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FRONTLINE beef producer

Feeder Calf Marketing & Bull Power

Southern Brangus

The Southern Cattle Company Brangus herd boasts the largest source in the southeast for Brinks genetics. We invite you to come out and see for yourself how deep the quality runs! Join us October 30th at the ranch for our annual ‘Less Feed, More Gain’ bull sale or ask about our Sight Unseen Guarantee! Your top source for data backed, feed efficient genetics! Collected at the University of Florida’s GrowSafe system.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 ~ 12:00 pm CST At the Ranch ~ Marianna, FL

SCC Roberts Dickerson 201U R10137970

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Visit us at:

Southern Cattle Company John E. Downs, Owner

Lamont Ennis, Gen. Manager 850/352-2020 Kyle Devoll, Marketing 979/820-8362 Doug Williams, Sales Agent 336/745-5252 Marianna, FL

FRONTLINE Beef Producer 1


6 Be Prepared:

Pre-weaning care reduces stress by Clifford Mitchell

FRONTLINE Beef Producer Commerical Marketing Programs

Grant Keenen


15 Protecting Herd Health when Buying a Bull by Soren Rodning

19 Developing a Demand

by Marcine Moldenhauer


Frances Miller

Contributing Editors

Dr. Mark Enns Dr. Matt Hersom Dr. Joseph Massey Clifford Mitchell Marcine Moldenhauer Dr. Soren Rodning Ben Spitzer Advertising

4 Out Front

EPDs are Important when Selecting Bulls for Your Cow Herd by Dr. Joseph Massey

10 The Bottom Line Cattle Markets & Programs by Grant Keenen

11 Nutrition Strategies

Feeder Calf Strategies and Marketing by Dr. Matt Hersom

14 The Forefront

Percentile Rank Simplifies Genetic Decisions by Ben Spitzer

18 Genetic Strategies

Milk EPD - How do they work? by Mark Enns, PhD

Melanie Fuller 979.828.5300 Copy Editor

Elma Ryan Proofreader

Jim Bulger Operations

Mary Douglass Rosanne Sralla Patti Teeler

FRONTLINE Beef Producer is a product of:

Brangus Publications, Inc. 5750 Epsilon San Antonio, Texas 78269-6020 Phone: 210.696.8231 Fax: 210.696.8718 Brangus Publications, Inc. Directors: Angelo Zottarelli - Chairman Dr. Joseph Massey - President Bill Davis - Secretary/Treasurer R.L. Robbs Don Cox Information appearing in this issue may be reprinted only with written permission of Brangus Publications, Inc.

LPC Livestock Publications Council - Member


2 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

Do your calves have what it takes geneticlly to succeed? And do you have the management practices to get them there?

Brangus is Our Business Calving ease sires to limit dystocia, increase live calves and benefit cow longevity

Strong maternal emphasis for quality udders, increased fleshing ability and better dispositions

Selection for performance, muscle, structural soundness and tight sheaths

Adaptable genetics for harsher environments from southern Florida to Idaho, Arizona to Missouri and anywhere you need adaptability. Increased heterosis advantage to improve your bottom line. Contact your local ABS Representative or call 1-800-ABS-STUD to find out how the ABS Brangus lineup can go to work for you. ©2010 ABS Global, Inc. · 1525 River Road, DeForest, WI 53532 · Ph: 1-800-ABS-STUD · Fax: 608-846-6392 · FRONTLINE Beef Producer 3

OUT FRONT | by Dr. Joseph Massey

You demand more. IGENITY® helps you deliver. Don’t buy or market another bull or select replacement heifers without inside information from the most comprehensive and powerful DNA profile available.1 Talk with an advisor from IGENITY today to get started. Gary Felger Lohman, Mo. (573) 355-4709 Territory: Iowa and Missouri Brian Geneva Coweta, Okla. (918) 457-7135 Territory: southeastern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, western Arkansas, Oklahoma and northeastern Texas Zac Hall Bismarck, N.D. (701) 426-0285 Territory: North Dakota and South Dakota Courtney Kealey Bozeman, Mont. (406) 270-6290 Territory: Montana, Wyoming and Idaho Sam Lewis Schulenburg, Texas (979) 229-2431 Territory: Texas Rick Pfortmiller Natoma, Kan. (785) 230-9507 Territory: Kansas and Nebraska Kristen Clark and the Customer Service Team, Duluth, Ga. (877) 443-6489 Territory: Representatives are available to service all states Dr. Kevin DeHaan Technical Services Director Taylor, Mo. (217) 430-4189 Dr. Jim Gibb Technical Services Director Louisville, Colo. (303) 664-9494

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®IGENITY and the IGENITY Logo are registered trademarks of Merial. ©2010 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. MEGLIGEN9073 (12/09)

4 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

EPDs are Important when Selecting Bulls for Your Cow Herd


Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are raising cattle and you still the best tool to use when selecting have the best managebulls for this upcoming breeding season. ment practices it does We have been perfecting EPDs for the last not affect the EPD 25 to 30 years and I am still amazed that we have value because again it not done a better job of explaining what EPDs are. looks at the differences An EPD has two important values associated with between the two bulls’ it; the first is actual value and the second is an ac- averages. This concuracy value. The actual EPD is a value that was cept is true if you are calculated by looking at the difference that one can in South Texas with expect or observe when looking at a group of con- draught conditions; temporaries. This is important because the objective only the genetic difis to separate out environmental and manageEPDs are the best tool ment practices that a producer has to from the calculation and detercompare bulls and to mine the actual help determine how to genetic value.

use a bull depending

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Massey has served as Executive Vice President of the IBBA since 2004. In 2007, he started Genetic Performance Solutions, LLC, a breed registry services and performance analysis company serving the cattle and breed association industry— a joint venture between the IBBA and the Red Angus Association of America. GPS manages online registry programs for breed associations and the data base management of performance data like multibreed EPDs.

EPDs are on which trait is the usually expressed in a + or most important for his – figure because the EPD only operation. tries to explain the outcome one should expect when comparing bulls in the ferences will be calculated. This allows the genetic same environment and management practices. For difference between bull A and bull B to hold true if example, if you are using bull A with a +20 pound accurancy is high. EPD for weaning weight and bull B with a +25 pound EPD for weaning weight and these two bulls The second value is the accuracy value which are placed in the same pasture with a group of cows simply says that the more offspring a bull has prothat are all being managed the same way then you duced the more predictable his EPDs are. Once you have eliminated environment and management. have an accuracy of .5 or greater, the likelihood that Equally important is that all the cows are managed the EPD will change much is low. Young bulls with together from bull exposure to the time the calves pedigree EPD values of less than .3 will have the are weaned. The importance of this helps one to most amount of movement on their EPDs. understand that it does not matter if these cattle and calves were managed in Texas or Colorado on grass EPDs are the best tool that a producer has to or supplemental feed. The important aspect is that compare bulls and to help determine how to use a they were all treated the same. Now, when calves bull depending on which trait is the most imporare weaned, weights recorded and one compares the tant for his operation. Whichever trait has the most average of calves from bull A and bull B one would value for you can best be selected by understanding expect that there would be a +5 pound advantage EPDs. Don’t be afraid to use EPDs and if you need for bull B. better understanding about them find someone knowledgeable who can help explain. It is your best EPDs don’t look at absolute values but rather genetic prediction tool. the differences, so if you are the best manager in

You demand more. IGENITY® delivers. When you want the most comprehensive genetic profile available today, there’s only one choice. From a single DNA sample, IGENITY provides inside information for all of these economically important analyses: • NEW! Residual feed intake —

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*For the most up-to-date list of traits and complete list of genetic abnormalities, visit or call 1-877-IGENITY.

