On the scene at the 2012 Cattle Convention, Nashville

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Selecting cattle for disease resistance

Pop quiz: If you could buy a new herd bull that would “fix” your cow herd in one of these areas, which would you most desire?

A. Marbling score

B. Feedlot average daily gain

C. Feed intake

D. Weaning weight

E. Respiratory disease incidence

F. Carcass yield grade

  My guess is that if you’re a feedlot operator, you’re going to say average daily gain. And if you’re a cow-calf producer, you’re going to say weaning weight.

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Why is beef losing ground to chicken?

Attend enough beef cattle meetings, and you know these numbers by heart: 

1:1

2:1

3.5:1

7:1

Those are the average feed efficiencies, in order, of fish, chickens, pigs, and beef cattle. Yes, fish will gain a pound for every pound of feed they eat. Chickens will convert half of the feed they eat into body weight gain. 

So why does it take 7 pounds of feed to gain a pound on a beef animal?

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Q&A on better grazing

Four grazing specialists fielded questions from a packed room of farmers and ranchers at a Cattle Convention luncheon this week. The four experts were Tom Troxel, John Jennings, and Shane Gadberry from the University of Arkansas, and Bill Hopkin from the Utah grazing improvement association. Here are the highlights:

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‘Stupid high’ prices don’t stop cattlemen's worries

Cattle prices have gone through the stratosphere in recent weeks, to over $1.20  a pound liveweight for market steers.  Never fear, farmers and ranchers will find things to worry about.

But at least they worry with a smile on their faces. Here are some comments heard near the registration desk at this week’s Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville.

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