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Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University

May 3, 2013
The contrast was stark, but there was a beautiful point. Life survives. In the world of beef production, baby calves need to survive inclement weather with minimal intervention. The desire to survive, seek that first drink and dry place to bed down, and to bond quickly with mother are desires that come from genes that kick in at birth.
Apr 26, 2013
We know that calf death will occur. However, that does not mean we accept the death of a calf. Instead, we see it as a challenge to our management abilities. The recent cold spells and spring snows are a challenge for those who chose to have their cows calve early or, for all practical purposes, at the traditional calving time.
Apr 12, 2013
Regardless of current net returns, the goal of increasing net returns in the cattle operation is always commendable. For those who are struggling with negative net returns, the increase should move the cow/calf operation in a positive direction and provide enough additional dollars to remain in business.
Mar 22, 2013
In anticipation of this spring’s summaries of agricultural enterprises provided by the North Dakota Farm Management Program (NDFM, at ndfarmmanagement.com), I have been reviewing previous numbers. Data also are available on the FINBIN website at finbin.
Feb 22, 2013
To start, producers can sit down and review their own records. However, if history means anything, the evaluation of records is not simple, so the producer ends with the records set aside because numerous production articles and catalogs seem more interesting.
Feb 15, 2013
The cattle business is a fairly conservative business that is operated by fairly conservative people. As risk-takers in a highrisk environment, those in the cattle business have learned that conservative management seems to keep the operation around longer.
Feb 8, 2013
The bull-buying season certainly is here, and I hope those who need some good replacement bulls are busy shopping. Like a good ice pond with way too many ice houses loaded with fishermen, who gets the fish (in this case, the bull) takes luck and good planning.
Jan 25, 2013
The process is long, but continuous, just like herd selection. Selection, in the short term, ends with the purchase of a bull. In reality, the newly purchased bull will add genes to the breed and ultimately make a genetic contribution within the herd and very likely within the breed as a whole.
Jan 18, 2013
When I started teaching a course on genetics several years ago, the textbook name was “iGenetics: A Mendelian Approach” by Peter J. Russell. This fall, I am teaching the same course. However, the text is now “iGenetics: A Molecular Approach” by Peter J. Russell.
Jan 4, 2013
As far as the heifers go, we have a 96 percent pregnancy rate, but only 85 percent are predicted to calve by June 15. Some would say feelings have limited value when culling cows or replacement heifers. However, there always is that gut twinge when sending a well-grown, well-haired heifer to market.
Dec 28, 2012
The bull’s genes were measured and presented as data at the time of sale. By utilizing that data, bulls may be sorted and selected with considerable accuracy. However, the data does not stop with the purchase of the bull. Breed associations constantly are updating their databases and fine-tuning the expected prog eny.
Dec 7, 2012
Even as the cattle went through the chutes, the feeling was good. Interestingly, the cows seemed to be bred steadily until about midway through the second cycle and then tailed off quickly. One could say the cows were almost all bred by a cycle and a half.
Nov 23, 2012
For many, the cows and calves head home, and then the calves are sorted for market. The busy-ness of it all is mind-boggling at times. The pens are stretched to the max, and there is not enough time to get every animal fed and watered on a normal schedule.
Nov 16, 2012
However, perhaps some momentary thought should be given to managerial practices that have proven through the years to be sound practices. The problem is, when the obvious payment for calf processing disappears, then the logical conclusion is why even do it.
Nov 9, 2012
Next year’s planning is under way. Everything is upbeat, and the cows and bulls even get a blue ribbon. Eighty-four percent of the cows are projected to calve in the first 21 days of the calving season next spring. This means that the cows cycled and the bulls got them bred.
Oct 19, 2012
We are halfway through the fall semester, so students are busy learning. The reality of skipping class or slacking off is starting to show up for some. For others, the self-fulfilling rewards of better understanding how the world works is becoming evident.
Oct 12, 2012
For more than 20 years of the CHAPS program, producers have encountered many challenges in the beef business. If the word “optimistic” is correct, the most optimistic year resulted in replacing cattle at more than 21 percent of the herd, while more conservative times are reflected in a low replacement rate of just less than 15 percent.
Oct 5, 2012
However, here is something to keep in mind: If a typical beef producer marketed all the cattle last week that normally would be sold off the operation, approximately 50 percent of the check would be from the value of steer calves, 30 percent from the value of heifer calves, and 20 percent from the value of market cows and bulls.
Sep 28, 2012
As cows and bulls are rounded up for fall sorting, some are sorted for sale, so it is very important to remember that cull cows and bulls are market beef and should be treated as such. Market groups need to be sorted and appropriately presented to the market.

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