®IGENITY and the IGENITY Logo are registered trademarks of Merial. ©2009 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. MEGLIGEN9062-A (06/09)


FRONTLINE Beef Producer 5

FEATURE | by Clifford Mitchell

Be Prepared

Pre-weaning care reduces stress


aking better business decisions is the goal for most firms no matter what product or service is their lifeblood. Decisions are often made with all the information available and scrutinized to make sure there will be a profit at the end point. For most, this means carrying out the plan through many phases to make sure proper execution takes place. Cow/calf operators face the same quandary as most businesses do, except not too many office buildings are threatened with a drought or a snow storm. Producers are operating on tight margins and face a stiff challenge from radical groups that would rather do away with agriculture. To have a chance at making a profit, they must continue to raise operating costs or add extra management. Numbers and charts are evaluated in the beef business just like they do on Wall Street, but these numbers are more likely to be about age, how many pounds did she wean and what was the price of our calves. Weaning is a difficult time for most calves and ranchers have had to adapt to different protocols to ensure that calf remains healthy through the production chain. Science has shown the way, but the work must be done on the ranch to make this happen. “Sometimes producers are leery of doing anything pre-weaning because of the costs and they are skeptical if it pays. It will cost a little bit, but producers will get return on the health and performance of those animals,” says Dr. Max Irsik, Extension Veterinarian, University of Florida. “Historically, producers may not have gotten paid for the extra management. Cow/calf operators are leaving a lot of dollars on the table by not doing the basic things like de-horning, castrating and giving a few shots,” says Dr. Derrell Peel, Extension Economist, Oklahoma State University. “The extra work and cost of the vaccines will pay for itself. If you don’t prepare those calves for weaning you’re asking for trouble,” says Gene Lollis, Buck Island Ranch, Lake Placid, Florida. There are many different protocols for pre-weaning care. Obviously, each management system will fine tune the program to fit the operation. There is no blanket system approach, but outfits that take care of the calves preweaning are likely to receive benefit. “Those calves need to be vaccinated, castrated and de-horned at least by the time they are three to four months of age. Get calves used to being around people and teach them how to be handled, they will be less flighty,” Irsik says. “Expose those calves to a creep feeder or some other form of feed pre-weaning. Good nutrition is important for the immune system to function properly.”

6 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

“The first working we’ll castrate and deworm all the calves. We’ll kick them out and give that first round of vaccinations in three to four weeks. We early wean some of those calves and ship them west to a grow yard or grass. Those calves will get the second round of modified live vaccine (MLV) when they get there and we have had a lot of success with this protocol, plus it helps my cows stay in better body condition.,” Lollis says. “The calves we wean here at the ranch will get a MLV at weaning and then ABOUT THE AUTHOR we’ll ship them anywhere from 21 days to 60 Clifford Mitchell is a second days after we wean them. Every pasture has a generation cattleman who water trough and the calves are used to different currently owns and operates feeds stuffs other than grass.” Elkhorn Creek, a freelance Some of these health guidelines may be a communications business in directive from an organized marketing group or Guthrie, Oklahoma. Upon how these calves will be marketed. Getting paid graduation from Oklahoma for extra management often comes down to the State University he began a career in communications, producer’s ability to market the end product. starting as a field reporter. “Sometimes it is very difficult to capture the Mitchell currently writes value of pre-conditioning, but there is a signifi- for a wide range of beef cantly better chance publications. for producers to get paid if they do a couple things right. Smaller producers have always faced a lot of challenges just because of numbers. Get involved with a certified pre-conditioning program. In Oklahoma, we have the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN); calves are treated with a certain protocol and the certification assures the buyers that the added value is there,” Peel says. “There are two parts of value for pre-conditioning calves, producer’s have to be willing to make the investment to create additional value and then identify a market. There is some extra risk, but it does pay most of the time.” “If producers do some of these management and health related things, they will be rewarded just by weaning a heavier calf. These protocols definitely help the calf, but the return to the owner may depend on how they’re marketed,” Irsik says. “A calf that doesn’t get pre-weaning vaccinations or hasn’t had any shots will get discounted. Health will be scrutinized by the buyer because it adds value.” “We used to get a premium for our health program and giving those extra shots. Now you better give them or you will be discounted heavily,” Lollis says. “All the little things that we can do pre-weaning add up. We’re all trying to build relationships with our buyers, hoping to create repeat business. The cattle better be good or he won’t be there to buy them the next year and if he is he’ll want them for a lot less.” Capturing the value generated by the health program sometimes takes the cagey veteran rancher or the wily newcomer. In the past, the only way to get paid for the extra management was to own the cattle through the system.

“There is risk involved with pre-conditioning cattle. Cattle should gain weight during the process, but there is no guarantee. Any given year the market can go up or down and moving cattle to a different marketing window sometimes traps producers in seasonal markets. Add value at the ranch level and find a buyer, this will help producers get paid for the extra management,” Peel says. “For years and years the market wouldn’t assure the producer they would get paid for their work. We knew the value was there, but the only way to capture it was through retained ownership.” Value-added or pre-conditioned sales have come to the forefront in a lot of areas. The acceptance by local sale barn operators and the video sales really highlight health in these marketing groups. “There is a lot of interest in value added sales. Producers have to look for the opportunity to be part of something like this. There are advantages to selling feeder cattle in lots of 10 head or more,” Peel says. “Most of the health protocols associated with these sales offer some flexibility in the timing of management practices. These systems make the cattle healthy and reduce stress. There is also information transfer from the seller to the buyer because the health history is documented.” Limiting stress will lead to healthier calves for most operations. Splitting up some of the management or making sure things happen in a timely manner could make for a more successful transition. “During that first work, a lot of times we have a big end and a lighter end of our calves. Some of them aren’t ready to be vaccinated. There is a lot of stress on those calves with castration and dehorning,” Lollis says. “I am not sure how well those vaccines work, if that calf is healing up or really stressed. Our protocol seems to work well for us. We shipped over 600 head of weaned calves 1,740 miles and less than 20 were doctored, and not all of those were for respiratory illness.” “The younger you can castrate and dehorn these calves there will be less stress. They’re still on momma she can baby them and get them back healthy. Sometimes a timely de-worming will add a lot of pounds. Fence line weaning may also decrease stress and we have found this works well for a lot of producers,” Irsik says. “People that will handle these calves properly pre-weaning don’t have health problems. Once we stress a calf ’s immune system it takes three to four weeks to get back to normal.” Pre-weaning care can come in different packages and often times, is more than just giving shots. A systematic approach must be taken and each step followed; otherwise, producers may be wasting their time. “Nutrition is very important. Without good nutrition cattle don’t have a very good immune system. If calves are nutritionally stressed, the immune system is the first thing that shuts down. Minerals are also very important, if calves are deficient their immune system doesn’t function very well,” Irsik says. “Whatever system you’re using, it is important to handle the vaccines properly. When immunizing and de-worming, injection site and dosage is very important, read and follow the label instruction on whatever product you are using. We do a lot of BQA training and this helps producers get the most out of their health program.” “We’re co-mingling cattle when we wean them here on the ranch because we’re mixing different herds,” Lollis says. “If these cattle aren’t properly vaccinated and don’t have good nutrition, we’re asking for a wreck. We have to follow each step.” As the industry continues to evolve and face challenges from those outside agriculture, most ranch managers are studying the task at hand and getting better at what they do. The more those outside the animal world demand to know the raising practice or try to expose the industry’s weaknesses, the more attention cattlemen pay to proper handling techniques.

