University of Missouri Extension
Story source: Anita Ellis, 573-642-0755
VIENNA, Mo. – The Show-Me-Select Bred Heifer Sale at Vienna’s South Central Regional Stockyards on May 22—the first SMS sale in central Missouri since 2003—saw a large turnout and active bidding, said University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist Anita Ellis, who coordinates the sales for central Missouri.
Sale receipts topped $251,575, Ellis said, and online bidding was a popular option. “We had about a 75% increase in producer participation in this area in just one year,” she said.
The 145 heifers averaged $1,735. As usual, heifers carrying AI pregnancies brought a nice premium, averaging $1,805, compared to an average of $1,703 for heifers carrying natural service pregnancies.
Ellis said many of the 17 consignors were “ecstatic with the result of their hard work developing such quality heifers for this sale.” The top-selling lot of two registered Limousin heifers from Little’s Limousin sold to Brandon Overshon for $2,200. Other top consignors were Mike Hagenhoff and Kurt Strope, each with four heifers averaging $1,900.
Top buyers were Walter Snelson, who took home 20 heifers from Graham Family Farm, Stricklan Angus Farm, Schulte Brothers Farm and Grellner Farms; and Travis Lawson, who purchased 14 heifers from Helton Farms, Austin Henderson and Vic Stratman.
With AI, breeders have access to top genetics in the breed. The SMS protocols set minimum standards for calving-ease EPDs (expected progeny differences) of sires used.
“The folks at South Central Regional Stockyards were fantastic and we look forward to working with them for next year’s spring sale,” said Ellis. “Producers were pleased with the outcome of the sale, especially considering the current state of the cattle market.”
Jordan Thomas, MU Extension state beef reproduction specialist, encourages producers still seeking fall-calving heifers to attend the two remaining Show-Me-Select spring sales, scheduled for June 5 in Fruitland and June 12 in Farmington. “This is a program that continues to be a nationally recognized source of high-quality, high-information replacements,” Thomas says.
For more details on the MU Extension Show-Me-Select educational program, contact your nearest field specialist in livestock. See information on Show-Me-Select heifers and sales, held spring and fall, at agebb.missouri.edu/select. You can also follow the SMS sales for central Missouri at www.facebook.com/SMSCentralMO.
University of Missouri Extension
Story source: Jordan M. Thomas, 573-882-1804
COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new estrus synchronization protocol evaluated at the University of Missouri greatly improves heat response and pregnancy rates to fixed-time AI in beef cows.
MU Extension beef reproduction specialist Jordan Thomas says results from a recent large field trial found 82% of cows come into heat before the timed AI service using the protocol 7 & 7 Synch. This compares to 64% of cows in heat using the standard 7-Day CO-Synch + CIDR. Cows that come in heat before timed AI generally achieve higher pregnancy rates. “Pregnancy rates with this new protocol are exceptional,” says Thomas.
Over the past two years, graduate students Rachael Bonacker and Carson Andersen in the Thomas lab worked extensively in developing and evaluating the protocol. Andersen led the large timed-AI field trial, with research results across two states, five operations, 11 cowherds and more than 1,500 cows.
Pregnancy rates vary depending on whether conventional or sex-sorted semen was used, but pregnancy rates were improved with both semen types using the 7 & 7 Synch protocol.
Using a single fixed-time AI service, 72% of cows on 7 & 7 Synch became pregnant to timed AI using conventional semen. When sex-sorted semen was used, pregnancy rates to timed AI dropped to 52% after 7 & 7 Synch. “The pregnancy rate was lower with sex-sorted semen, but still quite good,” says Thomas.
This compares to pregnancy rates after the standard 7-Day CO-Synch + CIDR protocol of 61% with conventional and 44% with sex-sorted semen.
“These levels of improvement, regardless of the semen type used, are very exciting,” says Thomas. “With the consistency of the results we have seen and the early reports from producers using this protocol, we are very comfortable with this as a new recommendation for broader use.”
The 7 & 7 Synch method improves ovarian follicular maturity before the administration of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) typically given at the beginning of an estrous cycle control program. This new protocol accomplishes that by treatment with prostaglandin F2a and an intravaginal progesterone insert (CIDR) in advance of GnRH. This enhances the uniformity of cows’ response to the protocol, thereby improving overall control of the estrous cycle compared to standard 7-Day CO-Synch + CIDR protocol.
Before Andersen’s large field trial evaluating this protocol on producer herds, a more mechanistic experiment led by Rachel Bonacker provided rationale for the treatment schedule.
Other members of the team included graduate students Katy Stoecklein, Cameron Locke, Jaclyn Ketchum and Emma Knickmeyer, as well as MU Extension dairy veterinarian Scott Poock. Extension livestock specialists Zac Erwin, Jenna Monnig, Andy McCorkill and Eldon Cole also played key roles on producer locations and at the MU Southwest Research Center.
Bonacker presented her work in 2019 the American Society of Animal Science annual meeting and the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle conference. Andersen’s results have been accepted for presentation in abstract form at the International Congress on Animal Reproduction next year in Bologna, Italy. Bonacker also led a large field trial evaluating the new 7 & 7 Synch protocol among recipient beef cows in an embryo transfer program, also with improved results. That abstract also was accepted for presentation at the meeting in Bologna.
“We are just really excited to share a new protocol that can benefit producers across the country,” says Andersen. “Nothing is more rewarding than seeing research that can increase profitability and productivity get implemented on the farm.”
AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – June is National Forage Month. Throughout the month, producers and industry