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Articles from 2021 In March

5 keys to success in the family business

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This past year has brought incredible challenges and hardships for people here and abroad.

In addition to the threat of the coronavirus, we have seen hundreds of thousands of family-owned small businesses shutter their doors for good. We have seen the largest transfer of wealth in human history, with big box stores taking advantage of increased online shopping revenue while Mom and Pop shops on main streets across America were forced to lockdown.

The isolation, loss of job opportunities and other changes in our usual routines have caused a spike in bankruptcies, depression, suicide, divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, child neglect and worse.

And in our world, animal agriculturalists continue to be the target of politicians, celebrities, the mainstream media and investors in fake meat companies. These folks are hell bent on stripping producers of the land and meat off the dinner table, and they plan to accomplish this goal through increased regulation (such as 30 X 30 and the PAUSE Act), negative media campaigns, sin taxes and the repetition of faulty science blaming obesity on meat and climate change on farting cows.

While we can’t control these external forces, we can recognize the threat that exists to our family-owned farms and ranches. Now is the time to rally together with friends, neighbors and peers in this industry. It’s also a call to do what you can on a state and local level to ensure you are able to continue to operate, manage your land and raise cattle like you always have.

With that reminder, I also think it’s important to tighten up and strengthen your businesses at home when you can. Tough times can be made even more challenging with more business management decisions or by ignoring the elephant in the room — which is often family conflict or unresolved issues in the family business.

I often reference the work of SKM Associates, LLC, a family business consulting company that offers advice for entrepreneurial families with multi-generations in the business.

A recent article titled, “Challenges can be overcome in a family business,” offers five things we can focus on to help our family businesses sustain themselves for the long haul.

1. Retention of both family and non-family talent

According to SKM, “Retention is nurtured through a level of trust, commitment to the vision, strong job knowledge, fair pay, a winning culture, and opportunity for growth.”

2. Wise financial management with patient capital

“Maintaining the concept of frugality allows the family, the business, and the ownership to be ready for the next opportunity and to weather the next downturn,” says SKM.

3. Openness and transparency

“The family has a willingness to discuss sensitive issues with transparency and openness,” they say.

4. Effective structures

SKM explains, “There is a commitment to systems, processes, and practices that provide the right structure for the family, business and customers.”

5. Intentional development

“Families in business that are committed to the long haul, consistently and intentionally set aside time to discuss and revisit the first four themes so they can keep up with changes in the family, the business, and the ownership,” they recommend.

As we evaluate this list, it may seem basic; however, an honest appraisal of the family ranching business may reveal we are all a bit rusty in one of more of these areas. Consider what you can implement in the next month and the next year, and get to work, for your future in agriculture and for the long-term success and sustainability of your family’s multi-generational enterprise.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

There is more than one way to finish a steer

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About a year ago, our industry buzzed with talk about finishing local beef. Our friends and neighbors found empty grocery store shelves and instead turned to their local beef producers to fill their freezers. Last year shed light on direct-to-consumer beef production. This concept of local beef is not a new one. Instead, it is more a case of what was old is new again. There was a time when small local meat lockers were a staple in many small towns. With reports of some processors booking into 2022, it appears that this trend for local beef may outlast the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently a group of UK extension agents and specialists wrapped up a 4-week series of virtual meetings focusing on producing freezer beef in northern Kentucky. The UK beef extension team will also be launching a new program for the fall of 2021 called “Master Finisher” to provide additional resources for folks interested in finishing beef cattle here in Kentucky.

One of the things that I have come to appreciate while working with producers in small-scale finishing systems is that there is more than one right way to finish a steer (or heifer). Regardless of if you are producing beef in grass-finished, grain-finished or a hybrid grain-on grass system, what works for one operation may not be the best option for another. Answering several questions can help you narrow in on the right production system for your operation. A few examples include: Who is the customer base? What are their preferences and expectations? What are your feed and labor resources? Something that should not be overlooked in the local food sector is the product’s story. Consumers choosing local beef are not just purchasing any 1 lb package of ground beef; they are buying your 1 lb package of ground beef.