“We are BQA certified and we handle cattle correctly. When we wean calves here at the ranch we walk through the pens to get them used to seeing people and I think this helps them down the road,” Lollis says. “We rotate cattle a lot from pasture to pasture and calves are used to being handled when we wean them.” “Calves have to be handled before weaning. Handle them correctly without whips and hot shots,” Irsik says. “Whatever management system producers use it is important to handle these cattle properly, no matter what you are going to do with them post weaning or how you are going to market them. Pre-weaning health and management practices are critical for most operations because cattle have to be healthy and perform.” As cattlemen increase their management with the calf crop it can also have other benefits to the ranch. As producers learn more about the calf crop and spend time with the herd, increased culling pressure can be put on the cow herd and immediate return can seen with extra management. “ID those calves when you work them. You can tie the calves back to the cow for a performance measure and see how she stacks up,” Irsik says. “In this type of management system there are a lot of aspects that need to be thought through and done correctly.” “There is an opportunity for producers to add value through age and source verification with relatively little work,” Peel says. “Just a little paperwork and most of the time producers will see a good premium for that documentation.” “Animal identification has been the best thing to come out of the extra management. We put an EID and a flop tag in every animal and it has made me a better manager. I can make keep/cull decisions a lot sooner,” Lollis says. “When we work cattle or I am in the pasture, I can make notes on poor performers or other reminders, bring it back enter it in the computer. These little reminders allow me to look at her a little more than just a cow in the chute. I always took notes, but I managed to lose them or spill something on the note pad. A good record keeping system is important.” The beef industry will always face challenges those on Wall Street may know nothing about. To some of them the beef industry may be no more than a commodity that is bought and sold. As management teams refine their business model, extra management will be very important when looking at future profit. Taking care of the little things, following protocol and building relationships with buyers or other cattlemen in the area will hold the key for success. Producers willing to adapt and find profit wherever they can will get to keep enjoying the lifestyle ranching brings to so many. “There’s something about being able to get up every morning and saddle my horse to go out on the ranch. I have to take care of what is generating the revenue before I spend it,” Lollis says. “Every day I have to look for an opportunity to make a profit. The dollars usually will take care of themselves, but the nickels and dimes are where the profit lies.” “A specific protocol is key to all of this and the physical process of weaning calves. If calves are handled properly, they are much less stressed and there is less shrink involved,” Peel says. “There is another 45 days of feed costs, the cost for a second round of vaccine and there is always going to be added risk. Our data is variable from year to year, but we have been able to document over time producers will get paid for their extra management.” “A lot of producers wean and haul their calves off in the same day because that system works for their management. If producers will vaccinate and start preparing these calves for weaning they’ll get paid, I am not so sure producers get paid if they wait until weaning to start the vaccination process,” Irsik says. “We have to do everything we can do to minimize stress at weaning. This includes a proper vaccination schedule and handling that calf right so it can eat and function on its own.” FRONTLINE Beef Producer 7

8 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

Real Deal


Nuff Said

Extravagant Please Join Us

November 12th and 13th, 2010 at

Blackwater Cattle Company Lake Park, Georgia for our annual

Cowman's Kind Brangus Bull Sale our first

Rock Star

Elite Sweet 16 Brangus Female Sale and our annual

150 Head Commercial Female Sale. Pounds, carcass, and maternal value from the breed's best trait leading sires will be featured in the 125 head of the deepest Brangus bulls we have ever raised and the sweetest set of females imaginable. Sons and daughters from the pictured cattle will parade the sale ring along with others sired by Tank, Lead Gun, Luke, New Direction, & Right Direction. Exciting stuff so hope to see you in November.


Tracy Holbert 979-690-6612

Mike Coggins 888-237-9120

THE BOTTOM LINE | by Grant Keenen

Cattle Markets & Programs


ummer is here in full swing. Temperatures have been soaring into the upper nineties and heat indexes into the 100s the last few weeks in many parts of the country. Although the extreme heat is taking a toll on the grass, crops and cattle performance, the vast majority of the land has been blessed with plenty of moisture from spring to current. I have seen lots of hay baled across the country especially in places they were not able to last year. Corn and soybeans are set to yield another great harvest so we should see no excessive inflation in feed costs in the short term.

value. Please refer to Clifford Mitchell’s article “Be Prepared” for more on weaning. Age and source verification (ASV) is another way to add value to your feeder cattle. Selling a few head at the local auction barn will probably not result in premiums paid for those cattle. But load-lots off the ranch or retained ownership through the feeding stage will add value and put more dollars in a producers’ pocket. Depending on the time of year, ASV cattle bring from $25-$50 per head in premium money. Combining age and source with genetic claims, such as the IBBA’s OptimaxX program, gives cattle more market access by fitting into various product labels. This process is truly a simple way to add value to you calves and command top dollar. simple

The cattle market has been really strong all spring and summer for both feeder and fat cattle. We saw a small seasonal decline in prices late May through June for feeders. July came along and prices gained strength and support which should continue through August and the fall season. I would expect to see seasonal pressure put on prices this fall, which is the norm. But, with demand at current levels, a smaller crop of calves to market this fall (400,000 less for the year), good grass in the primary grazing areas and an excellent corn crop in the field, we could A few see fall prices higher than the summer contracts. management changes That would be the first time since 2003. With demand and all outside factors staying constant, I and progressive feel we will go into 2011 with much better feeder thinking can open and fat cattle prices than the 2009-2010 transition as supply continues to shrink. new marketing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Grant Keenen is the Director of Commercial Marketing Programs for the IBBA. For any questions or inquiries regarding IBBA Commercial Programs, such as OptimaxX and Brangus Gold, Grant can be reached by phone at 210.696.8231 or by email at

