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 The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment

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MKeeney
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PostSubject: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:37 am

The Value of Genetics - Dr. Les Anderson, Beef Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

Few beef producers would disagree that the genetic potential available for use in their herds via artificial insemination is greater than that of most natural service sires. The advantage of using AI stems from the improvement in the predictability of the bulls; their EPD's are simply more accurate and reliable. However, less than 10% of the beef cows in the United States are artificially inseminated each year (NAHMS, 2008). Many reasons exist for the low rate of implementation of estrus synchronization and AI (ESAI) into beef cow-calf operations. One factor that limits the use of ESAI in commercial cow-calf herds is the hassle factor. It is simply too much effort to gather the herd and work them 2-3 times in a 10-day period. However, the major reason, in my opinion, is that most producers cannot capture the added value of their AI-sired calves and the enterprise is not profitable.

Two real questions arise when thinking about using ESAI. First, are calves sired via AI more valuable? Second, how can a commercial cow-calf producer capture some of this value? These two questions have been investigated in an Advanced Master Cattleman program sponsored by the Kentucky Beef Network and the Agriculture Development Board. The goal of this program was to determine if steers sired by AI bulls proven in feedlot and carcass performance could actually perform better in the finishing phase and if these steers generated more revenue and were more profitable.

This project started in the fall of 2007 with 7 producers in Washington, Marion, and Nelson counties and has continued through this last breeding season. More than 900 head from 15 producers across KY were bred this fall alone. Each breeding season, estrus is synchronized and females in these herds are time-inseminated to an Angus, Polled Hereford, Simmental, or Charolais sire. The sires used are proven trait leaders in their respective breeds in feedlot and carcass performance. After weaning, the calves are vaccinated and backgrounded about 60 days. These producers retain ownership on their steers and they are sent to a feedlot in Kansas for finishing and harvest. Feedlot and carcass data have been collected on 139 head of steers sired either by an AI sire or a natural service sire.

Steers sired by proven AI bulls were more efficient in the feedlot. They outgained (.22 lbs per day) and required less feed per pound of gain (.31 lbs less feed per lb of gain) than steers sired by the herd bulls. Steers sired via AI were on feed 13 fewer days than steers sired by the herd bulls.

Using AI also improved the carcass performance of steers. Steers sired by proven AI bulls had a higher quality grade and a heavier carcass than steers sired by the herd bulls. The added feedlot and carcass performance improved the value of the steers. Steers sired by AI bulls were $146.60 more valuable at harvest than steers from natural service. After considering the feedlot costs, steers sired by proven AI bulls returned $163.18 more to farmers than steers sired by their herd bulls.

These data certainly demonstrate that using ESAI can improve the value of steers and the profit potential of beef cow-calf producers. Unfortunately, the only marketing method currently available to capture this added value is retaining ownership through harvest and many of the commercial cattlemen in Kentucky are skeptical of this marketing method. One alternative would be to establish local CPH-45 sales that feature steers and heifers sired by proven AI bulls. The calves in these sales would be source-, age- and "genetically"- verified for improved feedlot and carcass performance. The long-term goal of this Advanced Master Cattleman project is eventually to generate enough calves sired by proven AI sires that we can conduct CPH-45 "genetically-verified" sales.

For more information on this Advanced Master Cattleman Program contact either Dr. Les Anderson (859-257-2856) or Mr. Land Dale (859-278-0899).



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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:42 am

How did the term half-truth evolve...why isn`t half-lie just as valid?
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Angus 62



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:06 am

Also absent is the comparison of all costs for AI to get perhaps half the cows bred [sometimes less], compared to financial gain. Lots of producers have tried this, there is a reason why AI continues to decline in commercial herds.
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:54 am

Hey Jack raise the price on the" All Academic" semen, the boys in Ky. are waking up.
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:55 am

Another Piled Higher & Deeper expert who has never owned a cow or had to make a living off a cow. This may have some merit if we are talking about a seedless fruit which I assume he must be since he never mentioned the heifer calves.
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:00 am

Dennis Voss wrote:
Hey Jack raise the price on the" All Academic" semen, the boys in Ky. are waking up.

