Hereford eNews
Hereford Highlights | Market Update | Industry Insight Volume 3, Issue 20
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

Congratulations Lilla Bell

Lilla Bell of Bell Ranch, Paradise Valley, Nev., received a special award this spring at the Snyder Livestock “Bulls for the 21st Century Sale” in Yerington, Nev. Each year, Lucy Rechel, manager of Snyder Livestock, awards one individual a gift for his or her effort on behalf of the bull test and sale. “We pick a consignor who is really nice for us to work with,” says Rechel, citing examples such as timely submittal of data and participation in promotions for the sale. Bell received a Tammy Hoover handcrafted Hereford hide pillow with a Bell Ranch brand inset for her cooperation and kindness. She has been consigning five to seven polled Hereford bulls almost every year since the sale’s beginning seven years ago.

Calling All Families to the Event of the Summer

Year after year, families return to what’s become the largest Hereford show in the world, the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE). This year’s JNHE will be held in Louisville, July 15-22, at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center (KFEC).

The event titled, “It’s Not Even a Horse Race,” will feature traditional cattle shows and competitions, including showmanship, speech, team fitting, team marketing and the Hereford bowl. These and other activities provide youth the chance to develop life and industry skills, engage in friendly competition, and build long-lasting relationships.

Features unique to Louisville include Churchill Downs, the famed home of the Kentucky Derby, and a Six Flags amusement park on the KFEC grounds.

All Hereford families should strongly consider attending. You don't have to show cattle to benefit from this event. Deadline for registration is June 1.

If you haven’t received a JNHE information packet, contact Chris Stephens, American Hereford Association director of youth activities, at (816) 842-3757 or

Hereford Register Deadline Extension

The AHA has extended the deadline to May 19 for entries in the Hereford Register, providing you one last chance to advertise in this “yellow page” section of the July Hereford World.

Listings cost $50, and the necessary information can be submitted via the Hereford World Web site. Listings are organized by state, then in alphabetical order by ranch or farm name. They include the advertiser’s name, address, phone, e-mail and Web site.

Seedstock advertisements are added at the end of the section, available for $350 per inch per year.

The yellow pages will be printed on special paper and bound in the magazine. Reprints will be available upon request. For more information, contact your field representative, Joe Rickabaugh or Kelly Hale at (816) 842-3757.

Don’t Miss Out on July’s Big Issue

Is your Hereford World subscription up to date? Now is the time to check the label on your May/June issue for the expiration date of your subscription. Call Caryn Vaught at (816) 842-3757 to ensure that you receive the July issue. You won’t want to miss it!

Summer Analysis Cutoff – May 31

Remember that May 31 is the deadline to have data submitted for the summer analysis. Questions, contact Jack Ward at or (816) 842-3757.

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. To view this information, visit the University of Missouri AgEBB Web site.

Industry Insight

Avoid Misuse of Ultrasound Data
Troy Smith

With the 2006 spring bull sale season still fresh in your mind, stop and think about how beef bulls are marketed. Think about the newspaper and magazine advertisements for bull sales. Think about the sale bills posted at the local feed store.

Those print ads and posters usually feature pictures of a few individual bulls. Beneath each photograph is a caption describing the pictured animal. A description might state, “This top son of ‘Superbull’ had a weaning weight of 636 lb.” Another sale bull might be described as, “an exceptional prospect with a scrotal circumference of 35 centimeters.”

According to Auburn University Animal Scientist Lisa Kriese-Anderson, potential bull buyers are frequently lured by tempting descriptions based on individual weights and measurements. Big numbers, she warns, might seem impressive but producers need to ask, “Compared to what?”

Kriese-Anderson says the same warning applies to the individual ultrasound carcass measurements frequently featured in bull sale advertisements or catalogs. As marketing programs that reward beef quality have developed, many producers have sharpened their focus on genetic selection for carcass merit. Many seedstock breeders have adopted the use of ultrasound technology to measure carcass composition traits — ribeye area, fat thickness and % intramuscular fat — of sire progeny. These live animal measurements, as predictors of carcass merit, are used with actual carcass trait measurements from fed and harvested progeny to create the expected progeny difference (EPD) values used in genetic selection of seedstock.