When it comes to marketing feeder cattle, a person has several options. The traditional auction barn is still the place of preference for most producers. Not every operation has the ability to market channels for the cowProduction agriculture is about the only inload lots and take the advantage of video or interdustry that takes a price someone else establishes. net sales. Even less are able to sell cattle straight calf producer. Agriculturalists are at the mercy of the market off of the ranch or retain ownership through the and take what they can get for their product infeeding stage. But price-seeking and being prostead of setting their own price. Inputs however, gressive in marketing management can allow a are of course not bought that way. The local farm store sets a price for chemi- person to earn more money. A large producer has a few more initial marketcal, fertilizer, seed and feed. A producer cannot go in and tell the manager ing options due to the volume of cattle being sold, but smaller operations can what he is willing to spend on a ton of feed or fertilizer. Therefore, a farmer align themselves to take advantage of those same alternatives. or rancher must do everything possible to reach maximum profit on the endproduct. In most cases, that might require new management practices. Forming partnerships with other cattlemen or their seed stock producers to group similar type and kind is a way to expand those options. Cattle of The large majority of feeder cattle are still sold as commodity type without similar breed make-up, genetics and overall management practices that can any added-value. By selling cattle that way, a producer is a price taker. To be co-mingled are more highly desirable than smaller head counts through reach maximum profit potential a person needs to be a price seeker. There are auction rings. This idea is both beneficial for the producer and the buyer. A several management practices that can help a producer do that very thing. small cow-calf operation can now market like the bigger ranches and actuWeaning, vaccinating, age and source verification are about the most profit- ally price seek instead of watching their cattle go through a ring and bring able and are in higher demand every day. In fact, when you study market a price. reports, the top or premium prices are being paid on those cattle while commodity cattle are actually being discounted. A few simple management changes like those previously discussed in this article and progressive thinking can open new marketing channels for the Feeder cattle buyers and feed yards continue to seek more numbers of cow-calf producer. It is of utmost importance in today’s market as inputs weaned and healthy calves to limit their risk and costs. This is becoming are rising and we are faced with an uncertain global economy. I see tremenmore the norm. Producers need to take that into account to reap the highest dous opportunity in the near future for the cow-calf producer who cautiously dollar for their cattle. When wean-vac programs made their debut back in moves forward, does everything possible to maximize the value of a calf crop, the mid 90s, those cattle commanded a premium price and continued to so pays close attention to input costs and strategically uses the needed genetics for several years. Today, the cattle that are lined out, healthy and ready to for improvement. All that and enhanced herd management will ultimately graze or feed are bringing the top money on the market reports, not neces- produce cattle that buyers demand year after year. sarily a premium price. However, calves that are sold right off the cow with no vaccinations are actually being discounted under the market. Whether a The Bottom Line: Be “price seekers” instead of “price takers” person views it as premium prices or discount prices is up to them. But the math is the same and it shows that weaned and vaccinated calves have added10 FRONTLINE Beef Producer


Feeder Calf Strategies and Marketing


ne question that is often asked by cow-calf producers is “How do I get more for my calves when I sell them?” There are a number of strategies that a cow-calf producer can incorporate that may allow them to garner a greater price when they market their calfcrop as feeder calves. What are Buyers Looking For

Understanding what cattle buyers are looking for is the first step. Dedicated cattle buyers receive any number of orders from stocker operators or feedlots. These orders can be fairly specific as to the number, breed composition, age, weight, frame, and sex of the feeder calves they are to purchase. To that end, the fewer purchases a buyer has to make to fill an order (i.e. large groups

of similar calves) the greater the likelihood of better prices for the calves involved. Therefore having the ability to market calves in large-lot groups is an advantage. Large-lot groups can be achieved by being a large herd cow-calf enterprise or by working with neighbors to offer large-lot groups of similar calves. Too often small to medium sized cow-calf producers miss this opportunity, which could be the easiest way to improve their feeder calf marketing strategy. However, it requires cooperation and potentially shared decisionmaking that independent cattlemen may be reluctant to implement. Consistent appearance is an additional facet of large-lot groups. The consistent appearance of coat color, frame size and bodyweight, and sex are important. Motley groups of cattle require a greater amount of sorting at marketing, decreasing the overall value of the entire group. Consistent appearance of the group provides an underlying assumption of reasonable predictability of similar performance through shared genetics within the group of cattle. Cattle buyers also want the appearance that these calves have had some level of management applied to them. The buyers want to see cattle that do not

have horns and male calves are castrated. Horns and testicles are big red-flags to cattle buyers; the assumption is that if the cow-calf producer did not put in the minimal management of de-horning and castration, what other management corners were cut in the herd. Outward appearance of the calves is the first impression that the cattle buyer will have. Poor appearance of the calves, just like questionable appearance of people, leads buyers to question the calves’ upbringing. Doubts now arise as to the poten- ABOUT THE AUTHOR tial long-term health status of the calves. Have Dr. Hersom is currently the calves received any amount of vaccina- an Assistant Professor tion, what was the cow’s nutritional program, and Extension Beef Cattle are these calves mineral deficient, or are they a Specialist at the University health and perfor- of Florida, specializing in the development of mance time bomb strategic nutritional and waiting to happen; supplementation programs unspoken ques- to optimize beef cattle tions in the cattle performance utilizing buyer’s head as they forage and roughage based evaluate the calves diets and evaluation of calf and their interest production and growing in them. Plenty of practices to improve animal performance in integrated Ranch-to-Rail data beef production systems. demonstrates that healthy feeder cattle are profitable feedlot cattle and all cattle buyers are looking for healthy cattle. Calves that appear to lack basic management inputs will be discounted because of the perceived risk associated with these calves. Documentation of management processes or adherence to process verification programs (PVP) can be an added benefit to improve feeder calf price. To fully capture the value afforded by PVP, marketing of the eligible feeder calves needs to be through venues that reward the effort. The local cattle market is not likely that venue. Any PVP is designed to produce cattle that will meet defined market characteristics, be that health-management protocols, breed requirements, etc.. Currently the availability of calves that meet many of the different PVP is limited, and thus these calves generate a premium when marketed. Short of meeting PVP requirements, other additional management processes that can be documented concerning the feeder calves are valuable. Pre-conditioning or backgrounding may be management strategies to increase feeder calf profit. Offering feeder calves that are fully weaned, healthy, and bunk-broke has potential benefits for the subsequent production segment. Full evaluation of the input costs, calf performance, and expected profit potential for pre-conditioning strategies is imperative.

Meeting Market Signals

How does the cow-calf producer meet the market signals regarding feeder calves? In the previous section the concept of documentation and management strategies were discussed. These concepts can be summed up in the Continued on page 22 FRONTLINE Beef Producer 11

12 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

Jose Luis Medina & Oskar Juarez Clover Ranch




David Wheeler Sandy Springs Ranch

THE FOREFRONT | by Ben Spitzer

Percentile Rank Simplifies Genetic Decisions


ith bull sale season fast approaching many readers are being inundated with sale catalog after sale catalog. All of them are a little different, but most contain the information needed to make sound genetic decisions about the future of your cowherd.

