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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:12 am

Grassfarmer wrote:
Hilly wrote:
dwight@steadfastbeef.com wrote:
One of the things that really tickles me is the people that say they are full time cattlemen as they are pulling their 12 row planters down the road. To me that makes them part time farmers and part time cattle people, since they do both, but I am an odd duck. Then again if the cattle people will take a look at the farmers they will also se that the majority if farmers do not own all of the acres they farm, they rent a good portion of it. Maybe instead of having to own the acres we graze we should increase our personal and professional skills to rent more. Then, as Alan Nation says, use only your profits (money already generated) to purchase land with. Of course, for most I am not telling them anything new. There is nothing that says a person has to run a minimum of 500 cows. If so, I haven't stumbled upon it.

Here I had always considered myself a full time farmer never realized the grain farmer seen me as a part time cattleman Smile

The inheritance excuse for success or lack of... bothers me a bit, my brother started out a year and a half ago on his own full time farming... with no owned land all rented, a few cows and a family of 6 to support, he is busy expanding his business and I have confidence that he will succeed.

As far as buying land we have been told by more than one expert that we should invest our money elsewhere and of course we calculate opportunity cost in any decision we make. I have yet to find a better investment for a farmer than land as it is relatively low risk, easy to keep track of, actually exists, adds to the opportunity of my kids wanting to farm as they can see and grow to appreciate the value of equity.

Over and over I hear how most full time farmers or cowmen only have that privilege because it was handed down to them. For me as a fourth generation farmer, from my perspective, beg to differ on this point. In my experience and past family conflicts and splits anytime someone receives something for nothing it is a handicap for at the very least monetary success.

It is for that reason we are looking into the feasibility of a family land trust for inherited lands that should not be sold but under extenuating circumstance and only be borrowed against if the proposed business plan is ratified by business orientated board and then passed by the family. Any land purchased by my company and paid for by it could be added to the trust if we so chose. The idea is to utilize the equity to help future generation succeed in being content with enough.

I don’t want to hijack this thread and should start a new one but discussing succession planning is worse than watching paint dry and has little interest in my experience... but it would appear to be something we will all have to face at some point and I refuse to use insurance in my plan. I would be very interested in the unmainstream ideas this group is using to overcome the challenges of helping following generations live content lives... without getting too much into politics Wink

I kinda resent the prejudices against those who inherited land too. I inherited the family farm property but like previous generations in our family consider I am only the custodian of it for future generations. I will have no problem passing it over to a successor in time if they want it. I think many new entrants view it differently because they build it piece by piece and consider the sale value as a return for all their efforts because so many agricultural operations only last a generation, or a few decades.

Like Hilly says inheritance isn't always a free ticket either - the guys that work for years for the parents and never receive a penny for wages, the ones that marry and rear kids under such conditions, the difficulty of the younger generation coming into the business and butting heads with the older generation. It can be fraught with stress and difficulty and I've seen many cases where the kids would have been far better off both mentally and financially if they had taken a job in town.

On another issue I enjoy reading Allan Nation too - he does write in a thought provoking manner. As EddieM points out he is never short of material because he is constantly changing his beliefs. I've read him long enough to have seen him on both sides of most issues which is OK if you accept it for what it is. I'd rather read someone like LL from whom the story never wavers because it is based on real life experiences.

Hilly and Grassfarmer-- I feel the same way- and kind of in the same boat... Besides inheriting some land from my Dad-- I worked for years with (and put money into from an off farm/ranch job) and was given the opportunity to buy out my 2 uncles share of the homestead that Grandpa put together back in the early 1900's... And the minute I got it finally paid off- and in my name- I took my son in as an undivided partnership--so it could/would continue in the family... And since that time a few years ago- he's purchased another 340 more acres on his own- and put some money out buying good cattle...

Winters like this one make me remember that if I didn't like cattle/horses/ranching- and the community I live in-- I could have left the son out in the cold when I got the place paid off - sold out for a Mill $ or two-- and be sitting in Cancun right now.... But I know I would not be happy there....

