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Monday, June 30,2014

BIF conference looks to industry's future

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
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.

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Friday, May 2,2014

Management topics

Managing bulls before breeding season

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
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.

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Friday, March 21,2014

Carcass traits are a major profit driver for producers

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
Over the last 20 years the beef industry has gone through significant structural changes that have dramatically changed the profit driver matrix in the beef industry.

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Friday, March 7,2014

Management Topics

Practice risk management when evaluating EPDs

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
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.

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Friday, February 28,2014

Convenience Traits: Are your cows working for you or are you working for your cows?

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
It is said that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. That is why it so important to learn from the original masters of the performance movement in the cattle industry—to find out what traits they felt were important for highly profitable, maternal cattle.

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Friday, December 20,2013

Management Topics

Shows must evolve or become irrelevant

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
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.

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Friday, October 18,2013

Management Topics

Data collection season for seedstock producers

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
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.

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Friday, August 30,2013

Management Topics

Crossbreed instead of using beta-agonists

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
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.

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Friday, August 23,2013

History and challenges of value-based marketing

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
Today’s grid, formula and other marketing agreements for fed cattle account for approximately 75 percent of the cattle processed. However, in the 1990s, when value-based marketing was in its infancy, the vast majority of cattle were sold live or in the meat.

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Friday, June 28,2013

Management Topics

by Dr. Bob Hough, WLJ Contributor
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.

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