Most all sale catalogs generally contain varying amounts of information on the breeder, the cattle for sale and what sets their program apart from the rest. They will include performance information that can be used to decide which animals will work best to fit your needs. While adjusted weights and measures are great for comparing animals within a contemporary group, it is very likely that not all animals in any particular sale are actual contemporaries and it is next to impossible to make accurate comparisons from ranch to ranch using adjusted weights and ratios. Expected Progeny Differences or EPDs remain the best insight into the genetic value of an animal that

14 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

can be compared breed wide by removing the environmental effects on the reported traits. EPDs compare one animal to another within a breed. They are a many fold more accurate predictor of the true genetic worth of an individual than any performance figure or ratio. It is fascinating to be able to have insight as to the potential performance information on progeny of individuals even before they are born. EPDs are one of the greatest tools available to the beef industry. EPDs seem to confuse many folks as how to best use the information provided. Many get bogged down in what actually goes into an EPD. While one could spend pages explaining about contemporary groups, data filters, ratios,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ben Spitzer is Marketing Programs Director for the IBBA. Ben can be reached by phone at 210.696.8231 or by email at

Continued on page 36

FIELD MEDICINE | by Soren Rodning, DVM, MS, DACT

Protecting Herd Health when Buying a Bull


urchasing a new bull is a big investment with long term consequences, both financially and genetically. As a result, bulls are often appropriately evaluated based on breed, EPDs, physical soundness, genetic analysis, visual appraisal, etc.; but how much consideration is given to some of the unwanted diseases that a new bull can bring onto the farm? With all the time, effort, and financial investment involved in purchasing a new bull, do not let him be the one to bring new diseases onto your farm, jeopardizing not only his health but the health of the entire herd. Below are some diseases and things to consider when purchasing a new bull to minimize the risk of introducing several common diseases into your herd. Consult your veterinarian regarding specific recommendations which will vary depending on age and location. Trichomoniasis Trichomoniasis is a bovine venereal disease caused by the protozoan Tritrichomonas foetus, and is commonly referred to as ‘Trich’. Bulls can become chronic, asymptomatic carriers of Tritrichomonas foetus, because the organism can live in the folds of a bull’s penis and prepuce. However, when cows are infected during breeding, the result can be early embryonic death, abortion, pyometra (pus-filled uterus detected at pregnancy exam), or infertility, having a very negative impact on the reproductive performance and economic profitability of a cow-calf operation. Bulls only become infected after breeding an infected cow, so purchasing virgin bulls is a good way to avoid this problem. Nonvirgin bulls should be tested before the breeding season. Johne’s Disease Johne’s disease is a chronic infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. Clinical signs include gradual weight loss despite a normal appetite, decreased milk production in cows, and manure that gradually becomes more fluid until it progresses into a severe diarrhea. Animals are typically infected with Johne’s Disease as calves, but do not show any clinical signs until after a prolonged incubation period (time from infection to clinical disease), often between 2 and 10 years. Such a long incubation period means that many infected animals show no outward clinical signs for many years, but during this time they are infecting new calves every year. No medical treatment exists for Johne’s disease. A killed vaccine for Johne’s disease is available in some states with prior approval by the State Veterinarian, but the vaccine does have some limitations and side effects. Therefore, it is best to have new bulls tested for Johne’s Disease. In addition to diagnostic tests, ask about the Johne’s Disease status of a bull’s original herd to help avoid introducing the disease to your herd. Anaplasmosis Anaplasmosis is a disease characterized by progressive anemia and caused by the rickettsial organism Anaplasma marginale. Fever, anorexia, loss of body condi-

tion, decreased milk production, abortion, infertility, muscle weakness and depression are commonly seen with anaplasmosis. The disease is present in many parts of the U.S. and causes significant economic losses to the beef and dairy industries. Veterinarians in some parts of the U.S. are reporting more cases of anaplasmosis in recent years, perhaps as a result of increased cattle movement due to drought and other natural disasters. Anaplasma marginale is transmitted from carrier to susceptible cattle by biting flies and ticks or via contaminated needles, tattoo instruments, dehorning and castration equipment, etc. Treatment of anaplasmosis is often too late once clinical signs are observed. However, animals that survive the initial infection will become lifelong, asymptomatic carriers. Therefore, have new bulls tested for anaplasmosis.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Soren Rodning is an Assistant Professor and Extension Veterinarian in the Auburn University Department of Animal Sciences and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Current Extension efforts primarily involve promoting herd health management for beef cattle.

Bovine viral diarrhea virus Animals persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) are created when a fetus is exposed to the virus during the first half of pregnancy. During this time the fetal immune system is not developed enough to respond to a BVDV infection. Most PI animals die by two years of age, but some will survive for several years and constantly shed BVDV throughout their life, thus infecting the rest of the herd causing fever, diarrhea, respiratory disease, reproductive problems, and much more depending on the age and immune status of the animal infected. Some PI calves are “poor-doers”, while others may look healthy and grow very well, making it impossible to consistently detect PI animals visually. Therefore, it is essential to test a new bull for BVDV-PI status before introducing him to the herd. Vaccination Ensuring adequate vaccination of a new bull protects the health of the bull as well as the health of the rest of the herd. At a minimum, bulls should be vaccinated against IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV, Leptospirosis 5-way, and Vibriosis (Campylobacter fetus). Bulls should be revaccinated six to eight weeks prior to the breeding season so immunity is high during the breeding season. Quarantine Quarantine new bulls for a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks. The quarantine period gives bulls time to recover from any temporary illness associated with the stress of the sale or shipping, and also allows time for completion of all diagnostic tests and a breeding soundness evaluation. The quarantine period also provides time to observe the bull for any other problems before introducing him to the herd. Do not remove bulls from quarantine until all diagnostic test results are complete and reported as negative. Considering the big investment associated with purchasing a new bull, take a little extra time to help protect the health of your herd. FRONTLINE Beef Producer 15

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Selling 200 Bulls • Monday, Oct. 18, 2010 • 1pm Total Performance Measured Bulls Ready for Service! Cain Cattle Company Ted, Julie, Logan and Evan Cain owners

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Contact: Bill Felton, General Manager 901/494-9626 cell email:

Plan now to be at Holly Springs, MS on October 18... If you can’t make it, the Bulls will be available for review and online bidding. Fred Thompson 228/216-3428 Kent McCune 228/236-7874

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FRONTLINE Beef Producer 17


Milk EPD - How do they work?


election of the best bulls for your production and marketing environment, and the subsequent use of those bulls will drive genetic improvement of your herd. The influence of a particular sire increases as the number of cows that bull is expected to service and the resulting number of offspring increases. The greater the number of offspring produced by a particular sire the greater his impact on the herd’s genetic makeup. Depending upon the nature of terrain and the acres in breeding pastures, bulls may be required to service anywhere from 10 to over 100 cows in a breeding season. Using a bull through AI has the potential to increase the number of offspring of a particular sire even further. Make no mistake about it, given the number of offspring sires can produce in comparison to the number of offspring females produce, bulls drive genetic improvement. The bull’s impact is typically felt long term through the female progeny retained as replacements in the herd. The females can succeed or fail as producing cows in the herd. Often their success depends upon whether those daughters have the correct genetic potential for milk production— too much milk and the daughters may quickly drop out of the herd because their nutrient requirements exceed those available, too little milk and their calves may be lighter than desired at weaning. When choosing a sire this potential for milk production is represented through the milk EPD; however, milk EPD is likely the most misunderstood of the EPDs.

