Let NALF Help Promote Your Upcoming Sale or Event
Did you know NALF can assist in promoting your upcoming sales and events? NALF offers electronic marketing opportunities via the NALF website, e-Blasts or banner advertisements. Please contact Kaye Weaber in the NALF office to discuss this opportunity further.
Spring EPDs Available
Expected progeny differences (EPDs) from the spring 2014 International Limousin Genetic Evaluation are available on the NALF website.
You can use the Sire Selector to specify EPD-selection criteria when searching qualified Limousin and Lim-Flex® bulls. The pedigree and EPD lookup allows you to search for information about a particular animal.
The site’s “Genetics & Performance” section includes the spring 2014 EPD statistics, percentiles and trends; sire summary qualifications; general sire listing; trait leaders; possible change chart; and downloadable sire summary.
Active NALF members can view their male and female EPDs via the website’s secured, members-only portion. They also can request whole-herd EPDs from the NALF office free of charge. New performance records are available for $2 each.
‘Spotlight’ Your Herd
NALF has a revamped version of the commercial publication, Bottom Line. The quarterly publication is distributed in December, March, June and September. The distribution list has grown to include more than 25,000 Limousin customers, commercial producers and potential customers. This publication is a joint effort between Limousin World and NALF.
Promote your enterprise in Bottom Line by placing a “Breeder Spotlight” advertisement in the publication. For $500 per year (four issues), you can reach out directly to commercial cattle producers nationwide. Contact Kaye Weaber in the NALF office to reserve your space.
The NALF Staff is Here For You
If you have an upcoming state or regional event and would like a NALF representative present, contact the NALF office. The spring sale season is coming up, so make sure your event is on the NALF schedule.
Multiple Trait Selection Tools A Must During Bull Buying Season
The mainstream terminal index ($MI) is a multiple-trait selection index, expressed in dollars per head, designed to assist beef producers by adding simplicity to genetic selection decisions. It measures differences in expected profit per carcass produced on a mainstream grid (yield grade 1 or 2, Select to low-Choice quality grade, and no over- or under-weights or dark cutters).
The $MI is based on the assumption that Angus-Hereford cows in a two-breed rotation are mated to Limousin-influenced terminal sires with the resulting calves sold into the commodity beef market with premiums and discounts based on both quality and yield. It is determined by economic values and genetics associated with post-weaning growth, yield grade and quality grade and gives an estimate of how future progeny of each sire are expected to perform, on aver- age, compared to progeny of other sires in the Limousin herdbook if the sires were randomly mated to similar herds of black baldy cows and if the calves were exposed to the same environment.
For example, a bull with a +$55 for $MI would be expected to return $15 more per carcass produced than a bull with a +$40 for $MI ($55 – $40 = $15) due to combined genetic merit for post-weaning growth and mainstream carcass merit passed on to offspring. If each bull produced 25 carcasses per year over the next four years, the +$55 bull would be expected to produce an extra $2,500 return over the +$40 bull:
($55 – $40) x 25 carcasses per year x 4 years of service = $2,500
When using $MI, it is wise to simultaneously select for economically important traits that are not included in the index. The index was developed for use in a terminal sire situation in which Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls are bred to mature British-cross cows and all calves are placed in the feedlot and sold on a mainstream grid. Maternal traits, such as calving-ease, are not included in the index. If you intend to use high $MI bulls on first-calf heifers, you will also want to use EPDs for calving-ease direct to minimize calving difficulty. Likewise, in order to keep pace with the Limousin breed’s tremendous improvement in temperament, selection for superior docility EPDs is also advised.
It is also important to understand the assumptions behind $MI and consider genetic differences among animals in the component traits that contribute to $MI. For example, a $45 bull whose $MI value comes from superiority in marbling is a more appropriate choice than a $45 bull whose value is from high growth and low yield when the cows to which they are to be mated are of low genetic merit for marbling.
Because $MI is composed of EPDs for several traits, it does not have an associated value for accuracy. However, animals with high accuracy values for each of the component traits (weaning weight, year- ling weight, yield grade and marbling score) have more reliable $MI that are less subject to change than animals with low accuracies for each of the component traits.
2014 Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show
The Cattle Industry Convention is the oldest and largest convention for the cattle business. The 2014 event will be the 116th annual convention. The convention and trade show create a unique, fun environment for cattle industry members to come together to network, create policies for the industry and to have some fun. If you’re in the cattle business you need to be in Nashville, Tennessee, February 4-7. Make sure to stop by the NALF booth #1772, if you are attending the convention. NALF will have live cattle on display, informational materials and a spot to put up your feet and visit with us for a moment.
You can make the most of you convention experience by following it on Facebook at “Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show.”
LIMS Improves Genetics
Herds enrolled in the voluntary Limousin Inventory Management System (LIMS) commit to annual reporting of complete calving and culling data. By submitting such comprehensive production information, they contribute to inventory-proven genetics with more accurate EPDs.
Participants pay an annual fee of $15 per active cow and, in turn, can record performance for, register and transfer that year’s calves. For more information visit NALF’s website on the “Membership & Registry” tab. To enroll, contact Brittany in the NALF office. The deadline to enroll for Spring 2014 is February 15.
NALF Will be Represented at the National Farm Machinery Show
The Fullblood Alliance will have a booth at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, February 12-15. Due to our efforts to expand our marketing efforts, NALF will have a staff member present to assist the Fullblood Alliance answering questions and maintaining their both. The 2013 Farm Machinery show housed more than 850 Agriculture booths and hosted more than 310,000 visitors. We look forward to the opportunity to visit with potential customers and existing breeders. Thank you to the Fullblood Alliance for the invitation.
Don’t Forget To Get Your Summer Limousin Hat
Please visit the promotional merchandise tab at www.nalf.org and order your new, re-designed Limousin hat. These were a big hit at the 2013 National Junior Show, hurry before they are all gone.