As far as the farming part- in this area many/most were diversified operations- cattle, hay, and grain- and we were no different...The only thing we did different in the last few years was because of the rising cost of all the iron- the old equipment we had when I took over--and the big $ the son can make with his job - we now lease out or hire much of the farming done-- which reduces a lot of the input cost- and the risk, altho it does limit some of the expansion possibilites.... But those decisions will be up to the son down the line....
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:42 am

Dennis,
based on the 400lb actual average weaning weights , the environment James provides his cattle allow, here`s the Epd variaton expressed in phenotype if epds were "measures" instead of averages....
BW ranges from .8 to 3.8........calves weigh from 70 to 73 lb at birth...? maybe 65 to 68?
Milk ranges from 6 to 21..........weaning wt vaies 15 lb because of mother`s milk....395 to 410...
$EN ranges from 6 to 34.43....the "measure" of cost of production; the theorectical number reverse of production...actually not a measure, but an index based entirely on production; or the lack thereof
YW ranges from 37 to 77........750 lb to 790 lb...
seems a pretty uniform set of cattle to me...actually, would be even more uniform than I state, because limited feed keeps differences from being expressed...


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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:31 am

MKeeney wrote:
Dennis,
based on the 400lb actual average weaning weights , the environment James provides his cattle allow, here`s the Epd variaton expressed in phenotype if epds were "measures" instead of averages....
BW ranges from .8 to 3.8........calves weigh from 70 to 73 lb at birth...? maybe 65 to 68?
Milk ranges from 6 to 21..........weaning wt vaies 15 lb because of mother`s milk....395 to 410...
$EN ranges from 6 to 34.43....the "measure" of cost of production; the theorectical number reverse of production...actually not a measure, but an index based entirely on production; or the lack thereof
YW ranges from 37 to 77........750 lb to 790 lb...
seems a pretty uniform set of cattle to me...actually, would be even more uniform than I state, because limited feed keeps differences from being expressed...



In some posts you state EPDs are not all that accurate on cows yet here you are assuming the EPDs are correct.

My friend used Angus bulls with < 2.0 BW EPDs for 20 years. His foundation cows were sired by similar bulls. He never AI'd to a bull with more than +80 YW EPD and most would be less than +70. His whole breeding program focused on calving ease and maternal traits with little regard to growth. Yet he still produced a bull that was +4 for BW and over 100 for YW. He might never have known this if the bull wasn't used in his herd as well as others where data was collected and turned in to a breed association for genetic evaluation.

I wonder how many bulls, if progeny were recorded, might show entirely different EPDs compared to their initial values.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:34 am

If the EPDs of the cows that succeed are the same as the cows that fail, and their phenotypes (mature wts) are the same, are you giving up efficiency by having cows that are 1250 lbs producing 500 lbs of sale wt when you could have 1250 lbs that produce 525 lbs of sale wt?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:40 am

just a little tongue in cheek, theorectical {correct wasn`t it?}application of EPD`S to see if you were awake Dennis Smile ...so, he was a 100 lb yw bull...was he a better bull for it ? If epd`s are the accurate breeding tool, why did it happen? and I betcha there was a 40lb yw bull to match him in the variation as well...
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:45 am

df wrote:
If the EPDs of the cows that succeed are the same as the cows that fail, and their phenotypes (mature wts) are the same, are you giving up efficiency by having cows that are 1250 lbs producing 500 lbs of sale wt when you could have 1250 lbs that produce 525 lbs of sale wt?
What have you gained overall if the 525 lb heifers become 1300 lb cows?...I love it...all questions lead to one answer for improved efficiency with renewable results...specific purpose stabalized types...
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:49 am

MKeeney wrote:
just a little tongue in cheek, theorectical {correct wasn`t it?}application of EPD`S to see if you were awake Dennis Smile ...so, he was a 100 lb yw bull...was he a better bull for it ? If epd`s are the accurate breeding tool, why did it happen? and I betcha there was a 40lb yw bull to match him in the variation as well...

I don't know if he was a better bull; he did have the same pedigree as lots of other bulls in the contemporary group.

The bull was produced because lots of genes affect the trait and, given a random sample from his parents, he got a combination that was "more favorable" for growth compared to what the average of his parents would indicate.