OK pardner. What do you think, $200 a straw and $1000 per Cert. All Academic semen is very, VERY rare.
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:10 am

If this Professor keeps producing this kind of quality research, I vote to recomend tenure. Yes Jack, price is right.
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Angus 62



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:21 am

Semen pimps have tried these sales repeatedly without much success. Eventually evolves into ''These calves were born on a ranch where we once delivered semen'' sort of a deal. Spend some more money on geonomic testing and watch the cattle buyers yawn.
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:51 am

Did any one really read past the first line? After that line I just kind of scaned the rest of the article. You knew what it was going to say and what it wasn't going to say.
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df



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:29 am

Angus 62 wrote:
Also absent is the comparison of all costs for AI to get perhaps half the cows bred [sometimes less], compared to financial gain. Lots of producers have tried this, there is a reason why AI continues to decline in commercial herds.

Depending on the cost of the bull, how long you use him and what his salvage value is, it probably costs about the same to AI as to use a bull.

The failure of AI in the commercial beef cattle segment might have a lot to do with the cowherd not being a financial center, but treating it as a hobby. Other ag segments use AI with success; dairy, swine and poultry.
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df



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:31 am

Jack McNamee wrote:
Another Piled Higher & Deeper expert who has never owned a cow or had to make a living off a cow. This may have some merit if we are talking about a seedless fruit which I assume he must be since he never mentioned the heifer calves.

Why would the AI heifer calves perform poorer in the feedlot compared to the natural service sired heifers?
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Mean Spirit



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:50 am

df wrote:
Angus 62 wrote:
Also absent is the comparison of all costs for AI to get perhaps half the cows bred [sometimes less], compared to financial gain. Lots of producers have tried this, there is a reason why AI continues to decline in commercial herds.

Depending on the cost of the bull, how long you use him and what his salvage value is, it probably costs about the same to AI as to use a bull.

The failure of AI in the commercial beef cattle segment might have a lot to do with the cowherd not being a financial center, but treating it as a hobby. Other ag segments use AI with success; dairy, swine and poultry.

Bingo. At best, it's a wash. So why in the world would somebody do it? Laying in a hammock is fun, but working cows is not. Why not just let the bull do the job, and sleep in?
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:31 pm

df wrote:
Angus 62 wrote:
Also absent is the comparison of all costs for AI to get perhaps half the cows bred [sometimes less], compared to financial gain. Lots of producers have tried this, there is a reason why AI continues to decline in commercial herds.

Depending on the cost of the bull, how long you use him and what his salvage value is, it probably costs about the same to AI as to use a bull.

The failure of AI in the commercial beef cattle segment might have a lot to do with the cowherd not being a financial center, but treating it as a hobby. Other ag segments use AI with success; dairy, swine and poultry.

I will assure you that 90% of the "Master Cattleman" crowd that participated in this "testament to AI" are hobby herds; few real farmers have time to mess around with UK extension specialists; been there; done that...dairy, swine and poultry are confinement agriculture; big difference...sure AI can be useful, but not to the extent of this pseudo research concocted to repay grant money from AI companies...
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:55 pm

Quote :
dairy, swine and poultry are confinement agriculture; big difference...sure AI can be useful, but not to the extent of this pseudo research concocted to repay grant money from AI companies...

And are they more profitable, have achieved any independence or personal advantage, and have a better future for their farm because of the use of AI?
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:34 pm

MKeeney wrote:
df wrote:
Angus 62 wrote:
Also absent is the comparison of all costs for AI to get perhaps half the cows bred [sometimes less], compared to financial gain. Lots of producers have tried this, there is a reason why AI continues to decline in commercial herds.

Depending on the cost of the bull, how long you use him and what his salvage value is, it probably costs about the same to AI as to use a bull.

The failure of AI in the commercial beef cattle segment might have a lot to do with the cowherd not being a financial center, but treating it as a hobby. Other ag segments use AI with success; dairy, swine and poultry.

I will assure you that 90% of the "Master Cattleman" crowd that participated in this "testament to AI" are hobby herds; few real farmers have time to mess around with UK extension specialists; been there; done that...dairy, swine and poultry are confinement agriculture; big difference...sure AI can be useful, but not to the extent of this pseudo research concocted to repay grant money from AI companies... Bingo!
One should use the same amount of salt with university studies as with SGF articles.
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df



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:24 pm

Mean Spirit wrote:
df wrote:
Angus 62 wrote:
Also absent is the comparison of all costs for AI to get perhaps half the cows bred [sometimes less], compared to financial gain. Lots of producers have tried this, there is a reason why AI continues to decline in commercial herds.

Depending on the cost of the bull, how long you use him and what his salvage value is, it probably costs about the same to AI as to use a bull.

