Three industry presenters updated ranchers at a Beef Intelligence Forum on Feb. 8 at Encore by Christine's in Rocky Ford.

Three industry presenters updated ranchers at a Beef Intelligence Forum on Feb. 8 at Encore by Christine’s in Rocky Ford.

Jon Herrick of Select Sires led off the supper session discussing production goals and moving the herd to have 60-70 percent of the calf crop born in the first 45 days of calving. This allows for an older, more uniform calf crop, which will translate into more pounds to sell.

While most ranchers think about the benefit of Artificial Insemination as using high-accuracy bulls to offer calving ease and trait improvement, Herrick said that “an often-forgotten benefit of AI is that AI and estrus synchronization front-loads the calving season.”

Herrick also discussed the “ingredients for AI success,” which included proper nutrition including vitamins and minerals, and stress management, which included research on when was the best time to move heifers after AI breeding. Herrick, a beef sire analyst, also fielded questions while reviewing Select Sires’ bull battery.

Speaker Grant Thomas, of Zoetis, focused on how to manage the FDA’s Veterinary Feed Directive. “I can’t stress enough the importance of a solid vet-client-patient relationship,” said Thomas, territory manager for the global animal health company. “Make sure your vet knows your operation and goals, so he can accommodate you when you have animals requiring treatment.”

Thomas reviewed the regulations, which went into effect January 2017, and reiterated the importance of working with your vet and feed supplier. “Have your vet on speed dial and keep your feed store in the loop,” he concluded. More than 40 ranchers attended the forum, which was organized by WW Feed & Supply, which is approved to handle medically important VFD products.

Dr. Gerald Walker, of ADM Animal Nutrition, wrapped up the evening discussing new product technology called AminoGain, which helps cattle develop to their full genetic potential. Grow yard managers and cow/calf operators in attendance closely followed Walker’s PowerPoint through numerous research trials, which showed cattle consistently gained faster (up to 10 percent) and were more efficient (up to 9 percent).

“AnimoGain allows cattle to reach their full genetic potential for greater gain and efficiency,” he said of the technology breakthrough. The pellet has been successfully used in growing and finishing cattle diets, said Walker, a nutritionist. Some heifer and bull research also was highlighted. WW Feed & Supply’s Curt Russell reported that in Colorado, some ranchers are having success with AminoGain added to their ration to put on additional lean muscle tissue, instead of body fat, while developing bulls. “This isn’t foo-foo dust,” Russell said. “It’s cutting-edge technology that balances the amino acids in cattle diets based on requirements. I’m seeing it work.”

Walker agreed. AnimoGain “lets cattle express their genetics, so you can reap the benefits,” he concluded.