 80 bulls born during our traditional fall calving season to sell at 16 months of age, including some elite bulls that historically would have been saved for our April production sale. Both age groups contain bulls that give our “early turn out” customers an opportunity at the best we will have to offer in 2018.

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Indexing Opportunity by Wes Ishmael

“Selection indices, to me, are the most valuable tool we have to help us make more right decisions and fewer mistakes,” says Donnell Brown of R.A. Brown Ranch at Throckmorton, Texas. “That doesn’t mean they’re perfect; we still need to look at the animal visually, make sure the structure is right and all of those things, but we believe they help us make more right decisions than wrong ones.” That says a mouthful when you understand that Brown’s family has been building seedstock and running commercial cattle for generations, focusing along the way on how to more accurately select cattle for specific genetic ability. Selection indexes and the idea behind them are straightforward. In simple terms, rather than select for a variety of traits that affect a production area, like maternal ability or carcass ability, as examples, utilize a single index value that incorporates the relevant traits, weighted for relative economic importance. In other words, rather than select

for improvement in independent traits or establish threshold values (ignoring the economic relevance in both cases) use an index that focuses on overall profitability related to a specific area of

economic importance. “In its simplest form, the selection index defines an animal’s economic merit as a parent in terms of a mathematical function; an animal’s EPDs are

weighted by their respective economic value,” explains Bob Weaber, Extension beef cattle specialist at Kansas State University, in his insightful fact sheet, “Beef Cattle Economic Selec-


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tion Indices.” “Traits that have larger impacts on profit or the production goal have larger economic weights associated with them. The index is simply computed as a sum of EPDs weighted by the relative economic value.” “Even though EPDs give cattlemen a great tool for making genetic change in production traits, they ignore economic considerations,” explain authors of “The Power of Economic Selection Indices to Make Genetic Change in Profitability,” which was presented at the recent annual meeting of the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF). “It has been up to the individual cattleman to determine the economic impact of each trait and try to formulate that information into a multi-trait selection scheme. Without an organized, systematic approach to this complicated endeavor, the results are likely less than desirable. Unfortunately, this has led to an overemphasis on selection for increased outputs without due consideration to the traits affecting costs.” Brown coauthored the aforementioned paper presented at BIF this year, and was part of a panel with coauthors, Larry Keenan, director of breed improvement for the Red Angus Association of American and Darrh Bullock, a professor specializing in beef cattle genetics at the University of Kentucky. Although the idea of selection indices has been around for decades, at least, increased focus and availability of them for beef cattle selection is relatively recent. Depending on the breed in question, you can find a variety of selection indexes today. In general terms, most beef cattle selection indexes available today are geared toward fed cattle and carcass

Just For Fun by Ted Foulkes

performance, maternal performance or a blending of the two. For example, the American Angus Association provides indexes for Weaned Calf Value ($W), Feedlot Value ($F), Grid Value ($G), Beef Value ($B) and Maintenance Energy ($EN). The Red Angus Association of America offers the HerdBuilder and GridMaster indexes. The American Simmental Association produces the All Purpose Index and the Terminal Index. You get the idea. Each one includes specific traits weighted for specific economic values. “Indexes are the Cliffs Notes that combine lots of multi-trait data and do it relative to the production and

marketing system,” Brown says. Moreover, according to Dr. Weaber, selection indexes provide a more efficient selection strategy than other forms. He explains other commonly used forms of selection include sequential selection and the use of independent culling levels. With the former, selection pressure is applied to one trait at a time until achieving the desired level. In the latter, minimum and maximum threshold values are established for each selection trait.

Chart Objectives First More than anything, making progress with selection indexes requires first knowing where you want to go.

“There is no use doing any selection, whatever tools we use, if you don’t have a roadmap in front of you, what we call breeding objectives based on your management, how you’re going to market cattle in the future and your environment,” Dr. Bullock told the BIF crowd.

Although the idea of selection indices has been around for decades, at least, increased focus and availability of them for beef cattle selection is relatively recent.

F&R Livestock Resource page 15

“The first key to successfully implementing an effective breeding program utilizing selection indices is to develop and define your breeding objectives,” emphasize authors in the BIF paper. “Selection causes change to the herd; most are intentional, but some are consequences. It is critical to know what traits are important to your management and marketing scheme, but also how selection for those traits affects other traits of economic importance. For example, if a selection scheme was implemented to maximize calf weaning weights and replacements are to be retained, it might be tempting to select for maximum weaning weight direct and weaning weight milk EPDs. The result of this system would be large weaned calves, but there may be other consequences. Because of genetic correlations, this mating scheme would also result in large, heavy-milking cows that require greater nutritional demands; if those demands are not met then reproductive failure is a likely result.” This reality means understanding the focus of individual selection indexes, what traits are accounted for and to what degree. As important is understanding what traits are not addressed in the index. “Selection indices do a great job of economically balancing the traits


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“The first key to successfully implementing an effective breeding program utilizing selection indices is to develop and define your breeding objectives,” emphasize authors in the BIF paper. that are included in the index, but there may be traits of economic/ convenience/quality of life value to your cattle business that are not in the index of choice,” say authors of the BIF paper. “When this occurs, you need to use the index in tandem with the additional trait(s) of importance. A good example would be selecting for improved temperament in conjunction with improved carcass traits. In this scenario, it would be beneficial to select based on a combination of the Terminal Index and the Docility EPD.” The BIF panel also emphasized that selection indexes remain robust in the face of changing market conditions. “Even if market signals change significantly, corn prices go up and cattle prices go down, it’s amazing to see how consistent and robust these indexes are at selecting the cattle that do more things right,” Brown says.

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Winter 2018

11/28/2017 9:00:08 AM

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Winter 2018

By Wes Ishmael

As much as steaks bolster carcass value and consumer beef demand, their growing size is costing the industry lots of jingle. “The aggregate welfare (consumer) loss from the increase in carcass weight with respect to ribeye and sirloin steaks is $8.6 billion for the two largest classes. That is significant,” says Jayson Lusk head of Purdue University’s department of agricultural economics, speaking about research he helped conduct while a faculty member at Oklahoma State University (OSU). Despite increasing average carcass weights over time—and meat cut into steaks—Lusk and fellow OSU researchers Derrell Peel and Josh Maples explain most restaurants and grocery stores offer relatively fixed steak serving sizes, usually 6, 8, 12 or 16 ounces. In other words, achieving the same serving sizes from larger carcasses means cutting steaks thinner. “That got us to wondering—for a fixed weight, do consumers prefer traditional, thicker steaks that take up a smaller area on one’s plate or newer, thinner steaks that take up a larger area?” Lusk says. “Presentation is known to correlate to varying degrees to what consumers want to buy.” These OSU researchers surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers and presented them with a series of choices that varied the type, thickness, area and price of the steak. Once the thickness and area of a steak is known, the weight is predetermined. According to the study conclusion, “the decrease in consumer welfare by moving from a choice set containing small area and thick steaks to a choice set that includes large area and thin steaks implies that the changes in carcass size have led to a decrease in consumer utility from today’s steak choices relative to the steak choices of a few decades ago.” “In essence, our survey implied consumer preference varies relative to steak size but are generally in unison in their dislike for the thinnest cuts of steaks,” Lusk says. “Most people don’t want to eat a 32-ounce steak, with the consequence that steaks from today’s larger beef cattle are often cut thinner than what was done traditionally.”

