Hereford eNews
Hereford Highlights | Industry Insight | Market Update Volume 3, Issue 3
Welcome{IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE ", " END IF} {IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE [Name] END IF}{IF NOT ISEMPTY [Name] THEN ", " ELSE " " END IF} to Hereford eNews, your source of the most current news affecting Hereford breeders. We aim to focus on news worthy events pertaining to the Hereford seedstock industry. Sponsored by the American Hereford Association (AHA). Information sent to subscribers comes from material available on or authored by AHA, Hereford World and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC staff.
Hereford Highlights

Hats Off to Denver Award Winners

Last week at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, several honors were bestowed on hardworking people of the Hereford business. Among these honors were the selection of the Polled Hereford Herdsman of the Year, Tom Hawk, and the Horned Hereford Herdsman of the Year, Cody Helms. Hawk is with Hawk Herefords in Earlville, Ill., and Helms is with Upstream Ranch in Taylor, Neb. The Poll-ette of the Year went to Bobbette Butler, Frost, Texas, and the new National Polled Hereford Queen is Cassie Bacon, Prairie Grove, Ark. More information about these award winners and show winners will be included in the March issue of Hereford World.

Submit Your Nominations for the National Reference Sire Program

Don’t miss the opportunity to test your sires next to the top genetics in the breed! Submit your sire nomination form for the National Reference Sire Feedlot and Carcass Testing Program by March 1. The form is included in the January issue of Hereford World. For more information, e-mail Jack Ward at

Steakhouse Express: New Restaurant Delivers Certified Hereford Beef

Forget the pizzas! Since Jan. 4, Nicholasville, Ky., residents have been able to have tender, delicious Certified Hereford Beef® (CHB) steaks delivered to their homes. The Steakhouse Express delivery and pick-up restaurant specializes in steaks and steak burgers, but carries many other items as well.

Texas to Demonstrate Certified Hereford Beef

The Texas Hereford Auxiliary’s annual meeting and membership drive on Jan. 28 will feature a CHB demonstration and tasting prepared by renowned Texas chef Kevin Williamson, chef/owner of Ranch 616 in Austin. Additionally, the group will host a wine pairing presentation to go hand-in-hand with CHB steaks. The event is at 2 p.m. at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, just south of the stock show grounds.

Hereford Verified Update

Jim Williams, CHB LLC vice president of supply, reported this week that there have been approximately 12,000 Hereford Verified tags sold since the inception of the program in August. Because of the amazing strength in the feeder calf market, there has been less incentive to participate in source verified programs in recent months. Williams thinks that the level of participation is good considering market conditions.

Visit Your Hereford Friends at the Cattle Industry Convention

The 2006 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show is approaching quickly. This year’s event is held in Denver, Feb. 1-4. If you’re planning to attend, make sure to stop by the American Hereford Association (AHA) and CHB LLC Trade Show booth, No. 714. Information regarding Hereford Verified, CHB growth and other exciting trends in the Hereford business will be available. The Hereford folks are located just across from the John Deere booth. More than 250 exhibitors are expected. To view the exhibitor listing or schedule of Convention events, visit

Industry Insight

Total Impact of Calving Difficulty Greater Than Imagined
John B. Hall
Virginia Tech Department of Animal & Poultry Science

Not all losses associated with calving difficulty are calves or cows that die during the calving process. Calving difficulty can affect calf health for several months after calving, and cow reproduction may also be compromised.

Incidence of calving problems can be reduced. In most herds that pay attention to birth weight or calving ease expected progeny differences (EPDs) of bulls used on mature cows, calving problems (dystocia) run about 1-5%. However, in first-calf heifers, dystocia runs 5-20%, even in herds that use low birth weight EPD bulls. Incidence of dystocia in herds that don’t pay attention to birth weight EPDs of sires can run as high as 50-75%. Heifers need extra observation. In addition to increased calving problems, they don’t necessarily give as good an indication that they are beginning the calving process.

Calves that experience calving difficulty are less healthy. Delay during delivery causes calves to be more susceptible to illness or death shortly after birth. Researchers from Nebraska and Colorado say that mortality and morbidity is increased by 15-30% in calves that experience calving difficulty. Moreover, calves take longer to get up and nurse if they experience a difficult birth. This delay in nursing makes the calves more susceptible to hypothermia.

Cows and heifers that experience calving difficulty will be delayed in rebreeding. Two studies with 220 cows in Montana examined the effects of assisting cows at the first sign of calving problems compared to letting cows struggle before assisting. In these studies, calf growth rate was not affected by duration of labor. However, cows and heifers that were assisted early bred back earlier (Table 1). Overall pregnancy rates were decreased by 13-14% by allowing cows to struggle.

