Hi-Lo Sorting

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How sorting cattle before they get to the feedyard can add profit to the bottom line

Fat in the Right Places

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When the meat grader stamps a side of beef with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) quality grade, he is estimating its palatability. That stamp of approval on a Choice or Prime carcass predicts quality so that consumers have the confidence to pay more. Producers who sell in a value-based system also earn more. But how do the graders decide which stamp to use? What separates a Choice carcass from a Select?

Being Aware of What Goes In

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In the cattle business there are big rewards for finding a niche that develops into a national interest.  Rodney Lowrance of Pleasant Hope, Mo. is taking his investment in Gelbvieh cattle and possibly venturing into one of these niches; grass-fed meat production.

Cow Lease Agreements

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Leasing cattle and machinery is becoming more and more popular in today’s market environment.  Young producers starting out may find it impossible to borrow enough capital to purchase land, machinery, and breeding stock.  On the other hand, an established producer may be looking to retire or reduce their involvement in the operation but doesn’t want to sell the farm assets.  One reason for this may be the income tax liability of such a large sale of land, machinery and breeding stock.  A lease agreement may be an opportunity to achieve the goal of both individuals.  But as with any contract, careful consideration should be taken to ensure all the details are clearly defined to prevent problems and conflicts later on. 

Equine Infectious Anemia at Home

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Equine infectious anemia has been a real problem in many southern states in the past. You can never be too cautious, especially when you travel with your horses. Strict laws with harsh punishments for violators have dramatically improved this killer disease, even in our less-affected state.

Synching Estrous Cycles

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Long breeding and calving seasons can mean extra time and labor costs for producers, but by synchronizing cows’ estrous, a producer can spend less time observing natural heats and subsequent breeding as well as reduce the time needed to observe calving 283 days later.

Crossbreeding for Market

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More and more beef producers are switching to “black” cattle since that seems to be what the market wants.  Black Angus heifers are sold for a premium and we search for the best black Angus bulls we can find to ensure that the calves will turn out black.  However, this mass conversion to “black” may be costing us as much as $100/cow/year in what we give up by not crossbreeding. 

Respecting Your Animals

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Males of about any species tend to be more aggressive than females. This comment by Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist, focused on factors involved in maintaining safe conditions when working around farm animals.

Hi-Lo Sorting

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Sorting cattle helps eliminate outliers in a pen, but the extra effort may be rewarded by higher quality grades, too.
A study by Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) shows the more sorts the better the grades in most cases.

Synching Estrous Cycles

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Long breeding and calving seasons can mean extra time and labor costs for producers, but by synchronizing cows’ estrous, a producer can spend less time observing natural heats and subsequent breeding as well as reduce the time needed to observe calving 283 days later.
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