Beef Carcass 101 For perspective, the most coveted steaks come from the middle meats— rib and loin—which represent 10-12

percent of carcass weight, according to a Texas A&M University beef carcass and value yields demonstration conducted by Jeff Savell, one of the world’s foremost meat scientists. But, these middle meats can account for about a third of total carcass value—upwards of 40 percent for Prime grading carcasses. In broader terms, consider a 1,200 pound fed steer with a dressing percentage of 62-64 percent, which equates to a carcass weight of 744-768 pounds. Yep, 1,200 pounds is light by today’s standards, but old habits are hard to break. “The expected yield of retail cuts from beef carcasses ranges from approximately 55 to 75 percent, depending on the fatness and muscling of the animal and the type of cuts produced,” explained Rosie Nold in a fact sheet from South Dakota State University (SDSU) a few years back. She is the SDSU animal science assistant department head. “A typical 750 pound carcass with 0.50 inches of fat over the ribeye and average muscling of a 12-13 square inch ribeye will yield about 65 percent of the carcass weight as retail cuts (roasts and steaks) and lean trim,” Nold said. Using this example, cutting the carcass into primarily boneless steaks and roasts, Nold breaks out the resulting carcass composition this way: 20-25 percent lean trim that will likely be packaged as ground beef; 10-12 percent boneless chuck roasts and steaks; 10-12 percent round roasts and steaks; 10-12 percent steaks from the rib and loin. “Ground beef increases proportionally as carcass size increases and so more meat per animal has likely led to increases in consumer value through lower prices or smaller increases in prices resulting from the decrease in number of cattle slaughtered,” Peel says. “However, steaks represent an important portion of the total carcass value and it is possible the increase in size of other cuts also may have created less desirable end products for consumers.”

Carcass Growth Continues The primary driver of increasing steak size is straightforward. Improved genetics, management, cattle feeding technology and economic incentive all foster more pounds.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture data indicate average weights of commercially slaughtered cattle hovered around 1,000 pounds from the 1950s midway through the 1970s, Peel says. In his early-December market comments, Peel explains, “Since 1975, there has been a steady increase in the size of beef cattle. Finished cattle weights have increased about nine pounds per year on average. In 2016, the average weight was 1,363 pounds, which is 366 pounds more than the average weight in 1975. “Steer and heifer carcass weights have increased an average of 5 pounds per year for the last 50 years. Current production systems, technology and genetics would suggest that there is no end in sight to just how big cattle can get from a production standpoint. There is no reason to believe that the drop in carcass weights in 2017 is a change in the long run trend of bigger carcasses, though it could represent moderation or a peak in carcass size.” The decline in carcass weights this year that Peel alludes to stems mainly from economic incentives encouraging aggressive feedlot marketing, which equates to feeding cattle relatively fewer days. “Steer carcass weights have been lower 44 of 46 weeks this year, and the average decrease for the year to date is 14 pounds below last year,”

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Winter 2018

The decline in carcass weights this year that Peel alludes to stems mainly from economic incentives encouraging aggressive feedlot marketing, which equates to feeding cattle relatively fewer days. Peel says. “Heifer carcass weights are currently 13 pounds below last year and have been lower every week of the year resulting in an average of 12 pounds lighter year over year for the year to date.” These lighter carcass weights help support prices by diluting the impact of cyclically increasing cattle numbers. “The decrease in carcass weights partially offsets increased cattle slaughter and moderates the increase in beef production in 2017,” Peel explains. “Steer slaughter is up 2.1 percent for the year to date; an increase of 310,000 head year over year. Lower steer carcass weights is the equivalent of 234,818 fewer head at last year’s carcass weights, meaning that the reduction in carcass weights is equivalent to increasing steer slaughter by 81,154 head or just 0.6 percent this year. Decreased heifer carcass weight is equivalent to a 110,067 head

reduction in heifer slaughter, reducing the increase in heifer slaughter from the actual 12.2 percent year-over-year increase to an equivalent level of 10.5 percent year-over-year increase. As a result, year-to-date beef production is up 4.1 percent compared to the 5.3 percent increase in steer and heifer slaughter.” Back to those steaks, wrought larger by increasing carcass size. “The industry has been hearing from consumers for at least two decades that they did not want bigger

and bigger steaks,” Peel says. “Grocery stores and restaurants both market beef, not just on a price per pound, but on a cost per package or plate. Big steaks are increasingly too big for a meal and are too expensive to purchase.”

K-STATE: the Place to be MARCH 2 Plan to attend these events hosted annually in Manhattan the first Friday of March.





105th Cattlemen’s Day

41st Annual Sale

8 a.m. Trade Show • 10 a.m. Program

3:30 p.m. CST

Weber Hall, Manhattan, KS

Stanley Stout Center, Manhattan, KS SELLING: 65 FEED-EFFICIENCY TESTED BULLS 35 Angus, 15 Hereford and 15 Simmental 40 REGISTERED FEMALES 20 Spring Cows and 20 Fall Bred Cows

Join us at 8 a.m. for refreshments, educational exhibits and a commercial trade show. The program begins at 10 a.m. Lunch featuring smoked brisket and Cajunspiced catfish will be sponsored by commercial exhibitors and U.S. Premium Beef. The afternoon sessions will feature K-State faculty and industry presentations in Weber Hall on an array of topics continuing the morning’s theme.

For a full schedule and to register visit www.asi.k-state.edu/ cattlemensday or call 785-532-1267

As a department, we take great pride in our university, our cattle and especially our students. For four decades, our commitment to our customers has been to provide cattle that are profitable in a variety of situations. This year’s offering was designed with that commitment in mind. Utilizing the latest technology, including genomic testing and measuring individual feed intake, we have sought to build cattle that perform in a wide range of management and environmental conditions.

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY PUREBRED BEEF UNIT 2200 Denison Avenue • Manhattan, KS 66502

www.asi.ksu.edu/bullsale Dr. Bob Weaber, Faculty Advisor • 785.477.1287 Dr. Dave Nichols, Faculty Advisor • 785.532.1239

For a sale book, call 785.532.6127 or email bullsale@ksu.edu

Join us for the 8th Annual Predictable Genetics Proven Performance Sale Shorthorn & Shorthorn Composite Bulls and Females

Save The Date! Featuring Shorthorn/Angus and Shorthorn/Red Angus Composites

Predictability. Profitability. Performance.