The failure of AI in the commercial beef cattle segment might have a lot to do with the cowherd not being a financial center, but treating it as a hobby. Other ag segments use AI with success; dairy, swine and poultry.

Bingo. At best, it's a wash. So why in the world would somebody do it? Laying in a hammock is fun, but working cows is not. Why not just let the bull do the job, and sleep in?

I addressed the costs, not the income. Dr. Anderson addressed the income. I prefer to consider both sides.
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df



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:30 pm

EddieM wrote:
Quote :
dairy, swine and poultry are confinement agriculture; big difference...sure AI can be useful, but not to the extent of this pseudo research concocted to repay grant money from AI companies...

And are they more profitable, have achieved any independence or personal advantage, and have a better future for their farm because of the use of AI?

The goals you have stated may not be the goals of others. AI is a tool that will allow you to achieve some goals but not all goals, the most "important" goals or even your goals. I just stated that other industries use AI and thus can make rapid change (for better or worse).

I am surprised that you think the terminal sires available today don't have considerable advantage in growth and carcass compared to many natural service sires. Of course, if you don't retain ownership in the feedlot, you may never reap the benefits. Or maybe you should do your own research with Felix and Bandolier to see which progeny perform better for terminal traits.
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:00 pm

Dennis,
Anderson addressed both sides; do you think this qualifies as valid research ?


Last edited by MKeeney on Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:03 pm

Quote :
The goals you have stated may not be the goals of others. AI is a tool that will allow you to achieve some goals but not all goals, the most "important" goals or even your goals. I just stated that other industries use AI and thus can make rapid change (for better or worse).

df, I was commenting on the poultry, swine and dairy industries. Most dairies are barely making it if they are still in business unless they are direct selling their own milk and products, the broiler growers are pretty much non-papered indentured servants that make pennies from better growth yet it also creates higher death losses so they also lose some, and the pork folks pretty much just work for the intergrators to produce a fairly tasteless product. AI has a place and is a good tool. But if you or others retain ownership to get your extra profits you also have additional costs and additional risks. Everything falls into a system, it seems.

Quote :
I am surprised that you think the terminal sires available today don't have considerable advantage in growth and carcass compared to many natural service sires. Of course, if you don't retain ownership in the feedlot, you may never reap the benefits. Or maybe you should do your own research with Felix and Bandolier to see which progeny perform better for terminal traits.

Why do I need to recreate proven research? A maternal bull produces maternal cattle and a terminal bull produces terminal cattle: We already know that. But I also know that if I try to grow true terminal calves in my management scheme, I'll end up with a lot of open cows. I already know my optimums. And do not think that Felix, because he is refered to as a maternal bull, is a wimp on growth. Some of the maternal cattle are balanced to do a lot of different things. If I want "more" I'd AI to a HH or a low BW Charolais and get steers and heifers with added value for our markets.
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df



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:10 pm

EddieM wrote:
Quote :
The goals you have stated may not be the goals of others. AI is a tool that will allow you to achieve some goals but not all goals, the most "important" goals or even your goals. I just stated that other industries use AI and thus can make rapid change (for better or worse).

df, I was commenting on the poultry, swine and dairy industries. Most dairies are barely making it if they are still in business unless they are direct selling their own milk and products, the broiler growers are pretty much non-papered indentured servants that make pennies from better growth yet it also creates higher death losses so they also lose some, and the pork folks pretty much just work for the intergrators to produce a fairly tasteless product. AI has a place and is a good tool. But if you or others retain ownership to get your extra profits you also have additional costs and additional risks. Everything falls into a system, it seems.

Quote :
I am surprised that you think the terminal sires available today don't have considerable advantage in growth and carcass compared to many natural service sires. Of course, if you don't retain ownership in the feedlot, you may never reap the benefits. Or maybe you should do your own research with Felix and Bandolier to see which progeny perform better for terminal traits.

Why do I need to recreate proven research? A maternal bull produces maternal cattle and a terminal bull produces terminal cattle: We already know that. But I also know that if I try to grow true terminal calves in my management scheme, I'll end up with a lot of open cows. I already know my optimums. And do not think that Felix, because he is refered to as a maternal bull, is a wimp on growth. Some of the maternal cattle are balanced to do a lot of different things. If I want "more" I'd AI to a HH or a low BW Charolais and get steers and heifers with added value for our markets.

