Is Artificial Insemination Right for Your Ranch

April 10, 2015

It goes without saying ABS promotes synchronization and AI, and the lifetime value it can add to the cowherd.There has never been a better time for synchronization and AI in the beef industry than today. Bull prices continue to set records and the additional value of AI bred and sired females can’t be denied.

But adoption of this technology use doesn’t come without questions and expectations from users, especially those new to or considering AI for the first time. Drovers CattleNetwork released an article online yesterday from their March issue, Dispelling the myths of artificial insemination, and one we feel is very accurate. Take a glance at it.

“AI isn’t meant to be easy and may not be meant for everyone, but it’s also not that difficult for people to establish in their operation,” Travis McCarty writes. “I believe more operations can incorporate AI into their management practices than what is currently being done in the industry.”

If you still need more information on whether AI is right for you and what other considerations are needed, check out these resources:

  • Video of a large-scale AI project in South Dakota at the Fulton Ranch. With the use of a portable breeding barn and skilled crew, synchronization and AI in the pasture is low-stress and simplified
  • The AI Cowculator is a smartphone app developed by the University of Florida to aid in the decision making process, helping producers incorporate their own costs and determine the value of estrous synchronization and AI compared to natural service.
  • The Iowa State University Estrus Synchronization Planner is a free excel spreadsheet program download that is great for planning and deciding which estrus synchronization protocol is best for you. It also has a cost breakdown analysis to compare different protocol expenses for your operation. (Note, it will ask for your information when downloading – this is only so you can be notified when an update the planner is available for future downloads and the most up-to-date synchronization protocols approved by the Beef Reproduction Task Force)
  • ABS Beef Blog Synchronization Q & A with Dr. Cliff Lamb  (Three-part series). Lamb addresses common questions and scenarios on the farm when things don’t always go as planned.
  • This pdf article from North Dakota State University Extension Service discussing Maximizing Pregnancy Rates When Using Artificial Insemination 

If you’re still skeptical about the value of AI compared to natural service with today’s prices, check out these cost comparison charts, using this spring’s data. These charts do not account for the genetic gain of using proven genetics or additional age and weight of calves born earlier in the calving season.

NaturalServiceCosts

Synch-AI_Costs

If you think synchronization and AI is something you want to incorporate, talk to your local ABS Representative today. Our professional, full-service representatives are here to help you with any questions and concerns you may have.

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ABS Sired Progeny Take Home Honors at 2013 NAILE

November 19, 2013

This week is the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. Below are winners with progeny sired by ABS bulls. The ABS headline for calving ease and phenotype, BRILLIANCE, took top honors in each show!

Congratulations to everyone involved at the NAILE show, we know the hard work and dedication that goes into having your animals ready for such a big show! Safe travels to everyone on their way home and don’t forget to stop by the ABS booth and visit with us before leaving.

  • Grand Champion Owned Female, Junior Show, PVF Missie 2018 – sired by BRILLIANCE, shown by Carter Ward, MO
  • Reserve Senior Champion Female, Junior Show, Champion Hill Shadoe 81-7 – sired by BRAVE, shown by Kaitlyn Clarke, OH
  • Senior Heifer Calf Champion, Junior Show, Champion Hill Georgina 8308 – sired by BRAVE,  shown by Christine Taylor, AR
  • Reserve Senior Heifer Calf Champion,  Junior Show, WSA Lady 9162 – sired by MOTIVE, shown by Colleen Jones, NC
  • Reserve Grand Champion Bull, Super Point ROV Show, DDA Dameron Northern Light – sired by BRILLIANCE, shown by Double Diamond Angus, IL and Dameron Angus Farm, IL
  • Winter Bull Calf Champion, Super Point ROV Show, LVS Brilliance 1305 – sired by BRILLIANCE, shown by Savannah Levisay, CA and Matthew Mitchell, PA
  • Grand Champion Female, Super Point ROV Show, Cherry Knoll Pleasant Elsa – sired
  • Grand Champion Cow/Calf Pair, Super Point ROV Show, Cherry Knoll Elisha 1146 – sired by SAUGAHATCHEE, shown by Trista Bates, MT and Cherry Knoll Farm, PA
  • Reserve Champion Intermediate Female, Super Point ROV Show, Champion Hill Georgina 8211 – sired by SAUGAHATCHEE, shown by Blake Boyd, KY and Champion Hill Angus, OH
  • Champion Junior Female, Super Point ROV Show, Cherry Knoll Pleasant Elsa – sired by BRILLIANCE, shown by Logan Wright, WV and Cherry Knoll Farm, PA
  • Reserve Champion Senior Female, Super Point ROV Show, SCC Queen O Diamonds GAF 197 – sired by CURRENCY, shown by Kinsey Crowe, OH

Complete Show Results and American Angus Association Coverage can be found here.

Complete ABS Sire Listing. 