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Call or email scott@lovingfarms.com for a catalog!

Enogen® Feed Corn Boosts Calf Feed Efficiency by Wes Ishmael

“By using a variety of corn that provides more energy in lesser amounts, producers can reduce feed costs while maximizing performance,” says Dale Blasi, beef stocker specialist at Kansas State University (KSU). That’s the bottom line of a study1 conducted at the KSU Beef Stocker Unit, which compared growing calves with rations containing Enogen® Feed Corn (EFC) to those fed rations containing conventional yellow corn (YC). If you’re unfamiliar, EFC from Syngenta contains what is termed an alpha amylase enzyme trait. In simple terms, Blasi explains cattle can utilize more starch from corn containing this trait. Increased starch utilization means more energy, which leads to increased feed efficiency. “In our study, calves fed EFC were 5.50 percent more feed efficient than calves fed conventional yellow corn,” Blasi says. He adds that calves receiving EFC also consumed less feed overall. As well, there were no negative observations regarding cattle health or behavior. The study included 384 English crossbred steers that averaged 538 pounds at receiving. These calves were grown for 90 days, receiving one of four rations, formulated to provide 51 Mcal NEg/100 pounds dry matter: EFC dry-rolled, EFC whole-shelled, YC dry-rolled or YC whole-shelled. All rations were offered for ad libitum intake. “Dry matter intake for calves fed EFC tended to be lower than calves fed yellow corn. This difference was especially apparent through day 14, where yellow-fed calves consumed significantly more feed than their Enogen-fed counterparts,” according to the KSU study report. “Average daily gain and off-test weights tended to be greater for calves fed EFC over

“Average daily gain and off-test weights tended to be greater for calves fed EFC over the entire 90-day trial. As early as day 35, feed efficiency tended to be greater for EFC-fed calves.

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F&R Livestock Resource page 23

the entire 90-day trial. As early as day 35, feed efficiency tended to be greater for EFC-fed calves. For the remainder of the study, feed efficiency was significantly greater for calves fed EFC.” For further perspective, the enzyme technology embodied by Enogen was designed for ethanol production, where amylase enzyme is added in liquid form to help break down starch into sugar. Syngenta developed EFC so that the enzyme can be added directly through the corn. The end result is increased efficiency in ethanol production. The KSU results corroborate findings in an earlier study2 conducted by the University of Nebraska that focused on EFC versus YC in feedlot rations. In that study, regardless of corn processing, cattle fed EFC were 3 percent more feed efficient than those fed corn without the alpha amylase trait enzyme. Syngenta Enhanced Feed Corn (Enogen) containing an alpha amylase expression trait improves feed efficiency in growing calf diets, Kansas State University. 2 Evaluating Syngenta Enhanced Feed Corn Processed as Dry- Rolled or High- Moisture Corn on Cattle Performance and Carcass Characteristics, University of Nebraska. 1

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Winter 2018

Robbi Pritchard, South Dakota State University

Kelly Bruns, University of Nebraska

Backgrounding today’s cattle on yesterday’s “prescription” can mean missed profit opportunities. “We can map to hit whatever target anybody wants us to hit,” says Robbi Pritchard, South Dakota State University animal scientist. “All we need to do is manage our stage of growth, oversee the implant, get the correct intake— and we start at ranch time.” Ranches have differentiated their calves over the years, so it’s time to look at what each set of cattle needs before putting them in a routine program. Kelly Bruns, University of Nebraska west central research and Extension director, worked with Pritchard and his team to study the ideal. “Rather than have one common backgrounding diet for all of the calves that come in, can I strategically, or as Pritchard calls it, ‘precision’ background them to maximize my outputs?” Bruns asks. That’s the question brought on by an evolution in genetics and management. 1. Breeding seasons are tighter.

“We no longer need time to get the skeleton to grow. We no longer need time for things to average out,” Pritchard says. “Time solved a lot of problems with feeder cattle but with quality-managed cattle today, we don’t have to fiddle around with that time.” 2. Growth genetics are the norm. When Pritchard started out decades ago, “very profitable” calves converted at 8.5:1 pounds (lb.) of feed to gain. “Growth potential is greater. The rules have changed,” he says. “Some [calves] are coming out of 1,600-lb. cows, they probably don’t need any implants. The DNA for size is there. We use implants to fill in for a lack of DNA.” 3. Marbling genetics have improved. “In the old days, bigger meant older. I had to let that frame grow. In the old days to get quality grade, they had to be older,” Pritchard says. “It used to be an adage that calf-feds couldn’t grade. That doesn’t exist anymore.” The first step is deciding to modify

Backgrounding ADG & Carcass Traits at YG 3.25.1 Target ADG

2.0 lb.

2.5 lb.

3.0 lb.


Ribfat, in.





Dress, %





HCW, lb.





Marbling 554 587 578 8.1 2




Pritchard, Taylor and Bruns unpublished 2014 Slight0=400; Small0=500

1 2

the growing program. That begs a question: “how?” Evaluate end goals and define quality grade and size targets, the animal scientists say. “The game gets played everywhere from weaning day to about 65 percent of their harvest weight,” Pritchard says. “That’s where you change the percent Choice, that’s where you change what they’ll weigh when they hit yield grade 4 (YG4). That’s the window.” Smaller to moderate-frame cattle need a more aggressive implanting program than the larger frames. It’s also important to consider final marketing method and quality grade potential, Bruns says. “If we choose to use an implant, are we matching the correct level of the implant, such as low, medium or high

potency to what their rate of gain is?” he asks. “Going back to all our previous marbling work, if we use too high potency of an implant and don’t match it up with a high enough caloric diet, we will impede marbling.” If implanted too aggressively, largeframe cattle have more risk of being heavyweight discounts in the packing plant. “Once you put implants in that large frame high growth kind of DNA, now all a sudden you have a 10,000 hp nitro-burning car. Grow them too slowly during backgrounding and they flame out. It’s not a good thing and it is usually the cattle that get blamed,” Pritchard says. Outcomes are not all set on day one. “Even genetics in the same pool

Celebrating our 22


Monday, March 5, 2018 6:30 pm • Farmers & Ranchers • Salina, KS

Selling 40 Yearling Bulls, 6 18-Month Old Bulls, 10 Open Heifers Semen Tested, EPDs, Performance Information, Culled on Ease of Handling, Disposition, Moderate Birth Weight and Growth Sires represented... SAV Angus Valley, Plattemere Weigh Up,

RB Tour of Duty, Connealy Guinness, Sitz Investment, MAF Tanker 23, VAR Discovery & Barstow Bankroll

6272 E Magnolia Road

17 th Annual Thursday, March 8, 2018 • 12:30 PM 4291 McDowell Creek Road • Manhattan, KS

SELLING APPROXIMATELY 180 LOTS, INCLUDING: 75 18-20 mo. old bulls 45 13-15 mo. old bulls 60 Registered females (Pairs, bred cows, bred and open heifers, pregnancies, embryos) BJ Genetics has been a trusted seedstock supplier for more than two decades.