spective of a young bull in his first breeding season, the explanation becomes clear. That bull produces a number of offspring with weaning weights the subsequent calving season. The performance on that bull’s first calf crop tells us a considerable amount about the genes carried by that sire for weaning growth as represented by the weaning weight EPD. Now consider that the first daughters of that bull are selected as replacements from that first calf crop and the following year those daughters are exposed to bulls (if the producer is mating yearling heifers). Simultaneously, the bull has produced another calf crop with calf weaning performance, lending ABOUT THE AUTHOR even more information to our knowledge of that Dr. Enns’ research focuses on methods to genetically bull’s genet- evaluate and select ics for wean- animals that fit their ing growth. production environment In the third both biologically and year, those economically. These efforts d a u g h t e r s include development of p r o d u c e new methods for evaluating their first and improving cow and heifer fertility, cow calf (and the maintenance requirements, sire produces time to finish in the feedlot; a third crop and development of of calves) methods to better use and we re- economic information in cord a wean- selection decisions for ing weight increased profitability of on both the beef production. progeny and the grand-progeny of the bull. So how does this information translate into a Milk EPD? We know what the daughters’ merit is for weaning weight growth because of the considerable number of calves the bull has produced (the daughters each got half of their merit for weaning growth from their sire). Subsequently, those daughters passed on a portion of their sire’s genes to their own offspring. However, now that the daughters have weaned their own calves, we find that those calves actually performed better than expected based on the growth genes passed on to them from their grandsire. If so, those differences are due to differences in milk production and hence the milk EPD reflects those differences. If the calves perform better than we expect, that bull’s milk EPD will go up in subsequent EPD calculations. If those bull’s maternal grand-progeny perform poorer than expected, his milk EPD will drop in subsequent EPD calculations. As more daughters are put into production, those EPD will be even further refined.

While bulls don’t milk, they carry genes that are passed on to their daughters which in turn influence how much milk those daughters will produce.

Milk EPDs represent the difference between the average ability of various bulls’ daughters to wean heavier or lighter calves and assumes these differences are overwhelmingly due to differences in the milking ability of bulls’ daughters. Let’s examine two bulls, the first with a +10 milk EPD and the second with a -9 milk EPD. When mated to genetically similar cows, the first bull’s daughters will produce 19 pounds more calf weaned than the second bull’s daughters, due solely to differences in milk production between the daughters of these two bulls. Put another way, when two bulls are mated to similar cows in your herd, one bull will likely produce daughter that milk heavier than daughters of the other bull. This difference is manifest in weaning weight differences of their respective calves. Published research shows milk EPD predict differences in sires’ daughter’s calf performance quite well, although some producers are skeptical as to how these differences can be determined. While bulls don’t milk, they carry genes that are passed on to their daughters which in turn influence how much milk those daughters will produce (with the other portion of those “milk” genes coming from the dam of the daughters). Even though those genes aren’t expressed in the bull, when passed on they will be expressed in the daughter generation. How are these genetic differences determined? Once we consider the biology behind inheritance and milk production and subsequently apply that knowledge, we gain some perspective on the question of maternal differences in calf weaning weights. If we take the per18 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

This logic, where we know a considerable amount about a sire’s genes for weaning growth before his daughters ever produce their first calf is what enables us to predict differences between sires for milk production. However, never consider an EPD alone, consider the consequences of selecting on a trait as well. So as you determine bull use in the upcoming breeding season, consider the impact milk production of daughters will have on their calves weaning weights and on the nutrient requirements of those daughters throughout their productive life-spans.

FEATURE | by Marcine Moldenhauer

Developing a Demand


write this wishing that the long hot dog days of summer would end soon, and some cooler temperatures along with a stray summer shower would move in. I know this time of year is busy for everyone, so I mean to keep this short, sweet, and direct to the point.

Even though summer keeps dragging on, beef demand has stayed surprisingly good which is good news for the entire beef complex including producers. Even though most producers at the ranch level are once or twice removed from the beef markets, it should be duly noted that it is clearly a driver in what the bids are or will be for feeder cattle. To make this case just look at the data…for week ending 7-31-2010 the comprehensive cutout value declined $1.62 to $150.45. Even though this is down, it is up 7% from a year ago, and up 8% vs. the recent 5 year average. Choice again gained on select this week as the Choice-Select spread widened to $8.51. The 5 year average of this spread for this week is $7.78. The total box volume remains strong with 7,928 loads being sold this week (up 12% from last year, up 7% vs. the 5 year average). Year To Date (YTD) box volume is up 3% Year On Year (YOY) and up 11% vs. the 05-09 average. Spot volume, or the number of boxes which are traded on a weekly basis for close in delivery, continues to hold strong. This category has posted positive YOY changes 6 out of the last 7 weeks. Boxed Beef sales which are for 22+ day delivery continue to be both volatile and strong. This week’s data showed 993 loads sold this way, which is the largest total in history for this particular week. Now that you’ve been updated on the cutout beef sales/market, you are probably thinking, as a producer, what are you suppose to do with the information…. well good question. The driving point is that as a beef industry we have been doing good things and making good strides in serving our customer, driving loyalty, and providing them what they see as value that they are willing to pay for. Have you created demand for you feeder cattle? For you seed stock?

The good news is there are many ways to creat demand for feeder cattle

today, not all are easy, and each operation must decide if the work is worth the long term reward. Point is, if you don’t have a reputation with an order buyer or in the market, it may take a couple of years to develop it…the “image” and “value” to where you get paid for your efforts. The short list of opportunities to create a demand for your feeder cattle is to do the things that give you the most marketing differences, such as:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Marcine Moldenhauer, Owner and President of Meat≈Link Management, a Livestock and Meat Business Consulting Firm; Contact Information: Wichita, Kansas 67230, Office 316-7338506, marcine_moffice@att. net

Age and Source Verification Age, Source and Health Verification (only a few alliances are in the market for these cattle) Natural (No Hormone & No Antibiotics) Natural (No Hormones only – NHTC as it is normally referred to which is for European markets) Individually Identified Vaccination Programs with documentation to back up the claims Provide past feeding and or carcass performance to the buyers (sharing helps create focus and trust) My departing key point is this, for producers who keep the records to create additional value or provide options for their buyer, there is a level of trust which develops over time. These will open new marketing opportunities, increase the price paid, and which should result in a higher return to your operation. So, whatever your operation, to thrive and grow in the business of doing business, you must find ways to “Develop A Demand” for your products, which in this case is cattle. FRONTLINE Beef Producer 19

20 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

FRONTLINE Beef Producer 21

Continued from page 11.