 


ABS Hosts South American Beef Tour

October 30, 2013

ABS recently hosted a group of South Americans who toured parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Participants visited influential seedstock and commercial ranches, Kansas State University Meat Lab, and American Angus Association’s headquarters in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Tour Group at Buford Angus Ranch

Tour Group at Buford Angus Ranch

Participants engage in discussions with ABS District Business Manager, Sandra Levering, at Giles Ranch

Participants engage in discussions with ABS District Business Manager, Sandra Levering, at Giles Ranch

Posing for a photo at Kniebel Cattle Company

Posing for a photo at Kniebel Cattle Company

The tour group enjoyed discussions and seminars with a diverse group of industry leaders representing the U.S. beef industry. The tour began at Express Angus Ranch in Oklahoma, making their way to Gardiner Angus Ranch, Sandhill Hereford Farms, Kniebel Red Angus, Houck Rock Simmentals, and Kansas State University. From the Kansas State University Meat Lab, the tour continued through north east Kansas to the American Angus Association headquarters and Circle A Angus Ranch where they learned more about the ABS Global Circle A Sire Alliance program. As the tour concluded through Missouri, they stopped at Joplin Regional Stockyards headed back to Oklahoma with stops at Ratcliff and Buford Ranches.

Stop at Gardiner Angus Ranch

Stop at Gardiner Angus Ranch

Going through ET calves at Fink Beef Genetics

Going through ET calves at Fink Beef Genetics

The tour made a stop at the American Angus office in St. Joesph

The tour made a stop at the American Angus office in St. Joesph, Missouri

ABS is thankful to both tour participants and tour stop hosts for helping make the 2013 South American Beef Tour a success. ABS believes interaction and exchange of cattle production methods across cultures is important for continued growth of the global beef industry. Sharing genetics and management practices can help achieve higher success for international beef demand.

Touring the Kansas State University Meat Lab

Touring the Kansas State University Meat Lab

Going through the Angus Sire Alliance progeny test feedlot at Circle A Ranch

Going through the Angus Sire Alliance progeny test feedlot at Circle A Ranch

In front of Joplin Regional Stockyards

In front of Joplin Regional Stockyards

Touring the working pens and AI facility at Ratcliff Ranches

Touring the working pens and AI facility at Ratcliff Ranches

If you are interested in participating in future ABS Global beef tours, please contact Vasco Beheregaray, Global Beef Brand Manager, at vasco.neto@genusplc.com.

 


Highlights from Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium 2013

October 22, 2013

Each year the Beef Reproduction Task Force and Beef Reproduction Leadership Team hold conference proceedings to present the latest research and value of synchronization in beef cattle.  Complete list of topics, speakers and summaries can be found here on the ARSBC News Room website (2013).

ABS Global strongly believes in the value of synchronization for beef cattle production and profitability.  A summary of key topics and take home messages follow.

Provided by Matthew Drebing, ABS Representative

  • Fixed-time AI protocols are more reliable than ever, and there really isn’t a good excuse anymore to not utilize AI; time, labor, expense, and lack of facilities can all be overcome
  • Producers have to be 90% accurate in their heat detection to achieve same accuracy of a fixed-time AI protocol
  • A producer can front-load the calving season with fixed-time AI, accounting for up to 38 lbs. difference in weaning weight
  • Errors in frozen semen handling can be more common and costly than handlers consider. Brad Stroud, DVM, Stroud Veterinary Embryo Services, Inc , emphasized the importance of keeping the temperature of straws below -130°C at all times. Each time cells are exposed or re-exposed temperatures higher than -130°C, ice crystals in the cells rearrange, leading to damaged membranes, which increases fertilization failure. Stroud also emphasized exchanging semen and going up and down within the neck of tank increases loss of semen quality. “It can only take 10 seconds in the neck of a half-filled Dewar for the internal temperature of a frozen semen straw to reach -100°C.” Stroud also emphasized the importance of quality semen from reputable large scale bull studs to ensure quality of handling and product.
  • Larry Corah, Vice President of supply development for Certified Angus Beef LLC., highlighted the demand for premium-Choice and Prime is high and changing the market place. Corah also emphasized use of AI with proven genetics can help producers obtain higher quality levels that are capturing premiums
  • Steve Hopkins, Virginia Cooperative Extension, in his talk about “How do I profit from improved reproduction” listed the ability to utilize AI to create uniformity as a way to create value in heifers, cows, and calves
  • Randall Hinshaw, DVM.,  Ashby Embryo, provided additional reasons and support for rectal ultrasound; listing “Why Ultrasound:  more accurate, less invasive, confirm fetal viability, diagnose pregnancy earlier (25 days), diagnose fetal anomalies, understanding follicular dynamics, assess ovarian status before breeding AI

ABS offers expert knowledge to match synchronization systems to best fit your specific needs. You can confidently look to ABS Professionals to assist and help meet your operations’ needs at any herd size.  Contact ABS today to discuss options for your herd.

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ABS Progeny Lead Fall Angus Sales

October 18, 2013

The fall sale season is underway and the Angus breed has had several outstanding sales represented so far.  ABS sired progeny have been sale standouts and impressive in the robust sale season.