Most beef cattle operations make a very low return and use natural sires. Should I blame their low returns on the use of natural sires? I think not!! As you said, it has to fit the system.
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df



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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:20 pm

MKeeney wrote:
Dennis,
Anderson addressed both sides; do you think this qualifies as valid research ?

Did he ask the right question and then design the study to answer that question?

My initial concern is if the bulls were similar for EPDs. If Dr. Anderson used AI bulls that were trait leaders for growth and carcass at high accuracy (which it sounds like he did) and used natural service bulls that were not similar in EPDs or indexes to the AI bulls (which is unknown from this article), then I would say he has a confounding issue.

He probably also has several other problems such as random matings and age of calves. Depending on the size of the herd, both of these issues can be fixed. If half of the cows were mated AI and the other half were mated to NS bulls, then he could address both of these issues. The age of the calves would be more similar.

I have seen other researchers come to the conclusion that high accuracy bulls sire progeny that have higher quality grades. However, upon closer inspection, the high accuracy bulls were also high for marbling EPD and the natural service sires were low accuracy and also happen to have lower marbling EPDs. So a researcher has to be careful to ask, then design the experiement to get the answer.

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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:22 pm

EddieM wrote:
Quote :
The goals you have stated may not be the goals of others. AI is a tool that will allow you to achieve some goals but not all goals, the most "important" goals or even your goals. I just stated that other industries use AI and thus can make rapid change (for better or worse).

df, I was commenting on the poultry, swine and dairy industries. Most dairies are barely making it if they are still in business unless they are direct selling their own milk and products, the broiler growers are pretty much non-papered indentured servants that make pennies from better growth yet it also creates higher death losses so they also lose some, and the pork folks pretty much just work for the intergrators to produce a fairly tasteless product. AI has a place and is a good tool. But if you or others retain ownership to get your extra profits you also have additional costs and additional risks. Everything falls into a system, it seems.

Quote :
I am surprised that you think the terminal sires available today don't have considerable advantage in growth and carcass compared to many natural service sires. Of course, if you don't retain ownership in the feedlot, you may never reap the benefits. Or maybe you should do your own research with Felix and Bandolier to see which progeny perform better for terminal traits.

Why do I need to recreate proven research? A maternal bull produces maternal cattle and a terminal bull produces terminal cattle: We already know that. But I also know that if I try to grow true terminal calves in my management scheme, I'll end up with a lot of open cows. I already know my optimums. And do not think that Felix, because he is refered to as a maternal bull, is a wimp on growth. Some of the maternal cattle are balanced to do a lot of different things. If I want "more" I'd AI to a HH or a low BW Charolais and get steers and heifers with added value for our markets.

Until Felix gets more calves in the database, I'll just have to take your word that his EPDs are wrong! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:47 pm

df wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
Dennis,
Anderson addressed both sides; do you think this qualifies as valid research ?

Did he ask the right question and then design the study to answer that question?

My initial concern is if the bulls were similar for EPDs. If Dr. Anderson used AI bulls that were trait leaders for growth and carcass at high accuracy (which it sounds like he did) and used natural service bulls that were not similar in EPDs or indexes to the AI bulls (which is unknown from this article), then I would say he has a confounding issue.

He probably also has several other problems such as random matings and age of calves. Depending on the size of the herd, both of these issues can be fixed. If half of the cows were mated AI and the other half were mated to NS bulls, then he could address both of these issues. The age of the calves would be more similar.

I have seen other researchers come to the conclusion that high accuracy bulls sire progeny that have higher quality grades. However, upon closer inspection, the high accuracy bulls were also high for marbling EPD and the natural service sires were low accuracy and also happen to have lower marbling EPDs. So a researcher has to be careful to ask, then design the experiement to get the answer.

wishy-washy stuff..when this article appears in the Journal of Animal Science; I`ll pay it some attention...primarily, because it will invalidate EPDS Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:58 pm

df wrote:
Why would the AI heifer calves perform poorer in the feedlot compared to the natural service sired heifers?

I don't. I think the only real value of the heifers would be the feedlot and the rail. Maybe I missed the concept of the seedless fruit but to me it is a fruit whose only value is consumption. Not made to reproduce.
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PostSubject: Re: The Value of Genetics...another All Academic moment   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:12 pm

Maybe a stupid question but why can't a top performing natural service son with AI bulls all over the pedigree breed terminal as well as a proven AI sire? It seems from my experience that a $1500 maternal type Keeney bull sires similar to his very best. As meticulous as a breeder as Mr. Larry is and he just opens the gait.
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