However, Kriese-Anderson fears too many seedstock breeders, sale managers and consultants are misusing ultrasound data in their marketing efforts. Individual ultrasound measurements are touted in the advertising and emphasized during a sale. The auctioneer may boast about a certain individual’s 14-inch ribeye area (REA), or rave about another bull’s 4% intramuscular fat (IMF) measurement. Some breeders and marketers probably don’t realize they are doing their customers and themselves a disservice.

“The raw data is often used for marketing, but it shouldn’t be,” explains Kriese-Anderson. “Individual ultrasound measurements are useful, but only for comparisons within the group the animal came from. Individual values offer no comparison to an animal’s contemporary group or the breed.”

According to Kriese-Anderson, every weight or measurement of an animal is an observation of its phenotype. However, phenotypic traits are the result of genetics and environment. Proper genetic evaluation requires consideration of how well animals performed in comparison to their herdmates raised under the same environmental conditions. Proper contemporary groups should be of the same breed composition, same sex and similar age, but they should also be raised under the same management.

Ultrasound data is most useful for helping rank sires or bloodlines with regard to particular carcass traits. “But it must be put in a comparison mode,” says Kriese-Anderson, “as a ratio or EPD.”

When the data is submitted to a breed association, it contributes to the calculation of carcass trait EPDs. The various EPDs presented by breed associations are the best tools for basing seedstock selection decisions, insists Kriese-Anderson. Carcass EPDs for yearling cattle take into consideration the individual animal’s ultrasound performance and its pedigree (parents’ performance). EPDs, for all traits, offer the best overall comparison of animals within a breed.

If carcass EPDs are not available, in-herd ratios for carcass traits are the next best thing. They create a ranking of individuals within a contemporary group. However, ratios from one contemporary group cannot be compared with those of another group. Ratios are better than nothing, but EPDs are best.

Kriese-Anderson says seedstock breeders can help maximize the accuracy of ultrasound carcass EPDs by following these recommendations:

  • Take ultrasound measurements at the same time yearling weights are recorded. Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) guidelines recommend taking weights and scanned measurements at 335-395 days of age.
  • Measure the entire contemporary group, using a certified ultrasound technician.
  • Report all data, or average values for the group will be incorrect and distort rankings.

When attending a sale where both actual ultrasound measurements and carcass EPDs are provided, Kriese-Anderson advises potential bull buyers to compare both forms of information. Close similarity suggests accuracy.

The bottom line, says Kriese-Anderson, is that ultrasound data is like any data. It must be used correctly.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Spreads in Vietnam

According to Ann Bagel,, Vietnam’s agriculture ministry has announced that foot-and-mouth disease has spread to 30 of Vietnam's 64 provinces and cities in recent weeks.

The ministry says that almost 27,000 pigs, buffalos and cows have been infected across the country, and more than 10,000 have been culled so far this year.

U.S. Concludes Primary Negotiations with China

A delegation from the U.S. and Chinese governments has completed primary negotiations to establish a protocol for the resumption of U.S. beef sales to China.

"We've made considerable progress with China during these discussions to reopen their market to U.S. beef and we will meet again soon to conclude the talks," said Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services J.B. Penn. "We also developed and completed a memorandum of cooperation that provides a basis for addressing food safety issues on an ongoing basis."

Comments Sought on Grass Fed Standard

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking comments on a proposed minimum standard for grass (forage) fed marketing claims. The standard, when adopted, will become the U.S. standard for grass (forage) fed claims.

Increasingly, livestock and meat producers are using production and/or processing claims to distinguish their products in the marketplace. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), through its voluntary certification and audit programs, verifies the accuracy of these claims. The proposed standard will establish the minimum requirements for those producers who choose to operate a USDA-verified program involving a grass (forage) fed claim.

Comments must be received on or before Aug. 10. For submittal instructions and information about the minimum standard, visit the USDA AMS Web site.

Growing Iowa’s Cattle Industry;
Conference Set for June 5

The Value Added Agriculture Program and Iowa Beef Center, both of Iowa State University Extension, will host “Growing Iowa’s Cattle Industry: Ethanol, Opportunities, and Economic Development” on June 5 at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Building in West Des Moines.

The conference will assist lenders, economic development leaders and producers in exploring ways to work together to expand Iowa’s cattle feeding industry.

Registration is $40 before May 30 and $50 after May 30 or at the door. For more information, visit the Iowa Beef Center Web site.

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