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.

Complete Sire Listing


Spring 2015 Focal Point Online

April 3, 2015

The Spring 2015 Beef Focal Point is online! Be watching your mail, hard copies should arrive soon.

Highlights in this issue:

  • NEW bulls and adjusted prices added to the Proven & Promising Spring Special – ends June 29, 2015.
  • ABS Customer Spotlight – Connealy Angus
  • Exciting NEW sires added to the Angus, Simmental, Red Angus and Club Calf lineups

 

ABSBEEFFPSPR15__cover_lowres

 

Complete Sire Listing


2015 ABS Photo Contest

March 12, 2015

Its time again for the annual ABS Global photo contest!

Do you have an eye for cattle and pictures? ABS is searching for outstanding photos to use in promotional materials, including but not limited to the yearly calendar, posters, brochures and company website. We want to see your best cattle photos. Calving, branding, feeding, working pens, moving pastures, around the farm, and pasture shots – we like them all. So grab your camera, snap away, and send us your best.

Submission deadline is May 31, 2015

Complete rules and submission form found here.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these favorites from previous entries.

"Working Cattle on a Beautiful Fall Day" by Becky Harrell

“Working Cattle on a Beautiful Fall Day” by Becky Harrell

 

“Summer Roundup” by Vasco Beheregary Neto

“Summer Roundup” by Vasco Beheregary Neto

R.A. Brown Ranch Donors on Summer Bermuda

R.A. Brown Ranch Donors on Summer Bermuda

"Cowboy Sunset" by Ricardo Arias, NM

“Cowboy Sunset” by Ricardo Arias, NM

Note: All entries must be high resolution and submitted through the online form.


Oldest Living ABS Bull Celebrates Golden Birthday

March 6, 2015

Birthday NEW DESIGN 878!

Veteran ABS Sire, NEW DESIGN 878, recently celebrated his 17th birthday! 878 was born Feb. 17, 1998, and has been an impressive producer since he was a yearling.

Pictured at 878's birthday celebration on February 17, 2015: Brian McCulloh and Dan Borgen, and ABS barn crew who has cared for 878

Pictured at 878’s birthday celebration on February 17, 2015: Brian McCulloh and Dan Borgen, and ABS barn crew who have cared for NEW DESIGN 878

At the turn of the year, 878’s production level approached 725,000 units, and he continues to rank in ABS’s top 20 bulls for beef semen sales in several regions across the globe. From 2003 through 2006, NEW DESIGN 878 topped the registration charts as the number one sire for registrations in the Angus breed, still holds the single-year registration record with 10,190 calves registered in 2004, and ranks second (behind first place, another ABS bull, EXT) for total lifetime registrations with 52,978 calves through September 2014.

“We knew from the day 878 arrived at ABS that he was going to be a popular animal,” said Doug Frank, ABS beef product manager. “He had a quick start and customers really liked his first calves, skyrocketing his popularity. He has since had a strong finish, continuing to offer the highest accuracy multi-trait proof in the industry.”

“At a healthy 17 years of age, 878 is proof that solid genes and great care are key to the performance and longevity of the animals,” said Brian McCulloh and Dan Borgen of Woodhill Farms, part owners of the bull. “As producers out in the field every day, we see firsthand that the way we care for our animals directly impacts how they grow and perform. ABS has this figured out and it only takes one look at their facilities and their animals for living proof of the great care their animals receive.

Despite his age, 878 continues to hit the list of American Angus Association’s Pathfinders®—holding the top slot for five years from 2008-2012 and remaining #12 today. 878’s maternal influence will likely be his most important legacy with 16,630 daughters on record weaning 55,543 calves and continuing to pass along his phenomenal genes.

Join us in wishing the “old man of the barn” happy birthday!

 

Complete sire listing

Spring 2015 Beef Sire Directory

January 7, 2015

Happy New Year! 2015 is looking like a new era of opportunity for the beef industry.

With strong consumer demand, tight supplies and record prices, the beef industry is entering a new era of growth and unprecedented opportunity. Position your herd to make the most of these exciting times with AI and ABS genetics.

Our Spring 2015 Beef Sire Directory is at the printer, but you can get a first look online here.

SPRING15_BEEF_SD_COVER

 

Highlights of this issue:

  • New spring EPDs
  • Spring 2015 ABS and Circle A Sire Alliance data and progeny measurements
  • Profit-driven genetics with proven, real-world results
  • Spring 2015 Specials – with increased demand this spring take advantage of these industry-leading specials before supplies run out

Stop by and visit us if you will be in Denver for the NWSS. This year ABS will have our usual booth on the hill located under the arena stands, and a booth in the yards! Come by and see us at both locations for a hot cup of coffee and learn more about the 6 ways ABS and AI can help improve efficiency and profit in 2015. While you’re there take spin on the ABS prize wheel for some exciting prizes.

Complete Sire Listing


Fall Breeding Season Is Here

November 13, 2013

It’s that time of year again, fall breeding season! If you’re a fall calver and missed our spring blog series, synchronization Q&A with Dr. Cliff Lamb, here is your chance!

You can get a refresher on the previous series by clicking here. We received such good feed back, we’re opening it up again, and Dr. Lamb has graciously agreed to answer any further questions you have. If you have a synchronization question, here is your chance to get a response from a leading expert on beef cattle reproductive technologies.

Please post any questions in the comment section below by Wednesday, November 20, 2013 and we’ll have Dr. Lamb answer them.

Cliff Lamb, Ph. D , is currently the Assistant Director and Professor at the University of Florida North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida.  He graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science at Middle Tennessee State University. He received his M.S in 1996 and Ph. D. in 1998 at Kansas State University.  As Assistant Director of the North Florida Research and Education Center he oversees one of the largest beef cattle feed efficiency facilities in the world.  Dr. Lamb oversees a research program that focuses on applied reproductive physiology in beef cattle emphasizing efficient management systems for replacement heifers and postpartum cows. A primary research focus has been on the development of practical and economical estrous synchronization protocols for beef cows and heifers. He has also published numerous research articles on the use of ultrasound technology for reproductive management of beef cattle, and has a strong research background in embryo transfer technologies.  He is author of more than 60 refereed journal articles, 3 chapters in texts, and more than 200 presentations and articles in other scientific and popular press.

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.