Tue, 07 Nov 2017
American Angus Assn announces acquisition New feeder calf program will grow market share by increasing use of Angus bulls PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 6, 2017
Cattle feeders need metrics that align with the traits most valuable to their business, specifically gain and grade, Moczygemba explains. The Angus feeder calf program will provide a simple tool that validates the genetic potential of feeder calves. (photogramma1, Flickr/Creative Commons) FORT WORTH, Texas — American Angus Association announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Verified Beef, including its proprietary Reputation Feeder Cattle® program. The deal underscores the Association’s commitment to programs that increase the use of registered Angus bulls in the commercial segment, growing value for the Angus breed and the entire membership.
Association CEO Allen Moczygemba says establishing a feeder calf program built on the use of registered Angus bulls that ties calves back to superior Angus genetics was a strategic priority set by the board in 2016.
“By marrying the advanced technology platform and proprietary software from Verified Beef with the strength and scale of the Angus brand, the Association will deliver a feeder calf program that is not only invaluable to commercial cattlemen but is unmatched in the industry,” he says.
Cattle feeders need metrics that align with the traits most valuable to their business, specifically gain and grade, Moczygemba explains. The Angus feeder calf program will provide a simple tool that validates the genetic potential of feeder calves.
The Association will build on the Reputation Feeder Cattle® program. While the current offering is based on a dollar scoring system, its underlying data analysis methodologies and computer modeling can be adapted to alternative scoring systems, such as the indexing system envisioned by American Angus Association.
“We’re confident that as cattlemen better understand the overall performance of Angus genetics, they’ll replace other breeds in their bull battery with Angus bulls,” Moczygemba says.
According to Tim Watts, chief executive officer of Verified Beef, “Selling calves the old fashioned way, without genetic data, doesn’t work.”
“Top Angus calves are consistently undervalued by several dollars per cwt. or more,” Watt says. “Calves from several other popular breeds are often significantly over valued, and the only way to fix this broken marketplace is for the AAA to implement an industry-changing feeder calf program.”
The program, which will be configured and integrated with existing Angus systems, is expected to be available in summer 2018. An index scoring system will replace the estimated dollar values currently offered. Herds will receive three genetic indexes: average daily gain, quality grade and a score for replacement heifers.
Moczygemba says, “The index scores will help our ultimate customers, commercial cattle feeders and cattlemen, make informed decisions, even in the fast-paced sale barn.”
–American Angus Association
Sun, 26 Mar 2017
Mon, 26 Dec 2016
Replacements and expansion are different
Our newsletter in 2012 encouraged expansion over the next 4-5 years. The 4th year seems right on target. Prices dropped quickly as we have all seen. There has been some upward movement lately, but it will be a slow recovery. Now a key for profitability is to maintain a very productive herd. That means replacing your weakest link with a disciplined approach. Replace cows before they become unproductive. If your herd is 10-15 head, you will probably replace 1-2 females every year. You can do this either by keeping back a couple of heifers or buying bred replacement heifers.
Don’t fall into the trap of having a large percent of your herd in need of replacement at one time. It never fails when you are in this situation, you will end up with more open cows than you had planned. This cuts your income from those lost calves.
Top 3 reasons bulls are replaced
Keeping daughters is the number one reason for why bulls are replaced. This is especially true when the operation only has one herd bull. However, we want to remind you of barbed wire injuries. Six bulls needed to be replaced due to barbed wire injury over the last 14 months. Generally the bulls are 3-4 years old. Try to keep barbed wire out of the breeding pasture, and replace it with a hot wire.
Create your own “good luck” against feet and leg injuries. Bulls that run in creek bottoms or have access to standing water seem to have a higher rate of foot injuries. Leg injuries seem to be more common in the areas where steep hills are in the breeding pastures. Obviously some farms don’t have a pasture without a hill. But if you plan a breeding pasture with fewer steep hazards, you can help eliminate exposure to leg injuries. We have observed that over-weight bulls almost always are the ones with leg injuries.
DNA will be used to identify healthier cattle
The dairy industry now has DNA profiles to identify animals that tend to be healthier than others based on certain traits (such as mastitis). A health-based 50K DNA program for beef cattle is on the horizon. When this program starts, we will be one of the first beef herds in the country to make selections using probable health considerations.
We can think of a whole host of diseases we would like to reduce by breeding genetically superior animals. The changes coming for the future of animal health are exciting.
Prevention vs. Treatment
We are focusing on PREVENTING illness vs.TREATING disease. By keeping a high level of immunity, it makes it harder for “bugs” to overcome your cattle. Being proactive to prevent disease will reward you financially with lower medical expenses, better growth and fewer headaches (or even death loss).
Feeding prebiotics and probiotics focuses on feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut to crowd out and starve the pathogen causing bacteria (called competitive exclusion). This protocol works from birth thru vaccination time. It isn’t a treatment method and shouldn’t be used in a disease outbreak.
Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) drug use
Call your Veterinarian today because the VFD rule goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017. Don’t wait until you have an emergency outbreak and discover you can’t purchase your “go-to fix” without a prescription.
A VFD is a statement from your veterinarian, authorizing you to feed a medically important antibiotic, for a period of up to 6 months. This includes tetracycline, penicillin, neomycin and tylosin, to name a few. This VFD rule eliminates the use of medically important drugs for feed efficiency or growth-promotion. VFD drugs may only be used to treat, prevent or cure disease.
This does not include Bovatec, Rumensin, or any drug used to treat/prevent coccidia, such as Decox. Water soluble drugs (sulfadimethoxine, for example) will become prescription products (not VFD), and should be available through your veterinarian like any other prescription product. Injectable over-the-counter antibiotics, such as LA-200 (tetracycline) are not affected by this rule.
To receive a valid VFD, you need to have a veterinarian that works on your cattle operation, has enough knowledge to help make clinical judgements for your animals, and is available for follow-up. Mineral preparations and salt blocks containing medically important antibiotics will also be included in the VFD regulation.
Protect against the cold
We use straw, corn stalks or poor hay to bed down our cattle during extreme cold. We spread the bedding in natural windbreaks on top of the snow or frozen ground. Extra bedding will protect your bulls’ scrotums. Just think of it as insurance on your breeding investment.