implementation of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) principles. Implementation of BQA involves the documentation of management practices, provides records and a paper trial, and indicates appropriate measures taken to assure a quality feeder calf. Indication and documentation of the incorporation of BQA practices can provide LICK FEEDERS MINERAL FEEDERS FEEDERS MINERAL the feeder calf buyer with information about the calves that many subsequent production systems find valuable. Just as important as the management strategies that are utilized is the genetic makeup of the feeder calf and by convention the cow herd the calf came from. The genetic makeup of the feeder calf is dictated by a number of factors that were determined when the bull was turned out with the cow. Qualifying for PVP will dictate some genetic decisions; other genetic decisions are made to optimize calf growth potential, weaning weight, or carcass quality. Regardless, feeder calf buyers have breed type preferences and market orders that include breed STALL API Ag Products are: type specifications that have to be filled. Only accurate u Designed by ranchers, FEEDERS documentation or previous experience with the feeder for ranchers calf seller can aid a calf buyer to accurately assess the peru Built to take what u Plastic products with formance potential of a group of feeder calves. Along livestock dish out UV inhibitors with the genetic decisions within the cow herd, other cow API AG PRODUCTS herd management decisions are important for the feeder Sales Office: 979-263-5952 Cell: 979-541-3310 Factory: calf. The maternal herd health program will have a direct impact on the feeder calf health status and performance the profit potential associated with each venue. The risk and reward inherent in potential. Likewise, the nutritional environment that the cow and calf experience will impact feeder calf performance. Dams that were an individual marketing venue needs to match the risk tolerance of the feeder calf deficient in minerals, energy, or protein during gestation and lactation will nega- producer. Finally, every feeder calf producer needs to understand and calculate the feeder calf break-even price for their calves, regardless of the market venue tively impact the performance potential of the subsequent feeder calf. utilized. Information is power for the feeder calf producer to select the appropriate market venue. Marketing Choices The last consideration, but as important as all the others, is the means of marIntegration of the myriad of market forces, feeder calf production strategies, keting of the feeder calves. Several methods have already been mentioned; PVPs, after pre-conditioning, as large-lots, through cooperation with other producers, and marketing options are the keys to profitable feeder calf enterprises. Ultiand the local market. Any of these marketing venues are options for marketing mately, in order to maximize profitability of feeder calves, feeder calf producers feeder calves and each venue offers benefits, disadvantages, or limitations of uti- need to control input costs, produce the right calf to meet market demands, and lization. The feeder calf producer needs to do their homework and understand market the calf through the optimum venue.


Show the world what you have to offer. Advertise in the Frontline. 979.828.5300

22 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

Continued on page 26

FRONTLINE Beef Producer 23

like Father like Son - The legacy Continues at The Spanish ranch with BD Cuyama Bright Side 7201t Calving-ease + Top Fe + Top Tenderness + Fertility + Disposition

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Keeping in Contact with You

FRONTLINE Beef Producer

is a product of:

Brangus Publications, Inc. San Antonio, Texas Please contact us at: Phone: 210.696.8231 E-mail:

24 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

Please update us with your current e-mail address so that we can keep you updated with the latest information on Brangus Marketing Programs and Genetics.

NEWS&NOTEWORTHY Grand opening and field day scheduled American Marketing Services, Integrated Breeders Service (IBS), LLC, and Ovitra Biotechnology, together are hosting their Grand Opening and Field Day at the IBS Bull Stud facility in Wheelock, Texas, located at the corner of OSR and Texas State Highway 46. The event is scheduled for September 25, 2010 starting at 9:00 a.m. Lunch will be served. Field day topics will include “In Vitro Fertilization” and “True Economics of A.I.” Completing the program before lunch will be a panel discussion on “Purebred Cattle Marketing 2010”.

Path to Profit with common sense cattle

Perry Ranch & Allied Partners Bull & Female Sale November 13, 2010 @ 1:00 PM Pauls Valley, OK

The public is welcome. Please contact Jeremy Price to RSVP at or 979-204-9362.

ncba members vote on policies to address border security, other industry challenges DENVER (July 31, 2010) – Members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today, We are offering: July 31, 2010, approved a number of resolutions to guide the association’s policy efforts in Washington, 60 Registered Bulls DC. The resolutions were passed during the member50 Brangus Yearlings and Coming Two’s ship meeting at the culmination of the annual Cattle Industry Summer Conference. 10 Charolais Coming Two’s “One of the pressing issues facing our members 75 Commercial Brangus Females right now is the out-of-control situation at the U.S.Mexico border,” said NCBA President Steve FogleOpen, Yearling, Bred and Pairs song. “The lack of border security has and continues to pose a serious threat, not only to those living and 20 Registered Brangus Heifers working along the border, but to the entire nation, in Show Prospects, Yearlings and Breds terms of personal safety, health, economic welfare and the environment.” NCBA members resolved to support an 18-point For more information and/or a catalog, please go to “Restore Our Border” plan developed by the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association. The plan includes securing the border along the international boundary; addor call Frank Perry @ 405.833.5189 ing sufficient personnel to secure the border; providing the personnel with all the modern technology and of producers’ private information; operate at the speed of commerce; allow resources necessary to enforce security at the international boundary; and enhancing civil and governmental communications to for herd movement between states; provide producers protection from liability after cattle have left their control; collect data for the sole purpose provide full coverage throughout the border region. A second resolution calls for full authority for federal agencies and state of disease surveillance, control, and eradication; allow for flexibility in the and local authorities to secure the border, including the suspension of all use of currently established and evolving official identification methods for pending legislation and funding for federal-land designations along the bor- cattle moving across state lines only; and not replace or impede existing state der. Federally-owned lands along the border with certain designations such as brand-inspection activities. “The resolutions we’ve passed today are a critical step in guiding our “wilderness areas” provide unfettered access for illegal cross-border activities by restricting the motorized access of federal agents responsible for patrolling policy priorities in Washington, DC,” Foglesong continued. “I’m proud to be a member, and leader, of NCBA, an association that works day- in and the land. In the area of animal health, members resolved that NCBA continue day-out to maintain a favorable business climate for beef producers to thrive leading the discussions on any animal disease traceability program(s) requir- and grow.” More than 800 cattlemen and women attended this year’s conference, ing animal identification. Specifically, the resolution maintains that any federal or state animal identification program should allow low-cost tagging held July 28 – Aug. 1 in Denver, Colo. For more news from the conference, devices paid for by federal or state funds, if possible; ensure confidentiality visit

FRONTLINE Beef Producer 25

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Continued on page 28

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Continued from page 27.

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Performance Genetics. Trusted Cattlemen.

Performance Genetics. Trusted Cattlemen.

GENETRUST Performance Genetics. Trusted Cattlemen.

FRONTLINE Beef Producer 29

Continued from page 28.

30 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

FRONTLINE Beef Producer 31

For Sale Private Treaty Two Herd Dispersals Carrying Service of Jethro, Rock Star, Abrams, Revelation, and others!! Pregnant Recips, Embryos, Pairs, Breds, and Open Heifers. Cattle will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.