Texas Angus Breeders’ Select Sale, Glen Rose, TX –

  • Top Selling Bull, CoX Complement Z17T, sired by COMPLEMENT

Express Ranches Bull Sale, Yukon, OK –

  • High Selling Bull, for 1/2 interest, EXAR It All Counts 2219, sired by IMPRESSION
  • 2nd High Selling Bull, EXAR SEMA 2131B, sired by UPSHOT
  • ABS sired progeny earned 5 of the top 8 selling bull honors, selling for an average of $17,740

Werhmann Angus Female Sale, New Market, VA – 

  • Top Selling Open Heifer and overall, Rita 2H12 of 158 Rito 9Q1, sired by 9Q13
  • Top Selling Bred Heifer, Rita 12E9 of 5F56 Rito 5M2, Sired by RITO REVENUE
  • 2nd & 3rd High Selling Bred Heifers sired by COMPLETE
  • 2nd High Selling Open Cow, Rita 0243 of Rita 7O68 5M2, sired by RITO REVENUE

Buford Ranches Bull Sale, Welch, OK – 

  • 2 of the top 7 selling lots sired by BLUESTEM

Vintage Angus Ranch Female Sale, Modesto, CA – (record setting sale)

  • 3rd High Selling Female, V A R Blackcap 3185, sired by UPSHOT has the #1 $B Index among non-parent daughters, brought $100,000
  • UPSHOT daughters were 3 of the top 10 selling Open Heifers, with 17 total daughters in the sale averaging $20,850
  • 2nd High Selling Bred Heifer, V A R Blackcap 2066, sired by UPSHOT
  • Top 3 Open Cows all sired by ABS sires: ALL AROUND, COMPLETE & IMPRESSION
  • Top Bred Cow, Exar Blackcap 5899, sired by COMPLETE

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Data Suggests Disposition Pays

September 10, 2013

A newly released study by Certified Angus Beef, Black Ink Basics, conducted at Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity proves docility makes a difference. The study collected data on 68,000 cattle from Iowa feedlots and used the six-point Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) disposition scoring system. The cattle were scored three to four times during feeding periods and then were grouped into three categories: docile (DC), restless (R) and nervous to very aggressive (NVA).

Highlights from the study

  • When Considering all the costs, docile calves netted more than $57 above their aggressive counterparts
  • Calves that were considered docile graded Premium Choice and Prime at more than double the rate of their nervous to very aggressive contemporaries
  • Aggressive calves also had lower feedlot gain and efficiency, resulting in a $34.74/head feeding loss
  • Favorable disposition equals higher postweaning calf value
  • Docile calves earned $13.11 more in quality grade premiums
  • Docile calves had more than double the Certified Angus Beef Brand acceptance rate over aggressive cattle
  • Aggressive cattle produced less desirable carcasses with 25% more dark cutter

Certified Angus Beef Focus on Cattleman page

 Full Black Ink Basics release

ABS is committed to providing the highest genetic and service solutions for your operation.  If you want to improve the docility of your herd, look to these top 15 ABS mainline proven and semi-proven sires.

Name DOC    DOC         Acc
POWER TOOL
39    0.66
SAFEGUARD 37    0.49
C C & 7  35    0.91
TEMPLATE 32    0.65
LIBERTY 31    0.70
TRUST 29       0.78
NEW DESIGN 458N 27       0.78
ABSOLUTE 27       0.60
PROGRESSION 25       0.43
2U66 24    0.32
HOOVER DAM 22    0.89
EFFICIENT 22    0.80
FORESIGHT 20    0.90
DESTINATION 928 20    0.82
MOTIVE 20    0.46

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Standout Daughters at Express Angus Ranch

June 26, 2013

Before BIF Conference I spent the morning at Express looking through a lot of daughters.

29AN1807 UPSHOT –  In just about every pen with bred heifers, yearlings, and weaned fall calves, UPSHOT is the leading sire group.  If you’re still not sure what kind of impact UPSHOT will have, I’d say Express’ confidence in the number of calves, not just he quality, goes a long way.  The females are broody and big ribbed with length. UPSHOT sons continue to offer high growth and performance with added muscle and stoutness.  I think UPSHOT will offer a little more frame than first anticipated but does it with lots of depth and rib shape – will add power, volume and performance to moderate females.

Broody made and thick UPSHOT bred heifer

Broody made and thick UPSHOT bred heifer

Deep fall weaned UPSHOT heifer

Deep made fall weaned UPSHOT heifer

29AN1827 RITO 6EM3 – Sons have been crowd favorites in recent Express bull sales but the daughters are performing just as nice in the donor battery and as pairs.  The females have picture perfect udders and volume in moderate packages.  Soft ribbed and clean fronted with good structure, and raising calves with volume and performance, 6EM3 daughters have a lot of appeal and longevity to their future. For a double digit CED and negative BW bull, progeny are stout, heavy muscled with a lot of middle to them, no sacrifice on muscle and power here while maintaining a moderate and easy fleshing package.

Spring Calving 6EM3 daughter

Spring Calving RITO 6EM3 daughter

RITO 6EM3 Donor with a deep sided heifer calf at side

6EM3 Donor with a deep sided heifer calf at side

Complete Sire Listing

Provided by Katy Kemp, Beef Marketing Specialist