If a plant self fertilizes, that is X x X, the progeny (Y) is 50% inbred. If Y x Y (self fertilization), then progeny Z is 75% inbred.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:54 am

MKeeney wrote:
df wrote:
If the EPDs of the cows that succeed are the same as the cows that fail, and their phenotypes (mature wts) are the same, are you giving up efficiency by having cows that are 1250 lbs producing 500 lbs of sale wt when you could have 1250 lbs that produce 525 lbs of sale wt?
What have you gained overall if the 525 lb heifers become 1300 lb cows?...I love it...all questions lead to one answer for improved efficiency with renewable results...specific purpose stabalized types...

By looking at the mature weight EPDs, you can find a wide range of values. Big cows raise small calves and big calves. Same for other size cows. So the correlation of WW or YW to mature wt is not one and animals can be selected that have average mature size but greater than average growth at sale wts (WW or YW).

Of course you are right; if we ignore cow size and select for growth, the WW increases and soon the mature wt does as well. But with new tools (somebody collected some data), this relationship can be changed. It could not be changed very fast or very accurately without EPDs.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:19 pm

I wasn't aware that low-input guys had to worry about the birth weight epd, since they are not feeding anything or very little to their cows and birth weight is 30% heritable and 70% dependent on good management or the lack thereof, I would sleep soundly knowing that I will get light calves.

Of course the cows may not have the strength to deliver them no matter how light they are and they may not be very lively when they do come out.

And I guess that there is a real possibility that, (at least I have heard... ) That if you go really low input you may not get any calves at all... Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:20 pm

The level of heterosis within a breed is generally low, especially relative to across breeeds and even more so when crossing bos Taurus with bos Indicus. I am quite confident highly proven linebred sire's EPDs pretty accurately reflect their genetic value, and that their EPDs are not a reflection of hybrid vigor.

I would not assume Shoshone and Pinebank cattle are breed average for the traits measured by EPDs. I think, at least in the case of Shoshone cattle, you might find less milk and less weaning and yearling performance. As stated elsewhere, that is not necessarily a bad thing. I think those cattle actually fit their environment better than the promoted trait leaders and thus, through a combination of optimizing milk, growth and longevity, probably produce more net income compared to the cattle that grow fast, have lots of milk, but come up open.

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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:11 pm

I guess it was too good to last.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:39 pm

Dennis Voss wrote:
I'm slipping all right, water on ice +45 CHINNOOK ! WAHOO WIND.

OH- that cuts to the quick !!! Wink Razz Laughing

3 degrees-- snowing...Blew and drifted all day- but just a few minutes ago when I went out to plug the tractor in the wind had gone way down to almost a breeze....

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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:40 pm

Has anybody that has studied this, come up or came up, with an analysis on standard deviations, of actual performance....say birthweight for example.....yeah the distributions again.....of course they would need to be mated to like epd'd animals....hard to put into words here. I guess, do the ranges or distributions effect the accuraccies?....or simply quantity driven statistics?......yeah I am trying real hard to get back into these numbers.....somebody please give me a reason.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:45 pm

no savvy, Bootheel
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:14 am

OVERFED?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:08 am

So, if we raise our cattle similar to Pharo, we aren't allowed?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:06 pm

We have been through this Pharo deal before, I looked into the deal about five years ago as cattle in the grain areas of Alberta tend to be larger in part due to abundant inputs and selecting the “best” performing calves. I never did buy a bull and was left with the impression.... and impressions can be useless to talk about... that I was just a Lookey Lou and more than likely going to fail farming.

I would more like to discuss the principals behind why any business model will or will not work.

For me some of the red flags in this particular deal were
1. Can you afford to sell me a bull... not if, but can you and make a profit at that price. When I am told you can’t afford not to buy a bull from me right away in know that something stinks... as dumb as I am I have half a calve crop every year that are bulls

2. If you continue to decrease inputs you will continue to decrease output, no different than the increase inputs increase output model that has been followed by many... with selection and sort based on inputs how will you stop at optimum?

3. A breeding program based on fire and ice mating would be next to imposable to be predictable without the added time it will take to bring variation down to and find out what is is. We can ague a nauseam about which cattle have more variation but natural law tells me the smaller the gene pool the smaller the variation.

4. What is the purpose of the test the bull go through is the five star bull better then the four star bull genetically? How about monetarily?

5. Why is the size of sort a good thing? You can make the test as hard as you like and brag about the superiority of the few that made it through... But in my experience there are real cost to that sort.