Each finishing production system has its own set of advantages and limitations:

  1. Grass-finished- Grass-finished is commonly used to refer to cattle finished without grain. However, a more appropriate name for this type of system could be “forage finished”. This production system results in low rates of gain, and cattle are typically anywhere from 24-30 months of age at harvest. Thus, regardless of when the calves were born, they will experience at least one winter while being finished. Therefore, at some point, these cattle will likely need to be fed a high-quality stored forage such as alfalfa hay or fermented forages such as baleage; hence the term “forage finished”. A key to this system is selecting and maintaining ideal forages and having a good understanding of grazing management practices. The low and slow approach needed to finish cattle with forages successfully is not a disadvantage but is a consideration when developing a timeline. If you have a processor reservation for this fall and yearling steers in the field, you could not only be leaving weight out in the pasture but also quality in terms of marbling score.
  2. Grain finished- As the name implies, this system involves feeding a concentrate or grain-based diet to cattle during the finishing period. Typically, cattle in this system are housed in confinement, which could be anything from a dry lot to a compost bedded pack barn. Depending on the ration or use of growth-promoting technologies such as implants, cattle in this system can gain 2-4+ lbs/d. Of all of the finishing systems, this system can allow for the most consistent rate of gain but also requires proper feeding management to make sure cattle don’t experience digestive upsets. Even on grain-based diets, cattle still need to consume some roughage such as grass hay to maintain rumen health.
  3. Grain on grass hybrid finishing- This system allows for the most flexibility in cattle management during the finishing period. I think of this system as more of a spectrum. Cattle can be consuming a forage-based diet with minimal grain supplementation or be receiving a predominately grain-based diet while being housed on pasture. The desired rate of gain and available feed and labor resources are things to consider when determining where to land on this spectrum. This type of system can allow cattle to take advantage of one of the cheapest feeding systems available, grazing! When weather limits grazing, cattle may consume more of their total nutrients from the grain-based supplement while consuming stored forages.

Regardless of the finishing system, it is essential to have realistic expectations when considering how long it will take to finish an animal. The length of time required to finish cattle in a specific production system can’t be ignored. Finishing cattle in any system will take time, labor, and economic inputs to get started but is one option for adding value to calves while filling a niche in the consumer market.

Source: University of Kentuckywhich is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

California’s Prop 12 Supreme Court challenge supported by 20 states

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In an ongoing effort to protect states’ rights under the Commerce Clause, 20 states filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the petition filed by the North American Meat Institute challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12.

Enacted in November 2018, Californian voters approved Proposition 12 which imposes space requirements regarding breeding pigs and veal calves within California. Prop 12 creates a barrier to trade by imposing obligations on out-of-state competitors in an effort to assist local producers of pork and veal, the Meat Institute challenges.

Prop 12 reaches beyond the state’s borders by prohibiting the sale in California of uncooked pork or veal from animals housed in ways that do not meet California’s requirements. As a result, Prop 12 sets confinement standards for how pigs and veal calves are raised anywhere in the United States or in any foreign country.

“The governments of nearly half the states agree, if California is allowed to apply its laws to conduct in other states, a single state will dictate policies in all others, encouraging a patchwork of regulations and threatening the free flow of interstate commerce,” says Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts.

Related: Supreme Court to review California’s Prop 12

The brief was filed by Indiana, joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The brief details that “California’s animal-confinement rules depart markedly from the conventional rules of the vast majority of States, which permit farmers to raise calves and hogs in accordance with commercial standards and agricultural best practices, rather than dictate mandatory animal-confinement requirements.”

It continues to note, “California’s rules have serious economic consequences, as it is costly to convert animal-husbandry operations to comply with the new rules. According to Christine McCracken, senior analyst of animal protein at Rabobank, ordinarily an ‘average barn might cost $1,600 to $2,500 per sow, or $3 million to $4.5 million in total.” Under California’s animal-confinement rules, however, some compliant barns are “averaging as much as $3,400 per sow,” with the decision to convert operations becoming increasingly difficult in light of recently “elevated building costs,” the brief adds.

