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Friday, January 18,2013

Beef Talk

The science and awe of DNA

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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Friday, January 4,2013

Beef Talk

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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Friday, December 28,2012

Beef Talk

All I want for next year is two new bulls

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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Friday, December 21,2012

Beef Talk

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Although most cows are with calf, reviewing cow herd reproduction dates is important. Typically, 85 percent or more of all cows should be calved within 42 days of the calving season.

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Friday, December 7,2012

Beef Talk

Cows are bred well

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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Friday, November 23,2012

Beef Talk

Don’t forget the bulls

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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Friday, November 16,2012

Beef Talk

Marketing calves; let buyers know they are yours

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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Friday, November 9,2012

Beef Talk

Pregnancy evaluation is a key management tool

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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Friday, October 19,2012

Beef Talk

To seek knowledge is good

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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Friday, October 12,2012

Beef Talk

Understanding culling and replacement rates critical

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
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.

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