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Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor

Jun 30, 2014
The Annual Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) meeting was recently held in Lincoln, NE, with an eye on future genetic improvement in the beef industry. This included the role of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), increasing cattle output through efficiency, selection for novel traits and new models for genetic selection.
May 2, 2014
Preparing sires for breeding season is an important job to ensure a high pregnancy rate. This involves strategies for both young and established bulls. It has been an extremely cold winter in some parts of the country, which can affect the fertility of bulls.
Mar 7, 2014
All producers should be striving to purchase bulls that are as predictable as possible for the economically important traits desired. To accomplish this, EPDs (expected progeny differences) are the best tool available, but even they can vary widely on their predictability depending on accuracy.
Dec 20, 2013
I just attended the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, and the National Western Stock Show will soon be upon us. I help conduct the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest at Louisville, which is one of my highlights of the year.
Oct 18, 2013
weaned is arguably the busiest and most important time for data collection for seedstock producers. Proper contemporary groups must be formed, as well as weaning data, disposition scores, cow weights, body condition scores, reason codes for culling and genomics, all collected this time of year for spring calving cows.
Aug 30, 2013
With the whole Zilmax controversy shining a light on the use of beta-agonists, I think we all need to stand back and review their value to the industry. I question the real benefits of them to our industry when in my opinion crossbreeding our current British-based cowherd with Continental cattle may achieve the same results.
Jun 28, 2013
The Beef Improvement Federation’s (BIF) 45th Annual Res e a r c h S y m p osium and Convention was held recently from June 12-15, 2013, in Oklahoma City, OK. The center of discussion was on the place of crossbreeding in today’s industry, feed efficiency and fitting cattle to the environment with straight-breeding vs.
Jun 7, 2013
S e e dstock producers submit performance data to their associations to produce genetic predictions, and the basis for these are weight/ measure deviations within a contemporary group. To make these genetic predictions as precise and reliable as possible, it is of paramount importance that contemporary groups be formed properly.
Apr 19, 2013
The Baldie is back. Although Angus still dominates the bull market and the make-up of this nation’s cowherd, there has been a definite resurgence in the Hereford sales. I feel this can be traced directly to the drought. On paper, Hereford’s are very modest in their production traits, especially on milk.
Mar 15, 2013
It has always been a finetuning process to balance quality and cutability, but with an improving economy and retail giants like Walmart moving to Choice product, the advantages of inherent marbling is becoming clear.
Feb 15, 2013
The idea of breeds running a s i n g l eacrossbreed evaluation, with all the breeds being on the same base so the expected progeny differences (EPDs) are directly comparable, has long been a dream for many of us in the industry.
Dec 28, 2012
With the 107th annual National Western Stock Show approaching this January, it is interesting to look back at the first major type change that occurred two decades before its 1906 opening. Before the 1900s, the American Fat Stock Show in the former Dexter Park by the stockyards on the south side of Chicago was the most important show of the day.
Dec 14, 2012
It’s that time of year for breed associations to have their spring National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) run to produce expected progeny differences (EPDs) for a release somewhere around the first of the year. The quality of these EPDs is directly related to the quality of data that is used to produce them.
Oct 26, 2012
Va l u ebased marketing of fed cattle is quickly becoming the norm, so genetically designing cattle that pay premiums on such a marketing system should be a consideration for cow/calf producers in order to add value to their calf crop.
Sep 21, 2012
Most everybody is familiar with DNA, the basic coding for life. Genomics is just a fancy word for finding places that are informative on areas of DNA for certain traits. The technology first used was markers, which is essentially identifying a place on the DNA that was closely associated with the area or gene of interest.
Aug 17, 2012
In the mid-1980s, basically all breed associations started their National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) programs to produce EPDs on their whole herd book. What their breeders did with the information differed greatly. Without a doubt, of the major breeds, Angus breeders were the first to pick up and run with these new tools.

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