• Genomic enhanced EPDs • Industry leading genetics • Performance tested bulls • Free delivery of bulls • Market accessibility See photos and video of our sale offering at www.bjangus.com.

Salina, KS

Don Johnson 785.536.4507 • 785.826.5628, cell Dan & Linda Egger 402.562.5951 • 402.910.3152, cell tlclivestock@hotmail.com


John & Bonnie Slocombe 4291 McDowell Creek Road • Manhattan, KS 66502 (785) 539-4726 • John’s mobile (785) 532-9777 john@bjangus.com • www.bjangus.com

Follow us on

Check website for complete weights, updates and catalog as they become available.

www.donjohnsonangus.com BJ 4.5x12.875 4c-F&R.indd 1

12/6/17 3:15 PM

F&R Livestock Resource page 27

can change carcass weight by how we background them,” Bruns says. Researchers looked at targeted daily gains for backgrounding from 2 to 2.5 and 3 lbs. The cattle finished on the same diet, for a similar number of days, to a consistent .5 inch of backfat. “The slower they grow during backgrounding, the more they eat during finishing,” Pritchard says, noting the 2 lb./day group finished with a 4.09 lb. average daily gain (ADG), compared to the fastest growing backgrounders at 3.58 lb. The middle group (2.5 lb.) only gave up a little in finishing to hit 3.9 lb. ADG. “All of this manipulation was happening during the backgrounding phase. That’s the trick,” he says.

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page 28

Winter 2018

Hot carcass weight was highest, at 856 lb., for the slowest growing group in backgrounding, and then fell linearly to 846 lb. and 821 lb. for those cattle pushed hardest earlier (see chart). Marbling score, however, peaked at 587 on a 1,000-point scale for middle rate of backgrounding while the 3-lb daily gainers in that phase slipped back to a 578-point marbling score. “We were putting too much flesh on them for the rates that they can accumulate intramuscular adipose during backgrounding. We got into the finishing phase with too much flesh on the steers,” Pritchard says. Bruns adds, “We met their genetic potential to maximize their marbling development and the rest just spills over into backfat.” Another important consideration is diet: Grazing wheat or feeding low-quality forage would be more suitable for commodity cattle. “They’re a very cost-effective way to background cattle, but it’s not the way you want to go if you’re going to need a premium carcass,” Pritchard says. The five- to eight-month window is most critical. “If I rough them too much during backgrounding, I’m going to give up the marbling. I’ll get a bunch of carcass weight but I won’t get the marbling.” As a general rule, early weaning is better for large-framed cattle, and creep feeding “fits best just to fill in the nutritional gaps,” he says. Precision ag isn’t new, but precision backgrounding might be a change. “If you’re a corn farmer in your other life, you’re perfectly comfortable with that precision ag,” Pritchard says. “We can go that way in the cattle business and make big strides. Today the genetics are better, they’re going to help us a lot. Our growth enhancement tools are better, and we know a lot more about them.” It just might be time for a new prescription.


Selling 140 SimAngus Bulls Backed by a 4-Year Guarantee on Feet and Semen SALE HIGHLIGHTS

073E 5/8 SimANGUS by Easy Answer // Reg 3311057 CE 15 YW 100 MB .44 API 150 TI 76

016E PB SIMMENTAL by BOZEMAN // Reg 3311006 CE 13 YW 120 MB .49 API 164 TI 88

268D 1/2 SimANGUS by Principal // Reg 3252584 CE 19 YW 114 MB .79 API 177 TI 92

422E 1/2 SimANGUS by LOCK DOWN // Reg 3310521 CE 18 YW 108 MB .51 API 156 TI 81

request a catalog & view videos at RiverCreekFarms.com

216D 1/2 SimANGUS by Principal // Reg 3252530 CE 18 YW 113 MB .50 API 153 TI 84

555D 1/4 SimANGUS by Power Tool // Reg 3252621 CE 15 YW 120 MB 1.02 API 168 TI 91

River Creek Farms, Inc. Manhattan, Kansas

Joe Mertz, Owner Phone: 785-458-9494 Email: rcfarms@wamego.net www.rivercreekfarms.com

412E 3/8 SimANGUS by PAYWEIGHT // Reg 3310550 CE 13 YW 128 MB .84 API 156 TI 92

28th Annual BULL SALE february 14, 2018 MANHATTAN, KANSAS 1 PM CST

85 55 25 15 2

489A 1/2 SimANGUS DONOR by BISMARCK // Reg 2848878 CE 15 YW 114 MB .52 API 154 TI 82

Spring yearling bulls 18-mo. old fall bulls open heifers fall pairs & BREDS PROVEN Donors

The World According to Hooter McCormick Pretty Boy Rides Again Editor’s Note: Hooter’s ability to entertain and remind us not to take ourselves so seriously has been a welcome respite for decades. Welcome to the latest episode of Hooter McCormick’s misadventures. Hooter hated birds. It might have been his vague memory of the barn owl that found its way down the chimney when Hooter was a toddler. When they surprised

each other the next morning, the owl spooked Hooter right out of his official Buck Rogers PJs. Maybe it was the wrath of Aunt Pinky when Hooter was 12, after he tested his first real bow and arrow on a mangy old rooster that used to chase him. Right through the heart… toughest chicken Hooter was ever forced to eat. It could have been Aunt Pinky’s cantankerous geese that hissed at him,

spread their wings in mock power and tried to pinch him when he was sneaking out or in as a teenager. Mostly, though, Hooter’s aversion to anything fowl had everything to do with Floyd, an ancient and bedraggled parrot Aunt Pinky bought when Hooter was barely out of high school. Aunt Pinky called him Pretty Boy, as in Pretty Boy Floyd. Hooter called him lots of things unfit for even sordid company. You see, Floyd was one of those

Humor gifted parrots that could mimic most anything. He became especially adept at imitating the range and inflections of Aunt Pinky’s voice. Floyd’s timing was impeccable and he delighted in making Hooter yell. Hooter lost track of the skinned and scuffed knuckles, noses and shins endured while flat beneath one piece of equipment or another, fixing, greasing or replacing when he’d hear Aunt Pinky, “Hooooooter! Hooter McCormick, you get up to this house this instant.” Sometimes it was Aunt Pinky with a bee in her bonnet about one thing or another. Usually, though, it turned out to be Floyd. Hooter would have one boot on the front porch when he’d hear Floyd’s maniacal laugh, then a perfect Bugs Bunny voice, “Hoo boy, what a putz, what a shmoe.” If Hooter busted through the door cussing, visions of parrot fricassee dancing through his mind, Floyd would let out a deafening shriek that sounded like a young woman: “Help! Help! Hooter’s on the War Path! Heeeeelp!” Aunt Pinky would come running and scold Hooter for scaring Floyd. “He’s a delicate creature, after all. You can’t come running in here like a bull in a china closet.” “But how am I supposed to know if it’s you or that twisted critter calling me?” “For Lord’s sakes,” Hooter. “Are you trying to tell me Pretty Boy is smarter than you?” To which, invariably, Floyd would chime in, “Pretty Boy’s smarter than Hooter, Pretty Boy’s smarter than… ” “Isn’t that the cutest thing you’ve ever seen,” Aunt Pinky would say, rubbing Floyd’s head and beaming with pride. There was no way for Hooter to win. If he ignored his aunt’s summons, he’d catch what-for if it turned out to be her. If it was that psychopathic bird, by the time it got done shrieking, Hooter was in trouble, too. Even when Hooter was in the house for a meal, Floyd would wait until Aunt Pinky left the room, then half-whisper in that Bugs Bunny voice, “Pretty Boy is smarter than Hooter… what a putz, what a schmoe, hoo boy.”

