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1
The Big Show / Iowa State Fair
« on: June 10, 2020, 03:50:17 PM »
Just heard the Iowa State Fair has been cancelled.  Over 50 years in a row showing there, never dreamt it would end this way. 

2
The Big Show / optimum cow size
« on: June 01, 2020, 03:41:21 PM »
A frequently discussed, and sometimes heated debate on this site is optimum cow size.  Check out the 5-23-20 issue of Iowa Farmer Today for an interesting piece on the subject.  According to Kansas State Research and Extension beef specialist Bob Weaber, "Our results showed that in eastern Kansas, a 1,300 to 1,400 pound cow was optimum in that she was able to produce a moderate to high level of milk in an environment where all her nutritional requirements were met."  There was some dialog on the effects of increasing cow size and the amount of beef produced per acre.  The article pointed out several times that there was no one size fits all in regards to cow size.  The study listed 7 main factors to consider.  Interesting reading.  My interpretation is that if it works for you, go for it. 

3
The Big Show / Let's see some new calves!
« on: March 26, 2020, 09:19:58 PM »
We can't leave the house, can't see anybody.  Glad we can look forward to seeing the new calves every day.  Here's a few of our new borns (one is a couple of months old).  The grandkids took these earlier today.  Good, bad, red, black, blue, or pink.  Cheer us up and post a few photos. 

4
The Big Show / Wish list
« on: March 24, 2020, 11:28:29 AM »
Since we're all house bound, forced to watch the political morons on TV, I can't help but think of the 3 items I would like to wish for our government.  1-Term limits.  You are allowed to serve a maximum of 2 terms of 4 years each.  From President to dog catcher.  After your terms expire, you are not allowed to live in Washington DC, talk to anyone from there, or even fly over the city in an airplane.  In the extremely rare case you had a real job before you became a "public servant", you are required to return to it.  No lobbying.  No lifetime gravy train.  I was asked recently why so many people were running for president.  Easy.  It starts and ends with $.  Compare the financial statement of any politician from prior to running for office to after they were elected.  2-Maximum length of any bill is 1 paragraph/3 sentences.  Here's a novel idea:  The U.S. Government shall send $1,250 to each citizen and $500 for each minor in the household based on their 2019 Federal Income Tax Return.  Simple, to the point.  Debate one issue at a time.  Can someone rationally explain to me why a Coronavirus bill needs $35 million to keep the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts open?  Which, by the way, no one can attend at this time.  Likewise $300 million for the National Endowment of the Arts with an additional $300 million for the National Endowment of the Humanities, whatever that is.  That's not the end of it.  Read the House's proposal, all 1,400 pages of it.  3-Congress is allowed to meet for 2 weeks only every 2 years so they can't help us so much.  The countries' most dreaded sentence is "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you."  Name one government program that actually did what it was intended to do without numerous unintended consequences.  I have a poster that says, "Government.  If you don't like the problems we've created for you, wait until you see our solutions."  Maybe I'm rambling, so I'll stop.  Only 1,399 more pages and I'd match the House's Coronavirus Relief bill.

5
The Big Show / county fair
« on: July 25, 2019, 04:25:42 PM »
The moderation movement, if there ever really was one, took a hit yesterday at our county fair.  Supreme Champion female was a 1700+ pound Simmental senior yearling.  She brought back memories of the ton plus junior yearling Angus heifers in Denver in the 80's.  First time in many, many years we couldn't show at the county fair.  The grandkids had basketball weight lifting and practice 6:30-9:30 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, cross country 7:00-9:00 Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and baseball from 2 or 3:00 in the afternoon until 10:00 or later, depending on where they play, at least 4 days a week.  Baseball practice on the rare days they don't have games.  I wonder what would happen if the Math teacher decided the kids needed to work on math Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for three hours per day all summer long.  I'll bet there would be a revolt.  But, since all our student-athletes will be playing for pay withing 5 years, I guess it's worth it to have zero time off to be a kid.

6
The Big Show / 1107 lb. weaning weight
« on: April 25, 2019, 01:45:47 PM »
I'm surprised I haven't seen any comments on SAV America, the Angus bull that set a new record with a 1,107 pound 205 day weaning weight.  85 lb. birth weight to 1,107 at 205 days is quite impressive.  I would imagine he weaned at over 1/2 his dam's weight!

7
The Big Show / eat less beef?
« on: November 28, 2018, 09:57:06 AM »
Last night as I was flipping through channels I came across an IPTV airing of a BBC newscast.  The tease was a video of Holsteins with Global Warming across the screen.  After some ridiculous commercial, the bit came on.  Another scientific study regarding a cow's bad gas has revealed that, taking into account all the machinery, transportation, processing, etc., eating 4 small pieces of chocolate contributes as much to global warming as driving your car 6 miles.  While showing what appeared to be a lunch meat sandwich, the narrator said that was equal to driving your car 12 miles.  A large plate of roast beef appeared on the screen, you'd have to be very, very hungry to eat that much, and it was announced that eating beef is the same as driving your car 30 miles.  The presentation ended with a video of more Holsteins with the narrator telling us "If you want to stop global warming, eat less of this" as the screen went to a large "Beef" sign near a grocery store meat counter.  Not the first claim of this kind I've seen, but it's been a while since I've seen one.  Perhaps the Beef Producers Association should show a video of the millions of cars on the freeway in California, pointing out their massive contribution to global warming.  Or, Heaven forbid, a video of Al Gore riding in his private jet to another global warming convention.  Will it solve the beef problem if we follow Al's suggestion and plant a tree?

