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Saturday, February 11, 2017


Cow fertility: This is one of the left-behind traits of the cattle industry, says Megan Rolf, an animal breeding professor at Kansas State University. While many cattle traits, such as daily gain and muscle quality, have benefited greatly from research, fertility traits like pregnancy rate and calving percentage have stayed fairly stagnant over many years. “What we need to do is find out how to get more cow pregnancies early in the breeding season, and then maintain more of them to term,” says Rolf. A growing database of genomic information on animals assists her and colleagues at other colleges have a project that will use the power of data and computers to plan matings of cows and bulls to eliminate some that could have a lethal ending because of a recessive gene trait. This would enhance fertility – more cows that get bred stay bred. The cattle breed associations control most of this genetic data and will impact how soon this system makes its way to your ranch. A group of animal geneticists from around the country is conducting a study to find if there is a genetic connection to bovine respiratory disease (BRD), the biggest disease scourge to the beef industry. Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California-Davis tells beef producers that 1.4% of feedlot cattle die before harvest, many of them of BRD. Continue