Convicted by Wishful Thinking That’s why Hooter’s heart sank when Doc Bulger skidded up to Aunt page 30

Winter 2018


“Best of Both Worlds” Sale March 26, 2018

CL 1 Domino 386A

Owned with Jamison, Edgar & Cooper Herefords

Box 8 • Dwight, KS 66849

Fertility, Calving Ease, Disposition, Conformation, Performance, Carcass and Daughters that Milk In that order, a Herd Bull must perform to really have a lasting effect on our herd. The top 6 traits we will know before we know about his daughters. Takes time ~ if it was easy, everyone would have a Great Herd Bull !!

Oleen Brothers

‘386’ sired Mark Cooper’s $155,000 top selling bull in his 2017 sale! “386” son

Another Great Herd Bull in the making. His daughters are making great cows.

“386” daughter

“386” son 2018 sale


~ Selling ~

70 Horned Hereford Bulls ~ 65 Black Angus Bulls 70 BWF Heifers w/calves ~ 40 Hereford & Angus Heifers 85 Fall Bred Heifers (Hereford, Angus and BWF) 30 Quarter Horses (yearling colts and riders) Jan: 785-482-3383 Arden: 785-466-1422 Jesse: 785-499-3250


Hinksons Windy 13 3205




Annual Bull Sale



Kearney, Missouri • 5 pm


Selling 160 bulls


10/2/2016 BW: 82 AWW: 885



















WC CCC Independence 6632 P ET 9/4/2016 CE EPDs:


BW -4.0

WW 27

YW 43

Milk 19

MCE 4.5

Mtnl 32


BW: 75 AWW: 875


SC 1.0


BW: 64 AWW: 803



















WC Titanium 6625 P et

TSI 187.29

Including 75 Coming Twos!


9/10/2016 BW:69 AWW: 839



















Call or write today for more information!

Sale Manager: Greg Hubert P.O. Box 100 Oakley, KS 67748 785-672-3195 (office) 785-672-7449 (cellular)

Cody and Lindsay Runft

14251 KK Hwy • Braymer, MO 64624 316-640-0733 • runft@codycattlecompany.com www.codycattlecompany.com

Derry & Mary Wright 42922 Old Hwy. 10 • Richmond, MO 64085 816-776-3512 farm office 816-456-3792 cellular dwright@wrightfarms.net www.wccharolais.com Chris Peuster, Managing Partner 816-529-2190 cellular

Pinky’s shop where he was working and pulled something big, square and covered from the back of his crew cab. Doc Bulger was the county’s only large animal vet. He was supposed to be retired these days, at least as retired as vets can get. Doc Bulger operated on Floyd a few years back, following what Aunt Pinky still referred to in a trembling voice as The Supposed Accident. Floyd went missing one day. Hooter was Aunt Pinky’s prime suspect, of course. “I told you I haven’t seen that miserable chicken all day,” Hooter had said, fighting hard to hide his hopefulness. “Then you best get busy and help me find him,” said Aunt Pinky, more frantic than Hooter could remember. “Pretty boy never misses his afternoon nap. I just know something has happened to him.” “But he could be anywhere, the way you let him have the run of the place.” Aunt Pinky had browbeat Hooter into replacing one of her kitchen windows with plywood and a parrot flap so Floyd could come and go as he pleased. “He needs his exercise,” Pinky said. Rickety and faded as Floyd appeared, Hooter was always surprised by how high and fast the bird could fly when he wanted. Unfortunately, it was Hooter that found Floyd, about half mile from the house, a couple of buzzards trying to figure out the exact nature of the creature. Far as Hooter could tell, it looked like Floyd had been shot; no doubt by someone else regularly harassed by the foul creature. Hooter was envious. He thought Floyd was dead, so he radioed the news to Aunt Pinky. Soon as Aunt Pinky roared up in her Lincoln, scattering rocks and soap weed, she began to accuse Hooter. “I wouldn’t have wasted the powder on him,” Hooter said. Then they both heard it, a hoarse, forced Bugs Bunny voice, “Putz.” So it was that Hooter was forced to carry Aunt Pinky and Floyd, fast as the Town Car and roads would allow, to Doc Bulger’s 30 miles away. It was the first time Hooter could ever remember finding the good doctor at his clinic. Hooter knew Doc would rather pull his own teeth than work on anything smaller than a new calf. He also guessed correctly that Doc Bulger had never attempted to revive a bird of any kind. Unfortunately, Hooter also knew Doc Bulger was sweet on his aunt— purely one-sided at the time. “I’ll see what I can do,” Doc had

said in his knowing, unflappable manner. As he pried Floyd from Aunt Pinky’s grip, he looked at Hooter. “You come help.” “Huh?” They’d barely got the door closed and Doc had Floyd on the table and was washing up. “Doc, you’ve got to be kidding… ” “Hooter, it’s my responsibility. The odds are against it, but I told your aunt I’d do what I could.” Doc located a pulse. He thought for a minute then grabbed the anesthesia mask, lowered it over Floyd’s beak and toyed with a couple of knobs until Floyd would no longer curl his toes when Doc tickled the bird’s feet. Sure enough, Doc found a couple of buckshot pellets. When he pried out the second, the blood flowed freely. As

if he’d done the same with a thousand parrots before, Doc instinctively grabbed for his cauterizing iron and touched it to the wound. Hooter heard Doc utter, “Uh-oh,” at the same instant he heard and saw a small explosion. As the feathers wafted to the floor, Doc muttered, “Hmmm, too much gas, definitely a bit heavy on the gas.” All Doc or Hooter would ever tell Aunt Pinky was that Floyd never came out from under the anesthesia.

