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Friday, March 12,2010

Too much grade!

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
Too much qualitywhats that mean? Its like too much money; theres no such thing. Its like a bull too good, or too much hay; Neighbors too friendly, calves bringing too much pay. No matter what the other cattle made, well I aint never seen too much grade.

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Friday, January 15,2010

No boundaries

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
When cattlemen trudge through four-foot snow drifts in 30-mile-per-hour winds and single-digit temperatures to check on a sick calf, it isnt exactly the same picture of serenity. At that moment, northern producers must think they must live in the toughest place in the world for raising cattle.

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Friday, November 13,2009

The top line

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
If Wal-Mart were in the cattle business, it would probably serve as an operating definition of leastcost producer. People might refer to its cowherd enterprise as the model for slashing expenses.

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Friday, September 11,2009

Give calves a clue

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
Imagine youre suddenly snatched up from your daily routine and dropped off on a New York City (NYC) street. Youre alone, with no cell phone, no wallet, and no map.

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Friday, July 17,2009

Going once, going twice . . .

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
Sold. That word can be cause for celebration or the beginning of a personal pity party. It all depends on what dollar amount follows that auctioneers decree.

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Friday, June 19,2009

Meat case mathhow retailers establish beef prices

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
When cattlemen put an asking price on a bull or a load of calves, they set it as high as they can reasonably hope for a sale. At an auction, the sale manager announces the target price before calling for bids. Grocers take a similar tack, but feedback is not as direct at the meat case.

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Friday, May 22,2009

Maximize only balance

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
Stop trying to get maximum production. No more topping last years average daily gains. Enough with the peak efficiencies and quit angling for record marbling scores every time. Does that advice cause a pause? Reaching those goals takes years of focus, so it can be hard to let go, even if the long-term profitability of your farm or ranch depends on it.

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Friday, May 22,2009

Beef quality in the retail price equation

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
Feeders bid on cattle by penciling out the highest price they can pay and still maintain a shot at profit. Packers need a certain number of cattle harvested through their plants, bought at a particular price, to stay afloat. That cost/sales formula follows beef as it continues toward consumers.

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Friday, May 15,2009

Behind the menu price

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
Farm and ranch freezers are often full of homeraised beef, yet producer families still enjoy the classic steakhouse experience now and again. With a quick scan of the menu and some cowboy math, most producers figure the New York strip list price at a hefty premium to the weekly salebarn reports for beef on the hoof.

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Friday, June 6,2008

How can retained placenta problems be prevented?

by Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef
How can retained placenta problems be prevented? Since there are many causes of retained placenta, there is no simple answer. Some of the obvious answers include: (1) don’t allow cows to get too thin or too fat before calving, (2) reduce stress near calving as much as possible, (3) prevent exposure to pine needles, juniper trees, and pine trees (particularly ponderosa pines) before calving, (4) make sure your trace mineral and vitamin supplementation program is adequate, (5) prevent foothill abortion problems, and (6) maintain a sound vaccination program to minimize the chance of viral or bacterial abortions. Because calving problems often result in retained placenta, it is important to consider the appropriate selection of genetics for your herd as a part of prevention. One of the useful tools is birth weight Expected Progency Differences (EPDs). Lower birth weights will decrease calving problems if all other factors are equal. However, it is also important to remember that big cows with big pelvic canals can have big calves easily. So select bulls with birth weight EPDs in keeping with your herd. Also, remember to look at the bull’s actual birth weight data and remember that the birth weight EPD numbers are not the same between breeds. One breed can have a bull calf with a birth weight of 100 pounds and a birth weight EPD of 1.0 while another breed can have a bull calf with a birth weight of 80 pounds and a birth weight EPD of 5.0. Obviously, the second bull will tend to have calves with lower birth weights if all other factors are equal. Another tool available is pelvic measurements in yearling heifers. The value of this tool is to cull replacement heifers with small pelvic canals before breeding for the first time. Regarding birth weights, it is important to remember that the cow or heifer has 60 percent of the "input" into how large the calf is going to be. Therefore, genetic selection of the cowherd has more impact than the one time selection of the bulls. If you don’t have problems with retained placenta, that is excellent. If you do, there are a number of important items you will need to consider and discuss with your veterinarian. — John Maas, Extension veterinarian, University of California-Davis

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