Table 1. Effects of duration of labor on subsequent reproduction and calf growth

of labor
Services per
Calf gainbirth
to weaning
Short 117 1.15 91.4% 1.68 lbs. per day
Prolonged 103 1.24 77.7% 1.75 lbs. per day
Adapted from Bellows, 1990

Hints for easier calving checks and calving assistance

  1.  Move cows closest to calving to special calving pastures. Pastures should be 10-50 acres depending on the number of cows. A pasture that can be easily seen from the road, lane or house is ideal. Move new cow-calf pairs out to another pasture three days after calving. 
  2. Fence cows out of deep woods and timber, but leave windbreaks.
  3. Use large ear tags and/or freeze brands to easily identify cows.
  4. Make or buy a special calving assistance pen or barn.
  5. Keep all calving equipment in a clean plastic tub with a top so equipment can easily be moved to a truck or calving area. Make sure you have all necessary items one to two months before calving.
  6. Train your spouse, children and employees for signs of labor. Have them check cows in the early afternoon.
  7. Count cows at feeding time and check for missing cows.
  8. Get a calving video or attend an Extension calving assistance demonstration. Know when and how to assist with calving.
  9. Never leave a cow that has started labor to go to bed or work. Cows in active labor should be observed hourly.
  10. If you assist a cow and have made no progress in half an hour, call a vet.

Korea and U.S. Agree on Initial Import Protocol

Korea and the U.S. have agreed on an initial import protocol, an important step in reopening Korea's market to U.S. beef, according to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman.

"We welcome the conclusion of our technical negotiations in Seoul. This paves the way for the reopening of Korea's beef market, and we anticipate that trade will resume toward the end of March after Korea completes its import procedures," says Johanns. "Korea has been our third largest market for beef exports, so regaining this market has been a priority for the Administration."

The initial agreement will allow the U.S. to export boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age under a Beef Export Verification Program.

"Although we appreciate this step toward normalized beef trade with Korea, we are extremely disappointed that Korea did not fully open its market to all U.S. beef products,” Portman says. “We will continue to urge Korea in the strongest terms to open its market without delay to U.S. bone-in beef, variety meats and offal. Together these products historically accounted for approximately 50 percent of U.S. beef exports to Korea."

Philippine Market Open To Live U.S. Breeder Cattle 

The Philippines Department of Agriculture has agreed to allow live U.S. breeder cattle imports into the country. Imports will occur under the terms and conditions of the Philippines Import Health Protocol for Live Cattle, says John Clifford, deputy administrator for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

“As with meat and meat products destined for the Philippines, importers are required to obtain a veterinary quarantine clearance (VQC) from the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) prior to the shipment of animals,” Clifford says. “Specific import terms and conditions for the import of live breeder cattle are outlined in the health protocol.”

Singapore Reopens Market to U.S. Beef

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced Thursday that Singapore will resume the import of U.S. boneless beef products from animals less than 30 months of age. In 2003 the U.S. exported $5.9 million of beef and beef products to Singapore, with boneless beef exports accounting for nearly $4 million.

Vision Award Finalists Announced

The 2006 Beef Industry Vision Award finalists have been selected. The award, presented by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and sponsored by Micro Beef Technologies, recognizes the best beef innovator of the year. 

The recipient is an individual whose innovation has been incorporated into his or her operation, and has enhanced the individual business and the cattle industry overall. Nominees are evaluated on the basis of effective use of technology, impact on production costs, ingenuity of implementation, innovative marketing, impact on the industry and optimum resource management. Finalists are as follows:

Stevenson Basin Angus, Hobson, Mont.
Dr. Kent Haden, MFA Inc., Columbia, Mo.
Bud Adams Jr., Adams Ranch, Fort Pierce, Fla.
John Brethour, Kansas State University Ag Research Center, Hays, Kan.
Dean Davis, Pingree Design, Greeley, Colo.
Jim Odle and Phillip Jeffers, Superior Livestock, Fort Worth, Texas
Roy Moore, Maverick Ranch Natural Meats, Denver, Colo.
Michael and Phillip Mosner, David Mosner Inc., Bronx, N.Y.

The national winner will be announced on Feb. 4 at the Grand Finale Evening Event at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in Denver.

January Beef Tips Features Selection Indexes

The January 2006 Beef Tips publication, Kansas State University, features an article on selection indexes by Twig Marston, cow/calf management specialist. Download the article (PDF).

Market Update

Cattle Outlook
Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain
University of Missouri-Columbia

Grimes and Plain offer market updates for the week past each Friday afternoon. Click here to view this information.

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