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Agricultural News

Weaber Shares Innovative Ideas in Cattle Reproduction

Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:41:50 CST

Weaber Shares Innovative Ideas in Cattle Reproduction

Oklahoma State University hosted a two day symposium recently focusing on genetic reproduction in beef cattle. One of those in attendance was Kansas State University Cow-Calf Specialist Dr. Bob Weaber, who said he picked up a lot of great information about cutting edges advances in beef reproduction management and how they can be an asset in a cattle producers operation. One of the topics discussed was using estrous synchronization as a management tool. According to Dr. Weaber said one speaker focused on the application of estrous synchronization protocols.

"That's a system that many commercial cow-calf producers in the US maybe haven't tried yet, but its one that has some economic value to it for a couple of reasons," Weaber said.
"One you look at the distribution of calving, we know calves that are born earlier in the calving season typically weigh more at marketing time than calves born late in the calving season. At today's calf prices that's a big deal. If we think about a typical 60 or 90 day breeding season and five weight calves of $2.50 or $3 a pound. That's big dollars."

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Weaber on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

A particularly interesting topic to Dr. Weaber addressed at the conference focused on the use gender sorted semen. He said there is a great deal of opportunity here with this genetic selection option. Dr. John Hall who manages a research station in Idaho has done a lot of work the application of gender sorted semen. Weaber said Dr. Hall is a innovator and pioneer in application of those technologies.

"He combines the gender sorted semen with a fixed time AI system to basically implement a simple cross breeding system that allows him to very precisely select maternal type bulls to produce replacement females out of," Weaber said. "So he uses female gender sorted semen from these maternal bulls to mate sort of an elite group of mature cows that have been reproductively successful in their environment to produce replacement heifers. Then he uses terminal type bulls on the remainder of the cowherd."

One of the futuristic topics discussed was the use of genomics technology. Dr. Weaber said there is hope in using it to identify genetic defects in AI sires.

"One of those predicts animals that carry a genetic defect that have embryonic lethality associated with them," Weaber said. "So using whole genome sequenced data to basically find broken sequenced genes in AI sires and then figure out how frequent those specific mutations are within the population by looking at the other bulls that have sequenced data available."

While this is a very research oriented topic today, Dr. Weaver said this will likely have some implications in the commercial sector in the future.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Dr. Bob Weaber
right-click to download mp3


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