Dogged by the Unlearned Now, here was Doc retrieving from his pickup something that reminded Hooter of the size and shape of Floyd’s old cage. Doc looked guiltier than a politician

Mill Brae Conf Plus 7092 CED BW WW



+135 +1.00



top 1%

top 1%



CEM Milk +11

top 20%



Marb RE +.19


+.73 top 15%

Mill Brae Identified 7072 CED BW WW +8


+69.78 +108.02 +18.38 +143.89 top 5%

top 1%



+144 +1.34



top 1%

top 1%


top 15%


CEM Milk +9 $G


top 20%


top 1%

top 1%


top 1%

Marb RE +.21

+.67 top 20%

+83.60 +104.54 +16.40 +123.68 top 1%

+89 +164 +.58 $F

CEM Milk +5 $G

Marb RE +.64 +.92


top 3%


Mill Brae Payweight 7179 CED BW WW



+136 +1.45


top 20%

+83.44 +141.74 +40.28 +178.16

top 15%

Mill Brae Resource 7169 CED BW WW


with a conscience. “It still troubles me,” Doc said. “That varmint couldn’t be saved; had a death wish from the start.” “I know but… what do you think?” Doc pulled the cover up on one side. Sure enough, sitting there contentedly, crunching sunflower seeds in its beak, was a brand new parrot, looking a lot younger than Floyd ever did. “You wait here. I’ll go get your aunt.” Hooter was speechless. He looked at the bird; the bird looked at him. Then he heard the voice, a whole lot like those old Humphrey Bogart movies: “You and me kid, see, we’ll get along just fine… ” Hooter could have sworn the bird winked.

top 2%

top 1%

top 25%



+129 +.53



top 1%

top 2%



CEM Milk +7 $G

+.52 +.54

top 10%


+84.25 +95.67 +29.92 +144.31 top 1%

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Marb RE


top 2%

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CEM Milk +10 $G

+32 top 5%

Marb RE +.56 +.35


+87.22 +107.40 +23.80+155.05

top 1%

Mill Brae Breaking News 7192 CED BW WW


EPDs current as of 11/24/17

top 1%

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Mill Brae Boulder E723(SA) CE


+13.8 -.4 top 25%


+77 +118.8 +8.7 top 5%

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Milk MWW Marb RE +19 TI

152.7 +88.4 top 10%

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130 easy-calving bulls (100+HEIFER BULLS) with tremendous growth guaranteed to sire efficient, money-making, market-topping calves. [120 Angus and 10 SimAngus]

50 replacement females designed to mature into top producers under range conditions. [40 Angus and 10 SimAngus] Sired By: Identity • Payweight • Comrade • Confidence Plus • Resource • Identified • Breaking News Remedy • Journey • Boulder (SM) • Spartan (SM) • Graduate (SM)

T.D. Steele, Partner Roger D. Steele, Partner Clint Michaelis, Herdsman Dalton Kelley, Ranch Hand www.millbraeranch.com

Mark Nikkel, Managing Partner 15670 Cattlemen Rd. Maple Hill, KS 66507 (785) 256-4327(H) / (785) 256-3072(C) millbraeranch@gmail.com

F&R Livestock Resource page 33

Heterosis Head quarters

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Simmental — SimAngus TM — Angus — 140 Head Sell! Selling 75 Powerful Two-Year Olds, 15 Stout Fall Yearlings and 20 Dynamic Yearling Bulls Plus 30 Top Bred Heifers, Many Safe to the $52,500 Dividend...top 1% BW, MARB, API, & TI!

POWER BULLS with Calving Ease Genetics, Good Feet, Extra Thickness & Eye Appeal that are Easy Fleshing & Gentle!

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LOT 1 SimAngusTM TWO-YEAR OLD by Cowboy Cut

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page 34

Winter 2018

Select with confidence . . . . . PluS! For 50 years, the Benoit cowherd has been selected with high expectations for reproductive efficiency, longevity, and superior performance.

40 SonS & 10 daughterS Sell on March 15

connealy confidence PluS


Leased to Genex.

“PLus” has a unique combination of caLvinG ease & Growth. his ProGeny are biG-ribbed, deeP bodied & weLL baLanced. his dauGhters have a brood cow aPPearance & his sons have the Look of herd buLLs. CED BW WW YW SC DOC HP CEM MILK +15 -1.0 +67 +125 -.02 +23 +12.2 +14 +26 CW MARB RE $W $B +56 +.69 +.90 +70.21 +166.64

connealy teMPlate 5416


second hiGh-seLLinG buLL in the sPrinG 2016 conneaLy anGus saLe. toP 1% of the breed for weaninG weiGht, yearLinG weiGht and scrotaL. toP 3% of the breed for carcass weiGht, toP 4% for ribeye and toP 5% for heifer PreGnancy. CED BW WW YW SC DOC HP CEM MILK +8 +3.3 +87 +158 +2.1 +21 +14.5 +10 +15 CW MARB RE $W $B +62 -.08 +.87 +67.16 +138.42

29th annual Production Sale thurSday, March 15, 2018 . 1 PM

143 yearling BullS . 17 fall yearling BullS 70 regiStered rePlaceMent heiferS . 30 coMMercial rePlaceMent heiferS SireS include: confidence PluS . gar Sure fire . connealy teMPlate . BarStow caSh . weStern cut Var index . Payweight 1682 . Sygen fate . aar ten x . anguS Valley . raMPage . gar ProPhet


free deliVery . 1St SeaSon Breeding guarantee all cattle are Parent Verified & Sell with genoMic enhanced ePdS For more information, please contact: 1-888-870-BULL Everett & Bonnie Benoit (785) 725-3231 Doug Benoit (785) 545-6806 . Chad Benoit (785) 545-8095 ebbenoit@ruraltel.net . www.BenoitAngus.com 621 Hwy. 36 . Esbon, KS 66941

Brief CAB Opts for USDA Grading Modernization by Steve Suther

It’s no big deal, literally, but grading rules that applied needless discounts to a tiny fraction of carcasses are no more for most beef. As of December 18, all graded beef in the U.S. can be evaluated for the most youthful “A” maturity category based on dentition as well as traditional skeletal metrics when assigning quality grades. After input from industry stake-


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“Our calves receive CONVERT within hours of birth up to one day of age. For our operation, CONVERT has nearly eliminated scours, and our calves seem more vigorous and healthier. We find that we don’t have to follow up with antibiotics or any other treatments when using CONVERT. Prior to using CONVERT, we had more scour problems and found it was hard to avoid with our calving months of February and March. Since using CONVERT, we have reduced our scour problems, and our calves are healthy and hardy.” Craig Bruns, Pine Springs Ranch, Rushville, Neb.