I will stop there for now better get out in this waste deep snow and move some fence, suppose to snow for two more days...

These cows are in the June group and still have their calves on that and the -35 wind chill don’t make for nice pictures defiantly in there working cloths... they find the swath with their front feet and then start to dig, I can just about walk on top of the snow in this pic.




Speaking of home raised bulls’ competing for my dollar, the front cow in the first pic happens to be a 13 year old cow that had this bull two and a half years ago that I had kept for my use, chosen at birth but never did get use as my x- strain bulls answered the above questions better. This picture is taken at my uncles after running with 35hd of heifers... nothing special just a bull and his measurements are all wrong, but he was raised on straight forage Wink and would see use here before a $3000 bull will... He is a half brother to all first calf heifers i posted under Mob Mates on 5barx.



Here is a 15 year old March calving cow...



A bred heifer out of my 18 year old 63 cow...





The pictures have little to do with the conversation Embarassed ... but what the heck I already derailed the topic already once ...I’m on a roll cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:20 pm

I`m in no mood for "cute" remarks on this thread Robert; you know what subject is being adressed here; and it`s not how cattle are raised; it`s how cattle are marketed... we all raise cattle basically with grass; some of us even define soyhulls as grain instead of "forage"...and many us make our honest living solely from cattle by the pound; not as so artfully described above; the con game of half- lies and distortions...if it quacks like a con, it`s most likely a con...


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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:03 pm

[quote="Dennis Voss
This is a great forum to get some of this crap resolved. And Bootheel, I hope you're not scared by my mentioning high noon.[/quote]

Skeered? naw, us cagey roosters is too ignernt' to get skeered,..... nervous, ancy ready for action at all times....I'm loaded for bear, what exactly are we huntin', BS sources,,,,,,just follow the money trail, won't need a bloodhound for that. Thats the best thing about being your own customer Dennis, not as many folks with their hands molesting your money pile.....I reckon when you quit sellin' you quit worrying about the competition too. Sure is hard to compete with greedy folks like, Mike, don't think I will ever get the loan paid off on them two bulls this fall. I do not get too worked up anymore by all these marketing gimmicks, Life is too Good, without 'em.

yall have a nice day

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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:53 pm

Hilly wrote:


Speaking of home raised bulls’ competing for my dollar, the front cow in the first pic happens to be a 13 year old cow that had this bull two and a half years ago that I had kept for my use, chosen at birth but never did get use as my x- strain bulls answered the above questions better. This picture is taken at my uncles after running with 35hd of heifers... nothing special just a bull and his measurements are all wrong, but he was raised on straight forage Wink and would see use here before a $3000 bull will... He is a half brother to all first calf heifers i posted under Mob Mates on 5barx.



I'm amazed how much this bull looks like the Shoshone one you posted a while back - I've never seen many Angus bulls looking like that up here - I guess they must get banded normally.
Sure be nice to get a break in this weather, had to help a friend whose dairy barn roof collapsed yesterday. Just snow load I think, luckily they didn't have any injuries either people or animals. Heck of a predicament losing half the roof off your barn when it's -30Cs windchill in mid winter.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:46 pm

df wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
df wrote:
If the EPDs of the cows that succeed are the same as the cows that fail, and their phenotypes (mature wts) are the same, are you giving up efficiency by having cows that are 1250 lbs producing 500 lbs of sale wt when you could have 1250 lbs that produce 525 lbs of sale wt?
What have you gained overall if the 525 lb heifers become 1300 lb cows?...I love it...all questions lead to one answer for improved efficiency with renewable results...specific purpose stabalized types...

By looking at the mature weight EPDs, you can find a wide range of values. Big cows raise small calves and big calves. Same for other size cows. So the correlation of WW or YW to mature wt is not one and animals can be selected that have average mature size but greater than average growth at sale wts (WW or YW).