In February, the Meat Institute filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to review an earlier ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the Meat Institute’s challenge to the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12: The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative. The Meat Institute opposes the law because it is unconstitutional and will hurt the nation’s food value chain by significantly increasing costs for producers and consumers.

Related: Meat Institute petitions for court review of Proposition 12

The question in the case is whether the U.S. Constitution permits California to extend its police power beyond its territorial borders by banning the sale of wholesome pork and veal products sold into California unless out-of-state farmers restructure their facilities to meet animal-confinement standards dictated by California, the Meat Institute states.

In its brief, the Meat Institute urged the Court to grant review because the “Ninth Circuit’s decision conflicts with the decisions of other federal courts of appeals on the question whether the Constitution limits a state’s ability to extend its police power beyond its territorial borders through a trade barrier dictating production standards in other States and countries.”

Allowing Prop 12 to stand “insulates in-state farmers from out-of-state competition, while imposing crushing burdens on out-of-state farmers and producers who have no political voice to shape the regulations that California has unilaterally determined to foist upon their operations outside of California.

The states’ brief notes, “California’s Proposition 12 is a paradigm of unconstitutional extraterritorial regulation: It requires hog and veal-calf farmers in every state to follow California’s animal-confinement rules on pain of exclusion from the California market. Yet the Ninth Circuit upheld Proposition 12 on the ground that the Constitution permits any extraterritorial regulation that ‘is not a price control or price affirmation statute.’ That decision warrants consideration not only because it permits precisely the sort of market-balkanizing interstate regulatory conflict the Commerce Clause was meant to prevent, but also because it conflicts with the holdings of at least five other circuits.”

Slippery slope on states’ rights

The states also argue “it is easy to imagine farmers getting caught in the crossfire should other states attempt to impose regulations that differ from California’s. Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, and Rhode Island have enacted similar exacting animal confinement laws with a market-exclusion enforcement mechanism.”

In addition, similar regulation that encourages states’ voters to prosecute their political disagreements rather than via their representatives in Congress could extend far beyond Proposition 12’s agricultural context including the energy sector or labor market.

“Under the Ninth Circuit’s misguided approach, a state could close its markets to goods produced by labor paid less than $15 per hour,” the brief explained as the hypothetical “satisfactory wage scale” the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed in Baldwin v. G.A.F. Seeling, Inc.

“The Constitution permits California to serve as a laboratory of state policy experimentation with its animal-confinement laws—but only within its own borders. Precisely to ensure other states may experiment with animal-confinement policies of their own, however, the Constitution prohibits California from applying its animal-confinement laws to conduct in other States.

“By allowing California to do so, the decision below creates an untenable situation: It permits California and a handful of other states to impose their policy choices on defenseless other states. Because the Constitution forecloses such unequal treatment, the Court should grant the petition and reverse the decision,” the brief concludes.

Farm Progress America, March 31, 2021

Max Armstrong shares insight from a recent commentary by Mike Wilson at Farm Futures who asks if organic farming and can carbon farming work together. Wilson shared insight from farmers responding to a recent Farm Futures survey showing that commercial farmers have no love for the practice. In addition, organic crop management may not mix with the rising discussion of soil health and carbon sequestration. You can check out Mike's column here.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Senators seek additional reform for livestock haulers

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A bipartisan group of senators reintroduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act, legislation to reform the Hours of Service and Electronic Logging Device regulations at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Further, the bill would delay enforcement of the ELD rule until the required reforms are formally proposed by the transportation secretary.

The bill follows successful efforts through the appropriations process to secure delays of the ELD rule in fiscal years 2018-2021.

“We’ve worked to provide needed certainty and flexibility to our agricultural haulers under the HOS and ELD regulations so that they can get their products to market safely and efficiently,” says lead sponsor Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. “This legislation builds on our efforts, establishing a process to address unnecessary burdens under these regulations and advance reforms based on the input of agriculture producers, while also ensuring roadway safety is maintained.”

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., says he looks forward to working with his colleagues to give “farmers and ranchers a seat at the table as we push for more sensible rules around the transportation of agricultural goods.”

