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Beef producers to meet in Joplin for two-day ARSBC event

Published on 25 March 2011

Beef cattle producers from Missouri and across the nation are invited to Joplin, Mo., Aug. 31-Sept. 1, to learn about Show-Me high-quality beef. The basics include using high-accuracy proven bulls to breed Missouri’s top-quality cows.

The “Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle” program will be hosted by the Beef Reproduction Task Force, which is composed of experts from major land-grant universities in eight states. The group was formed in 2000, arising from the need for extension personnel to effectively communicate to beef producers the latest information related to reproductive technologies.

The program this year will be expanded to include feedyard operators who are finishing Missouri cattle. Organizers are planning for more than 300 producers to attend.

“We have learned a lot about breeding high-quality cattle, which bring the premium prices, in recent years,” said David Patterson, meeting host and University of Missouri (MU) Extension beef reproduction specialist.

The opening panel at the meeting will set the theme: “Using AI (artificial insemination) for More High-Quality Beef.” Panelists include Patterson of Columbia; Mike Kasten, beef producer from Millersville, Mo.; and Larry Corah, vice president of Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), Manhattan, Kan. Respectively, they represent the scientist, the farmer and the marketer of high-quality beef.

Much of the Missouri program has grown out of the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer program. “Producers have learned there are extra profits not only in replacement heifers, but also in the steer mates sent to feedyards,” Patterson said. “The steers, especially from the Show-Me-Select Tier Two program, have much higher performance in the feedyard. Tier Two steers hit the premium grids.”

Packing plants, using the grids, pay bonuses for calves that attain higher USDA quality grades. Premiums can amount to $300 per animal.

The reproduction research has until now focused on developing protocols for fixed-time AI of cows and heifers. This allows breeding all cows in a herd on one day, saving labor and shortening the calving season. The result is more uniform calves at weaning time.

“But we’ve found many more benefits,” Patterson said. “With AI, producers can use the top-rated bulls in their breed to gain genetic advantages.” Now sires with thousands of offspring have proven accuracy in their ability to improve the herds.

“We’ve learned that feedyards that once held low regard for Missouri feeder cattle now seek those from top-producing herds. Our speakers will explain that change,” Patterson said.

“There are more research achievements coming,” he added. “Jerry Taylor, MU researcher who helped decipher the bovine genome, will tell how to use what is known about the genetic map to produce more high-quality beef.”

The main reason to do any of this is to make more money from the cow herd. MU economists Scott Brown of MU FAPRI and Joe Parcell from agricultural and applied economics will give the financial prospects from the herd to the national levels.

On the evening of Aug. 31, the group will visit the Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage, Mo., to see working demonstrations and hear a panel of producers of Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers. The local cattlemen’s association will serve a steak dinner.

Registration costs and details will appear soon on the MU Conference Office website at  http://www.muconf.missouri.edu. end_mark

--From Duane Dailey, MU Cooperative Media Group news release

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