Show the world what you have to offer. Advertise in the Frontline. 979.828.5300

32 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

Please call or email: Tracy Holbert (979) 690-6612 or (979) 255-4357

FRONTLINE Beef Producer 33







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Livestock Photos by Nancy


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Doguet’s Diamond D Ranch


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API Ag Prodocts


Dotson, Wes


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El Rancho Espanol de Cuyama




Blackwater Cattle Company


Elgin Breeding Service


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Farris Ranch


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20, 21



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Hill Country Brangus Breeders 35th Annual Reg. Bull & Female and Com. Female Sale - San Angelo, TX


Path to Profit Bull & Female Sale - Pauls Valley, OK

OCTOBER • 2010


Camp Cooley Genetics Annual Bull Sale - Franklin, TX


SVF & Miller Brangus Bull Sale - Fairmount, GA


Heart of Alabama Bull Sale - Uniontown, AL


JLS Heifer Sale


TBBA Sale - West, TX


CX Advantage Sale - Weimer, TX


Camp Cooley 17th Annual Fall Bull Sale - Franklin, TX


Doguet’s Annual ‘Premium Genetics’ Production Sale - Poteet, TX



Cain Cattle Co. Bull Sale - Holly Springs, MS


GeneTrust at Cavender Neches River Ranch Bull & Female Sale Jacksonville, TX


Triple RRR Ranch Bull Sale - Gause, TX (Fluharty Farms)


TBBA Sale - San Saba, TX


Don Thomas & Sons Cadillac of Brangus - Madison, MO

JANUARY • 2011


Oak Creek Farms Field Day and Bull & Female Sale - Chappell Hill, TX



Southern’s ‘Less Feed, More Gain’ Bull Sale - Marianna, FL


SEPTEMBER • 2010 25

American Marketing Services/Integrated Breeders Service Grand Opening & Gathering

TBBA Sale - South Texas/Coastal Area




GeneTrust at Chimney Rock Bull & Female Sale - Concord, AR

MARCH • 2011


Blackwater Cattle Co Bull & Female Sale - Lake Park, GA


34 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

TBBA Springtime Sale - Salado, TX

Quail Creek Brangus - Steele, AL

FRONTLINE Beef Producer 35

Continued from page 14.

etc., time is better spent harnessing the results. Think of an internal combus- problems. Bull A and bull C would both work really well for you. While bull tion engine. Does the average end-user understand every part of the engine, C has a one pound higher actual weaning weight EPD, both A and C rank in how they work and how to put them together? NO! They depend on the the top 10% of the breed for weaning weight. The difference in one pound is not as important as where they rank among all other bulls in the breed. You manufacturer to research and develop reliable engines to perform a task. Profit –minded beef producers need to rely upon EPDs in much the same are getting essentially the same weaning weight genetics from both bulls. If you want to increase weaning weight in your calves but want to keep way. Breed associations and universities spend many hours and dollars researching and perfecting the genetic evaluations that produce EPDs. Seed- birth weight in check, bull A would be the logical choice among these bulls. stock producers spend countless hours collecting and submitting the perfor- A and B both rank in the top 10% of the breed for birth weight EPD, but B mance data needed to properly evaluate their animals. The results are tools only falls in the top 50% of the breed for weaning weight while A is in the that aid in decision making for beef producers. Don’t get caught up in the top 10%. They both are about the same for birth weight, but A is a much better choice for the desired outcome. “engine’s parts”; use them to help you be more profitable. Percentile tables are great for comparing among several animals. You can EPD Percentile Ranks (see current percentile ranking in Table 1 on page 14) make the task of making genetic decisions even easier. Many breeders quickly eliminate animals that fall short of a threshold for a specific trait that provide Percentiles for each trait along with the EPD, eliminating some of you want to keep constant but change traits you are looking to maximize or the math you would need to “do in your head”. If your bull supplier of minimize. Take a hard look at your operation and decide what you are doing well and choice doesn’t provide percentile rank, a few minutes with your catalog, the where you need to improve genetically. Be honest with yourself and decide current percentile table and a couple of highlighters will be time well spent. Let’s look at a few examples of how to use Percentile Ranks to make a sale what you will and will not accept in a genetic package. Once you’ve decided which sales to attend, spend some time going through your catalogs and day decision. Take the following bulls in Table 2 for example: Say you are looking to add pounds of weaned calf to sell as OptimaxX eliminate bulls that absolutely will not work for you prior to going to the sale. feeder calves. It will eliminate major headYou will be usBull BW EPD BW % Rank WW EPD WW % Rank YW EPD YW % Rank Milk EPD Milk % Rank aches and make ing bulls on for a much mature cows so A -1.2 10 34 10 64 5 10 35 more consistent birth weight is B -1.6 10 25 50 41 45 8 50 and profitable not really a conC 2.4 95 35 10 68 3 9 40 future. cern for calving

36 FRONTLINE Beef Producer

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Saturday, October 30, 2010 • 12:30 p.m. Oak Creek Farms Sale Facility, Chappell Hill, Texas

Selling 160 Registered Forage Tested OCF Bulls

Plus 150 Commercial Heifers Friday, October 29, 2010 ∙ Forage Field Day ∙ Registered Heifer Sale 6:30 pm

Grass + Forage Efficient Easy Fleshing Cattle = Profit Selling Our Top 160 Registered Forage Tested OCF Bulls

90 OCF Brangus • 55 OCF Red Brangus • 10 OCF Angus • 5 OCF Red Angus Bulls Forage Tested at OCF beginning on February 25th and ending September 1st under guidelines of Texas Forage & Grassland Council. Weights and Measures recorded by Texas A&M Extension Service. OUR LOW INPUT CONSERVATIVE PHILOSPHY HAS KEPT US IN THE CATTLE BUSINESS FOR 43 YEARS! Oak Creek Farms- Your genetic source for:

4 Easy Fleshing Efficient Moderate Cattle 4 Good Breed Characteristics 4 Excellent Replacement Heifers 4 Females with good maternal traits 4 Fertility and Longevity in Cattle 4 Calves that require less time in the feedlot 4 Cattle that Thrive in Hot Humid Climates Accommodations: La Quinta Inn, Brenham, Texas Discount Code: OCF Brangus Group#: 305 Special Rate Through Sept. 22 - 979/836-5551

FRI OCT 29 - Schedule of Events •Viewing Cattle All Day •12:30 PM - Parade of Bulls •FORAGE FIELD DAY - 2:00 PM Breeding Cattle to Fit their Environment Dr. Jim Sanders – Beef Specialist, Texas A&M Phosphorus – The Next Crisis? Dr. Sam Feagley - State Soil Specialist, Texas A&M •6:30 P.M. REGISTERED HEIFER SALE 40 Red Brangus & 10 Brangus Heifers Sell! Steak Dinner following Heifer Sale

SAT, OCT 30 - Schedule of Events 8:00 AM - Coffee & Kolaches • Viewing Cattle all morning 11:30 AM - BBQ Lunch • 12:30 PM - OCF Forage Tested BULL SALE Followed by the Commercial Heifer Sale

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Pre-Sale Video of Bulls now on Website Sale Video by Lots available around Oct. 1st

Sale Bulls DNA Tested with Complete DNA Profile

This is the 7th year we have used DNA test results as a tool in selecting genetics.


Oak Creek Farms • • Breeding Brangus Since 1967 John & Carolyn Kopycinski • Chappell Hill, Texas 979/836-6832

Directions from Houston: Hwy 290 (60 mi west) then 4 mi south on FM 1371

FBP Sep/Oct 2010  

Feeder Calf Marketing & Bull Power