Specifically, the bill would establish a working group at DOT comprised of representatives from the transportation and agriculture industries, transportation safety representatives, and USDA.

The working group would be required to consider the impact of existing HOS and ELD rules on the commercial transport of livestock, insects and agricultural commodities and develop guidelines on reforming these rules. Within 120 days of receiving the working group’s report, the Transportation Secretary must propose regulatory changes to the HOS and ELD regulations, taking into account the group’s findings and recommendations.

“Livestock haulers have the difficult task of protecting the safety of our roads while maintaining the health and welfare of the animals they’re transporting,” says Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan. “The establishment of this working group will allow DOT to make commonsense reforms and remove burdensome regulations placed on hardworking transporters, ensuring the timely delivery of agricultural commodities.”  

Additional co-sponsors include Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, James Risch, R-Idaho, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Mike Braun, R-Ind.

The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act is supported by the National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United States Cattlemen’s Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Honey Producers Association, The American Horse Council, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, American Sheep Industry Association, the National Turkey Federation and the National Aquaculture Association.

In North Dakota, as an example, the configuration and geography of the state make the hours of service rule difficult to ensure the well-being of livestock. “Being a primarily cow-calf sate, many of our cattle flow considerable distances for further feeding or processing. That leaves haulers with few options – options that can compromise animals’ well-being,” says Julie Ellingson, executive director of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, says he appreciates how the legislation creates a framework for producers to work directly with the DOT to address the challenges surrounding the HOS and ELD mandates.

Susan Shultz, president of the American Sheep Industry Association, notes livestock haulers have long required greater flexibility in the existing hours of service regulations. “This legislation will ensure a solution is found to allow the continued transportation of livestock without unnecessary stops that inhibit airflow to the sheep being hauled, offloading and reloading that pose dangers to the sheep and those that hauls them, and protects the safety of the American public for our roadways.”


Bull breeding soundness should be tested after freeze

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After the recent week-long winter storm, Texas A&M AgriLife officials are recommending bulls be given breeding soundness exams.

Winter Storm Uri could have long-term effects on Texas’ cattle herd. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists recently expressed concerns about bull reproductive soundness being affected by frostbite.

Some of these effects may include increased bull culling rates, delayed breeding seasons, lower conception rates, and lighter calf weaning weights, all of which have economic consequences, according to the AgriLife Extension experts.


“We are encouraging beef cattle producers to conduct breeding soundness examinations (BSE) on bulls prior to the spring breeding season,” said Jason Smith, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Amarillo. “While always a good practice, conducting a BSE this year is probably more important than ever in the recent past.”

Joining Smith in expressing concerns are Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, and Dr. Tom Hairgrove, D.V.M., AgriLife Extension cattle veterinary specialist, both in Bryan-College Station. All three are in the Department of Animal Science within Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Following the February winter storm that produced record low temperatures across a large portion of the state, there is concern among the experts about the presence of frostbite on some breeding bulls. Others have expressed concern about reduced sperm production and quality, even if no frostbite was observed on the scrotum. 

Testing of bulls for the spring breeding season recently began, and there have been reports from veterinarians and AgriLife Extension agents of higher-than-normal BSE failures in bulls, Smith said.

See, Load'em up: From pasture to feedyard

“While it is difficult to estimate the extent to which a specific operation’s bull battery may or may not have been affected by abnormally low temperatures and extended snow and ice cover, one thing remains certain, a pre-breeding BSE is the only way to objectively evaluate a bull’s readiness to breed prior to turnout,” Smith said. 

Bull testing should be a priority

Producers are encouraged to request a complete BSE that includes evaluation for motility, morphology and physical defects as well as testing for Trichomoniasis, Gill said. Most often a quick screening for sperm motility constitutes a “fertility test” on bulls. Morphology is as important to a sperm’s ability to fertilize an oocyte and is often not looked at during routine BSEs conducted in the field. The value of a complete BSE cannot be overemphasized, he said.    

“We want to make best management recommendations to help producers mitigate any negative consequences of the recent winter storm on bull fertility,” Smith said.

Hairgrove, who is actively collecting data from veterinarians in collaboration with Ky Pohler, Department of Animal Science reproductive physiologist, will be analyzing and using that data to provide reproduction recommendations. 