CONVERT is a trademark of Agrarian Solutions™, Middlebury, Ind., and is merely distributed by Select Sires Inc. All claims, representations and warranties, expressed or implied, are made only by Agrarian Solutions and not by Select Sires Inc.


page 36

Winter 2018

holders citing research and economics over the past year, USDA announced the change to modernize grading standards in that way. Quality grading assesses both marbling and maturity. “Nearly all of the large beef processing plants have been using dentition for more than a decade to meet export requirements,” says Clint Walenciak, director of packing for the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand. “Roughly 95 percent of all fed cattle are graded to inform consumers on tenderness, juiciness and flavor, and this minor rule adjustment shouldn’t affect the number graded.” Studies showed beef ruled “A” (under 30 months of age) by dentition but with advanced skeletal maturity (B and C) was just as palatable as beef that did not exhibit such skeletal traits. Under the previous rules, those few carcasses with conflicting traits for maturity were valued at the discounted rate common to older maturity beef. The new standard allows carcasses under 30 months as determined by dentition to be classified as “A” maturity as long as skeletal maturity has not advanced to the oldest categories of “D” or “E.” Cattle found to be older than 30 months can still be graded using current standards for lean and skeletal maturity. Branded beef companies that specify maturity may opt for the updated standard by request, and CAB had done so to maintain currency with the greater beef industry. That minor tweak in one of the brand’s 10 carcass specifications should have little impact on supply and none on quality and consistency, Walenciak says. “The consistent eating satisfaction associated with our brand is still defined by all of those specifications [see graphic] that trace back through our 40 years of history,” he says.

2018 RAM 2500 and 3500 HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS

marshallmotor.com 1-800-395-0455 • 785-827-9641 • 3500-3550 South 9th, Salina

RL Blazing Peptocat Red Roan • AQHA 5382685 April 2, 2011 Stallion Stands: 15.1 hands Weight: 1,220 lbs.

RL Blazing Peptocat is a beautiful red roan stallion possessing good bone and a super disposition.

In the Stud

RL Blazing Peptocat’s first foals are 2-year-olds as of 2017. His sire, Cat Ichi, has earned $306,191 and was named NCHA Open Derby Champion; NCHA Open Supre Stakes co-Reserve Champion; top 10, NCHA Open Futurity; Memphis 4-Year-Old Open Futurity Champion; 3rd, Augusta 4-Year-Old Open Futurity and Suncoast Winter Open Derby, etc. A 2016 NCHA Top 10 Leading Sire and a NCHA All-Time Leading Sire, siring earners of $5,300,000. His dam, Peptocandy, is by Peptoboonsmal and has earned $151,386. She was named NCHA Open Futurity Reserve Champion and is the dam of 4 money-earners.

High Brow Hickory High Brow Cat Smart Little Kitty Cat Ichi Doc Quixote Laney Doc Christmas Four Peppy San Badger Peptoboonsmal Royal Blue Boon Peptocandy Shorty Lena Shortys Candy Montadocs Candy

For more information, contact

Dusty & Kathy Graves Lake City, Kansas 580/327-7619

Making the cowman kind... It’s the tradition 31st Annual Production Sale February 24, 2018 • 1:00 PM CST • At the Ranch Top quality herd sires in this offering

Basin Payweight 1682 AMAN 17038724

EGL Lifeline B101 AMGV 1298079

SELLING: 65 Balancer Bulls 50 Angus Bulls 10 SimAngus Bulls 25 Balancer, Angus & SimAngus Open Heifers

Many sons of these Balancer Sires Sell! EGL Lifeline B101 BGGR Cohesion 5153C DJS Derringer 96X TAU Outright 162A Also many sons of these Angus Sires sell! SAV Resource 1441 Basin Payweight 1682 Coleman Charlo 4256 Game Day 449

Videos will be available mid-February Jeff Swanson

Ranch visitors always welcome!

308/991-0727 (C) • 308/337-2235 Fax 10908 724 Rd. • Oxford, NE 68967 swansoncattleco@yahoo.com www.swansoncattleco.com

Brief Beef Marketing Group Adds Value by Starting with the Consumer “We spend a lot of time trying to understand consumers through the lens of those presenting our product to consumers,” says John Butler, CEO of the Beef Marketing Group (BMG). “They’re all looking to differentiate their meat case and menus. What can we do, from a raw product standpoint, to help them differentiate?” BMG is a cattle feeding and marketing cooperative that includes 17 partnering feedyards in Kansas and Nebraska. In simple terms, members

of the BMG cooperative provide a consistent supply of high quality beef to Tyson Fresh Meats. A lion’s share of the product goes into food service, via a network of the nation’s leading food distributors. For BMG, answering the differentiation question has everything to do with first understanding customer needs and challenges. For instance, food service customers want what Butler terms a plate-presentable ribeye steak. This is a steak cut an inch thick that can


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FEBRUARY 24, 2018 • 12:30 PM (CST)

Post Rock Cattle Company Sale Facility • Barnard, Kansas



Cowman’s Kind

be cooked consistently to the correct level of doneness based on cooking temperature, a steak that covers part of a diner’s plate. They want that steak rather than one so large that it must be cut one-quarter-inch thick, though it still covers much of the plate and creates challenges to cooking consistency along the way. Yes, Butler understands as well as anyone that average cattle carcass weights are growing over time, as well as the economic drivers behind the steady increase of about 5 lbs.





Gelbvieh and Balancer® • Including all six year old cows.

TM CEM YG CW REA MB FPI EPI 66 10 -0.36 39 0.52 0.32 85.81 121.86



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CED BW WW YW MK 14 -1.1 75 120 28

CED BW WW YW MK 17 -1.0 75 117 21

TM CEM YG CW REA MB FPI EPI 58 11 -0.38 38 0.57 0.30 85.23 121.90

29D is a 50% Balancer son of DARC P401 sired by Sandpoint Butkis. He is a People’s Choice Balancer Futurity entry. DARC P401, the dam of 29D, is the featured donor dam of bulls selling in our 2018 Cowman’s Kind Sale. 29D and ET brothers sell.

50% Balancer bull that is a People’s Choice Balancer Bull Futurity entry in Denver. His dam, the DARC P401 donor, is known throughout the industry for her production of purebred herd sires and high quality females. He is sired by Basin Payweight 1682. 375D8 and ET brothers sell.

CED BW WW YW MK TM CEM YG CW REA MB FPI EPI Purebred Power Built 38B8 son that 9 0.7 70 102 30 65 3 -0.45 31 0.47 -0.03 70.36 90.23 is our Breeder’s Choice Gelbvieh Futurity entry in Denver. 70E2’s dam is a direct daughter of Twila 223M2. Selling sons of Power Built and ET sons Twila 223M2 in our Cowman’s Kind Production Sale.

Selling one half interest in Post Rock Wilma 298Z8, the dam of Post Rock Power Built 37B8, the high selling bull in our 2015 Cowman’s Kind Sale. She is a proven donor out of the Wilma 261P1 donor who is the dam of Post Rock Silver.

75% Balancer Donor - She sells! 294Z8 was the 2013 Reserve National Champion female at the Junior show in Denver. She is also the dam of Wilma 304B8, the 2016 Supreme Champion Bred and Owned purebred female at the Junior Nationals. Also selling ET sons including two full brothers to Wilma 304B8.