Of course you are right; if we ignore cow size and select for growth, the WW increases and soon the mature wt does as well. But with new tools (somebody collected some data), this relationship can be changed. It could not be changed very fast or very accurately without EPDs.

df,
I don`t think it changes very fast even with EPD`S...but let`s suppose it does...surely these two traits don`t change independent of all other traits...so what else changes?
also, are we sure than when we change the growth curve relationship, that we really changed the energy requirement...or do we just assume it?
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:13 pm

MKeeney wrote:
df wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
df wrote:
If the EPDs of the cows that succeed are the same as the cows that fail, and their phenotypes (mature wts) are the same, are you giving up efficiency by having cows that are 1250 lbs producing 500 lbs of sale wt when you could have 1250 lbs that produce 525 lbs of sale wt?
What have you gained overall if the 525 lb heifers become 1300 lb cows?...I love it...all questions lead to one answer for improved efficiency with renewable results...specific purpose stabalized types...

By looking at the mature weight EPDs, you can find a wide range of values. Big cows raise small calves and big calves. Same for other size cows. So the correlation of WW or YW to mature wt is not one and animals can be selected that have average mature size but greater than average growth at sale wts (WW or YW).

Of course you are right; if we ignore cow size and select for growth, the WW increases and soon the mature wt does as well. But with new tools (somebody collected some data), this relationship can be changed. It could not be changed very fast or very accurately without EPDs.

df,
I don`t think it changes very fast even with EPD`S...but let`s suppose it does...surely these two traits don`t change independent of all other traits...so what else changes?
also, are we sure than when we change the growth curve relationship, that we really changed the energy requirement...or do we just assume it?

MikeK,
Good questions of which I am not sure anybody has the answer.....yet. I don't believe there are many, if any, producers who "bend the growth curve" to much extent. AAA is the only breed associatiion that publishes the mature wt EPD. Both Red Angus and Simmental have one but it is not published. They simply incorporate it into their indexes to keep people from directly selecting for smaller cows (to avoid the correlated selection for small WW and YW, I suppose).

What else changes? Who knows! Again I don't think there has been enough data to show anything. What I do know is that the relationship is not one so changes can be made. I also know if breeders don't turn in those wts, it makes it impossible to find those animals that have average or better calves in comparison to their mature wt. Certainly "the boys of the 80's" did not do us any favors from that standpoint. Not unless you want to revisit Pine Drive and a whole host of well known, well promoted bulls that nobody wants to see in pedigrees anymore.

Do we change their energy requirements? Again, I don't know of any breeding projects to prove or disprove this. Personally, I think we do change their energy requirements, but don't know for sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:27 pm

We agree again! We don`t know Smile
so I`m going to spend my latter years breeding for what I do know, stabalized types, genotypes even, and the improved reliability of the crosses...all the "maybes" that breeders are expending so many years trying to combine into one super breed, can be nearer "certainties" when we harness hybrid power with stabalized genotypes...
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:50 pm

MKeeney wrote:
We agree again! We don`t know Smile
so I`m going to spend my latter years breeding for what I do know, stabalized types, genotypes even, and the improved reliability of the crosses...all the "maybes" that breeders are expending so many years trying to combine into one super breed, can be nearer "certainties" when we harness hybrid power with stabalized genotypes...

Is it possible that your low growth, moderate size cows can be improved for more efficiency by making them moderate growth, moderate size cows? They don't milk anymore and are no bigger, so probably don't require anymore in maintanence costs.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics and registered marketing   Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:36 pm

df wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
We agree again! We don`t know Smile
so I`m going to spend my latter years breeding for what I do know, stabalized types, genotypes even, and the improved reliability of the crosses...all the "maybes" that breeders are expending so many years trying to combine into one super breed, can be nearer "certainties" when we harness hybrid power with stabalized genotypes...

Is it possible that your low growth, moderate size cows can be improved for more efficiency by making them moderate growth, moderate size cows? They don't milk anymore and are no bigger, so probably don't require anymore in maintanence costs.

DF, I am no expert, but yes, I think you can, but something else will probably be effected. Of course, crossbreeding provides the fix in the calves, without changing the cows.....kind of the point in all these Keeneyisms, I believe.

On a related note, the other Denniss, Voss that is, mentioned the effect of having the Longhorn calves, nursing the first calvers. There is something to be said for the amount of growth in the calves, and the extra or lessor, demands placed upon the cow, by the feed needs of the calf. I think we have all seen the cow that has an extraordinaryly growthy calf one year, followed by a lessor, only to return to better production once again.

Good questions df, got me puzzlin' a bit!
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