Early observations indicate a higher-than-normal rate of BSE failure or deferment to re-test in bulls with visual signs of frostbite, Hairgrove said. It appears that a large portion of those are likely due to physical/structural defects to spermatozoa that can be attributed to damage that occurred during storage in the epididymis. 

See, Workshop to assist livestock producers dealing with drought

“From a conceptual standpoint, the damage most likely occurred due to excessive testicular heating in response to the frostbite,” Smith said. “Similar consequences would be expected during times of extreme heat stress, such as is often the case throughout the summer months in Texas. 

“We also preliminarily expect younger bulls to have been more resilient to the extreme cold, as they have a greater ability to raise their testes to regulate scrotal temperature and prevent frostbite. However, we do not yet have the objective data to support that notion.” 

Don’t panic, but take action

The experts said it could be that many of the bulls that fail a BSE or are deferred to re-test may recover and pass a BSE without requiring a full 60-day cycle of spermatogenesis to do so. 

It is also important to recognize that even in a normal year the rate of BSE failure is in the realm of 15% to 20% of bulls tested, and therefore approximately one out of every five bulls would be expected to fail a BSE, Smith said. 

Hairgrove added that “while it is likely there will be a small portion of bulls that will be non-breeders due to physical damage and inability to breed cows, those bulls should be quickly identified by a BSE.  

“This extreme weather event is one of many reasons why working with your veterinarian to conduct a pre-breeding BSE on all bulls is always advised, regardless of past performance,” Smith said. “This is also true for recently purchased bulls that underwent a BSE prior to the winter storm. For producers who do not routinely conduct pre-breeding BSE’s, this would certainly be the year to start, and to start early.”

The experts said the knowledge gained by testing will provide producers with the ability to decide if they need to replace bulls while replacements are still available, or if they need to turn out more bulls than normal.

“A key takeaway from this is to not panic and not immediately cull all bulls that fail a BSE or are deferred for re-test,” Gill said. “Once results are known on the initial tests, plans can be made to locate additional sires if needed, or a plan can be developed to rotate sires in and out during the breeding season.”

The experts said that, following the re-test, they expect some of the deferred bulls to pass a BSE.

Source: is AgriLife TODAY, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Load'em up: From pasture to feedyard

It's that time of year, cows are calving and stockers are en route to either the sale or the feedyard. In Olton, Texas, cousins Tracy and Aaron DeBerry, who partner on stocker calves, are shipping their cattle to Cactus Feeders. 

Farm Press recently documented one of their mornings gathering cattle. Catch a glimpse of their operation while also learning more about their transition from row crops to cattle, the importance of good fencing and their marketing strategy. 

See, 7 priorities for cattle producers this year

See, Bull breeding soundness should be tested after freeze

Farm Progress America, March 30, 2021

Max Armstrong shares insight from the Kansas City Federal Reserve which shows there's been a pullback in farm lending but digging in it turns out it's because of strengthened credit conditions. Ag debt at commercial banks eased further near the end of last year, due to general improvement of the ag economy. Higher crop prices and an influx of government payments have helped.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: hauged/iStock/Getty Images Plus

7 priorities for cattle producers this year

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FOCUS ON CATTLE: Addressing concerns of the entire cattle industry from feedlot to pasture is the priority of NCBA this year. The organization continues to look at market stability and price discovery issues.

NCBA President Jerry Bohn shares priorities for his organization in the coming years to protect the business climate and profitability of the nation’s cattle producers.

The Kansas cattleman shares thoughts on seven priority areas for NCBA in his own words:

1. On cattle markets. “Cattle markets have been under pressure for two years. It started with the Holcomb fire in 2019. We barely were getting over that and then we had the COVID shutdown. And I think we're still feeling the negative effects of the cold weather that also backed up cattle again. We are getting through some of that.”

2. On price discovery. “NCBA has a task force made up of all segments of the cattle business working on markets and price discovery. Value-based marketing didn't just come about because it was easy, it came about because of the signal that needed to be sent back to the industry to produce a higher-quality product, and I think we've been successful in that.

