Barzona Bulletin summer 2019

Match Game Putting Together the Pieces for Better Cow Efficiency

By Macey Mueller, Freelance Writer

A s beef production input costs continue to rise, Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) David Lalman, Ph.D., says environ- mental considerations are key to devel- oping an efficient cow herd and helping to increase overall profitability. Lalman, an OSU animal science profes- sor and Extension beef cattle specialist,

man says. “Bos indicus-influenced fe- males are better equipped to deal with these environmental challenges. “On top of that, consider the dramat- ic impact of heterosis in Bos indicus-Bos taurus crossbreeding systems. Accord- ing to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service scientists, the lifetime weaning weight per cow ex-

sources is considering forage quality and availability over a period of time and mak- ing stocking rate and genetic potential decisions based on average or below-av- erage years, not peak years. “If cattle are continuously selected based on best-case environmental condi- tions, input costs go up dramatically, and the cow herd’s fit to the environment will

is an expert in helping pro- ducers match beef cattle genetics to their available environmental resources. He describes the “environ- ment” as not only forage quality and quantity but also climate, parasite and disease exposure, terrain and management. With its inherent har- diness and disease resis- tance, the Barzona breed was specifically developed to thrive in multiple envi- ronments, including the arid regions such as those found in south Texas, Ar- izona and New Mexico, as well as the hot, humid weather along the coastal regions of Texas, Louisi- ana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

gradually become imbal- anced,” Lalman says. “We think this may be one rea- son why weaning weights in some parts of the coun- try in commercial cow-calf operations have stabilized. “In some regions, ge- netic capacity for growth, milk production and forage intake may have surpassed the ability of the lower in- put ‘commercial’ environ- ment to support it.” Lalman says that while some producers have made marked improve- ments to their individual cow herds over the years, large national data sets suggest that overall com- mercial cow fertility – in- cluding weaning rates and

posed can be increased by more than 30 percent in Bos indicus-Bos taurus cross- bred and composite females. Much of this advantage is due to increased cow longevity and improved fertility.” Part of matching cows to available re-

pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed – has remained relatively flat for the last three decades. “If weaning weights are no longer go-

“In the southern United States, a beef cow must thrive in an environment with excessive heat, humidity or chronic drought, intensified parasite exposure and generally lower quality forage,” Lal-

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Golden H Farm Barzona: The breed for busy people These cows take care of themselves!

Hampton Cattle Company

Breeding Purebred since 1973 Fertile Range Cattle Steve Hampton P.O. Box 134 • Kirkland, AZ 86332 (928) 442-3438

Breeding Stock Available

Matt & Alecia Heinz 2432 250th St Greenfield, IA 50849 (641) 745-9170

Alvin & Karen Havens 2429 Orange Ave. Greenfield, IA 50849


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