Sale broadcast live online at www.liveauctions.tv

LiveAuctions TV 3041 E. Hwy. 284, Barnard, KS 67418 Bill Clark: 785.792.6244 Leland Clark: 785.792.6208 Fax: 785.792.6250 • Email: prcc@twinvalley.net “Where calving ease, performance and eye-appeal come together.”

www.mms.bz SALE MANAGEMENT BY: Mitchell Marketing Service Chris Mitchell 334-695-1371 20180 NE Roy Golden Road Blountstown, FL 321424

Thought for the month... The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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per year for the last 50 years. That’s an opportunity. Considering the just-mentioned steak, Butler says, “Maybe an animal I can finish at 1,300 lbs. versus 1,600 lbs. can help solve that.” That’s one example of understanding what the consumer wants, then working back through the supply chain to understand how that can be provided most efficiently. “We are very much a part of a beef value supply chain. We look at things with the end in mind from the beginning,” Butler says. “All pieces are synchronized in achieving a product consumers demand, a product that will satisfy them and reward the supply chain.” There is never a one-size, fits-all silver bullet, Butler says. But, systems can be developed that provide customers solutions consistently. At BMG, it’s their trademarked quality management system, Progressive Beef ™ that focuses on process control, food safety, animal care, sustainability, and responsible antibiotic use. “We sell most of our cattle on a grid that we developed with Tyson Fresh Meats. We have a target in mind that delivers the most value,” Butler says. “We use the pricing mechanism to understand what we can produce efficiently, which can also be efficient for customers.” On both ends of the trade, part of increasing efficiency has to do with understanding how to reduce variation and risk before it enters the system. Consider carcass weight; it’s not just the size on the heavy end of the spectrum. “The packer is our first customer. They’d love to have a more consistent weight carcass, not the range of 500-1,200 lbs. they routinely get in the same load of cattle,” Butler says. “So, can we bring a more consistent animal to them? Yes, I think we can. We know enough about feeder cattle that if we start with a certain kind, fed certain rations, here are the kinds of carcasses they will produce.” Despite its many forms, adding value to cattle and beef, then retrieving some reward for the effort often comes down to consistency and reliability. For instance, Mike Samples, manager of Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission (FRLC) says, “Quality is becoming more important all of the time. Cattle that

look alike and are genetically similar. Whether producers have 25 cows or 200, if they have calves that look alike and look like they’ll grow, it helps them sell.” The same goes for other production and consumption attributes.

“We have a pricing matrix based on the type and kind of cattle we’re after. If our buyers know nothing about the cattle, they can pay no

more than the base average price in our matrix. If they know more about the cattle, they have more purchasing flexibility,” Butler explains.

Health is Critical Value Component “There is a mix of drivers that our procurement team is aware of as feeder cattle go through Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission and other markets,” Butler explains. “The signals we get from our customers affect how we purchase feeder cattle, and there’s not a single market.” For any market, though, buyers are always interested in reducing risk via cattle health. For instance, in September sales at FRLC, Samples says buyers routinely paid $10 more for same-class, similar-weight calves that were weaned and vaccinated versus those that weren’t. “We want to bring what’s most efficient to our system and to our customers, so when we look at incoming cattle, consistent health is critically important,” Butler says. “If we purchase health-compromised cattle, we have to understand the challenges we are presenting to the feedyards.” Those cattle require more resources, including time, manpower and technology. When BMG buyers assess the health risk of prospective calves, Butler says verification of the producer’s calf health program and protocols is a plus, but not a necessity depending on who is representing the cattle. “Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission is held in high integrity in how they represent the cattle. If they’re representing a producer’s cattle, we trust what they’re telling us about them,” Butler says. “I feel like they can play a key role in building trust between ranches and feedyards, and it goes both ways.” Samples adds that consignors can help by providing a list of vaccinations the calves received and when, so it can be shared from the auction block.

Providing more information doesn’t guarantee a premium, but it makes it possible. In the case of BMG, yes, they prefer weaned and preconditioned calves, but their pricing matrix determines how much value it has in their system. Besides which, on any given day, holes can develop in the market. “If I was a rancher, I’d do everything I could on my part to make sure buyers knew as much about my cattle as there is to know,” Butler says. “For instance, a signed document from their veterinarian describing the vaccination programs and times of administration. I would want to load them up with every bit of information.”

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Yearling Heifers

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Katherine Z22

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F&R Livestock Resource page 41


Minimizing Pain is Important to Improving Animal Welfare

Award-winning veterinary researcher seeks to take the pain out of cattle procedure by Joe Montgomery

A calf ’s ear may be the best location for delivering a new vaccine with a dual purpose: relieving pain while also preventing unwanted pregnancies in cattle. This approach was deemed sound enough to merit a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, for Hans Coetzee, head of anatomy and phys-

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iology in K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and his collaborator, Doug Jones, a professor at Iowa State University. Coetzee’s career has long focused on finding ways to relieve pain in cattle, which has already resulted in national and international recognition earlier this year. In July, he was presented with the 2017 Animal Welfare award by the American Veterinary Medical Association. In August, he

was invited to South Korea where he was presented with the CEVA Global Animal Welfare Award by the World Veterinary Association. In October, NIFA announced a list of 39 projects nationwide to receive funding through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program. The College of Veterinary Medicine was selected to receive more than $1.7 million in funding, including Coetzee’s project, “Optimizing an

Immunocastration Vaccine Ear Implant to Prevent Pain Associated with Bovine Castration.” “Our project will specifically work to optimize a long lasting vaccine implanted under the skin of the ear to direct the calf ’s immune response to disrupt the development of the male reproductive organs,” Coetzee said. “Knowledge gained from this proposal will address current animal welfare concerns and will have an immediate and significant impact on the sustainability of U.S. beef production systems.” Coetzee said that physical castration of male calves destined for beef production has been one of the most common livestock management practices performed in the United States, amounting to about 10 million procedures per year. Benefits include a reduction in unwanted pregnancies, improved meat quality and fewer injuries in confinement operations. “Pain experienced during physical castration is a significant animal welfare concern,” Coetzee said. “It is therefore critical for livestock producers to develop practical and cost-effective strategies to reduce the negative impact of surgical castration on beef cattle welfare and production. The long term goal of our research group is to improve animal welfare through the development of practical strategies to alleviate pain associated with castration.” In collaboration with researchers affiliated with the Nanovaccine Institute at Iowa State University, Coetzee’s research group has already developed a prototype of an implant that reduces testicular development in calves, but wants to determine the impact of age on the ability of the vaccine implant to produce effective immunocastration in calves throughout the production cycle. “Our hypothesis is that the implant will be effective regardless whether it is administered to newborn calves, weaned calves or yearling calves,” Coetzee said. “We believe this research will deliver a technology that can eliminate pain associated with castration in cattle regardless of when the immunocastration implant is administered during the production cycle.” This research will be supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant No. 2017-67015-27124 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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