“The number of cattle grading Choice and Prime are above 80% across the whole industry. When I started my career, if we were in the 50% to 55% area, we thought we were doing really well. And I think because of that improvement in quality, consumer satisfaction with our product and consumer demand has just exploded.

“The downside is more and more people have gone to those value-based marketing systems, the day-to-day negotiation of price has declined, and so we need to work hard try to strike a happy medium and to determine at what level that needs to be.”

NCBA is using research from Colorado State as a basis of discussion.

3. On small meat processors. “We are looking at ways to help smaller meat processors, get better situated in the market — maybe get federally inspected so that they can sell beef across state lines, maybe even getting the government to provide some assistance to build some the plants.”

4. On new administration. “The new administration is focused on climate and sustainability. We’ve got to change the narrative about agriculture and really promote the positive things that we already are doing, such as the millions of acres of land that we own and manage and operate that sequester carbon. Maybe there's a way that there can be an income stream that comes to us because of our work in sequestering carbon on our properties.

“We also need to promote the message that our beef animals upcycle; 90% of the food that beef animal eats is products that aren’t edible by people — the forages, the grasses, the crop residues. Getting that message out is one of the things we intend to do this year.”

5. On traceability. “Certainly, developing a viable traceability program for animal disease control is still something that's important. We think that we can do that voluntarily. NCBA commissioned a study about three years ago that identified if we can get 65% to 70% of the cattle identified, that would be a viable way of tracking if, heaven forbid, we had a disease outbreak. So, we need to continue to work on getting some legislation passed.”

6. On alternative plant-based protein. “I think it's important that we make certain that they meet the same requirements that our product has to as far as inspection and promotion and labeling. I don't think it would be right for them to be able to use labels that identify our product. So I think they have to clearly show on their label when it doesn't contain real meat.

“And I think that they should be required to show all the ingredients. Where I think we win: Our only ingredient is natural, healthy beef — where theirs have a lot of other ingredients they add to try to mimic beef. I think the quality of our product will speak for itself, and we're going to continue to compete with them very well.”

7. On country-of-origin labeling. “We think there's some opportunities in the voluntary area to work on that.”


Selection for growth and carcass merit

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After considering what traits are most economically important to us in our own production and marketing system.  Bull selection is critical to maximize the genetic potential of future calf crops to perform in those traits.  This week we look specifically at the EPDs we should consider when improving growth and/or carcass merit are among our selection priorities.  Selection pressure should be applied based on the intended marketing endpoint of our calf crop.  

EPDs for Growth

Weaning Weight (WW) – expressed in pounds, a predictor of a sire’s ability to transmit weaning growth to his progeny as compared to that of other sires.

Yearling Weight (YW) – expressed in pounds, a predictor of a sire’s ability to transmit yearling growth to his progeny as compared to that of other sires.

Residual Average Daily Gain (RADG) – expressed in pounds per day, a predictor of a sire’s genetic ability to transmit post-weaning average daily gain given a constant amount of feed consumed, as compared to that of other sires.  Selection for higher RADG will result in more efficient feed conversion in the offspring.

Dry Matter Intake (DMI) – expressed in pounds per day, a predictor of a sire’s genetic ability to transmit feed intake post-weaning.

EPDs for Carcass Merit

Carcass Weight (CW) – expressed in pounds, a predictor of hot carcass weight of a sire’s progeny as compared to that of other sires.

Marbling (Marb) – expressed units of marbling score, predictor of a sire’s ability to transmit marbling as compared to that of other sires.  Selection for higher Marb would result in higher beef carcass Quality Grades in finished offspring.

Fat Thickness (FT) – expressed in inches, a predictor of differences in external fat thickness at the 12th rib of a sire’s progeny as compared to that of other sires.  Selection for less FT would result in improved carcass cutability in finished offspring.

Ribeye Area (RE) – expressed in square inches, a predictor of a sire’s ability to transmit ribeye size as compared to that of other sires.  Selection for higher RE would result in heavier muscled carcasses with higher cutability in finished offspring.

Source: Oklahoma State University Extensionwhich is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.