Speaking of experts, during the Big Show on WHO radio yesterday afternoon, i listened to a National Weather Service forecaster predict that the winter in the Midwest will be warmer and drier than normal due to a small El Nino.  Last night, I read Progressive Farmer magazine and came across the following headline, "Shivers ahead."  "Minimal El Nino influence calls for cold winter in the central and eastern U.S."  We slept last night with the air conditioner on and an electric blanket.  We just couldn't tell if it was hot or cold.       

8
The Big Show / Home raised herd bulls
« on: October 24, 2018, 09:09:10 PM »
The bull in the tall grass is Oakview General, a son of Diamond Zulu 3Z r.  The spring calves sired by him are truly outstanding.  The roan bull in the lot is Oakview Leader 9-18, a grandson of Leader 9th and Deerpark Leader 18th.  He is most likely the most consistently easy calving bull we've used and the calves have quite a bit more eye appeal than those out of his sire.  I'll try to post some photos of the calves by each bull as soon as I can. 

9
The Big Show / bull sales
« on: September 20, 2018, 03:32:48 PM »
According to the Midwest Beef Producer September, 2018, issue, 33.13% of the 56,840 bull sales reported were sold by 10 producers.  48.141% of the bulls were sold by the top 20 producers.  Jorgenson Land and Cattle sold 7.013% of the bulls.  I guess the rest of us are pretty much inconsequential. 

10
The Big Show / feeding corn silage to cows
« on: August 21, 2018, 12:27:08 PM »
Any of you had recent experience feeding corn silage to cows?  We did it for many, many years, but it's been about 20 since we did it.  The corn is right here on the farm.  I will need to buy about 150 bales of hay otherwise and with the cost of hay, it seems to me it might be time to try silage again.  It seems as thought I spend a month of Sundays hauling hay.  Thanks for the info.

11
The Big Show / Iowa's cow herd
« on: April 03, 2018, 03:36:02 PM »
A month ago or so I listened to WHO radio as farm show host Andy Peterson interviewed one of the candidates for governor.  Wanting to show he was a friend of agriculture, the candidate raved about the potential for massive growth potential of the cow-calf industry in the state.  He said we way underutilized our land, if we only used it more efficiently we could turn Iowa into one of the leading cow states in the country.  He went on to say that the best way to utilize our farm ground was to put turnips or rye in after the harvest of the corn or beans and graze the cattle on them all winter.  Winter feed costs would be drastically reduced.  I thought of at least a few problems with his proposal.  In central Iowa at least, it is difficult to harvest the grain early enough to allow the turnips or rye enough time to grow adequately for sufficient grazing.  If you grow seed corn or very early maturing soybeans, the cover crop could allow some grazing, but not a very high percentage of the farmers in our area do that.  The snow fall can also limit grazing to some extent.  The biggest problem in our area is that there are absolutely no fences.  You can drive for miles and not find a fence.  Realistically, I can't think of anyone in our area who harvests seed corn, plants a cover crop, and wants to build a mile of fence to run cows.  Most of the farmers in our area no longer have livestock simply because they prefer driving a tractor as opposed to the day to day management of a livestock enterprise.  Andy asked to candidate where the cows would go in the summer at the end of the interview.  He replied that the farmer could build a hoop building and basically dry lot the cows.  Now there's a novel idea.  Graze the cows all winter and put them in a shed for the summer. 

12
The Big Show / weather influence on calf birth weights
« on: April 03, 2018, 03:20:55 PM »
I have long believed that spring born calves following colder than normal winters were larger at birth than those born after warmer winters.  I have also observed that my fall born calves were significantly smaller at birth than their similarly bred spring counterparts.  Check out the article in Minnesota's Midwest Beef Producer magazine, "Does the severity of winter temperatures have an impact on spring born calf birth weights?".  Official university research amazingly backs up the claim.  The University of Nebraska study focused on spring born calves, showing a 1:1 relationship between the drop in average temperature and the birth weight of calves.  Regarding fall borns, Oklahoma State research showed that fall born calves averaged 4.5 pounds lighter at birth than the spring born calves.  Nice to see that official research validates what we think we have experienced for years.  Could there be some validity to the claim that Canadian born calves are heavier at birth than they would be if they were born in Missouri, for example?  We may never know until official University research backs it up.  To solve all my problems, I'm going to breed for all fall calves and maintain the cows in southern Arkansas until a week before they calve. 

13
The Big Show / world events
« on: September 28, 2017, 10:32:51 AM »
Does anybody really care if there's ever another NFL game?  Is anyone really surprised there's cheating in college basketball?  Does it seem a little strange that a fight breaks out at one of those "mellow out" stands on a college campus? (and a "mellow out" leader is arrested?)

14
The Big Show / Angus Semen Codes
« on: June 21, 2017, 01:34:24 PM »
Just wondering if anyone knew the bulls associated with these codes:  7AN264, 7AN243, Net Worth, 7AN253, 7AN207, 7AN258, 141 1947 (141 is a little worn), 7AN213, 49AN2179, AN0175, 90AN4738.  I'll be getting an inventory soon, just wondering what's in the tank.

15
The Big Show / ASA genetic tests
« on: February 22, 2017, 11:25:44 AM »
I just received my official ASA genetic test results today for the bred heifer I had consigned to the Iowa Beef Expo.  There's good news and bad news.  The bad news is I did not take her to the sale, held 8 days ago, because the TH, PHA, and DS test results were not completed on time.  I will not sell one if I don't know the defect status.  The good news is that she was, as I expected, triple clean.  The other good news is that she is one outstanding female and my grandson will have lots of fun showing her as a cow/calf pair.  He didn't want me to sell her, anyway.  I'm not complaining about the length of time it takes to get test results.  I had many, many opportunities to pull a hair sample since we spent lots of time last year working her hair and preparing her for the shows we attended.  It was my own fault that they were not sent in earlier.  I guess I am using this forum to advise others to send in your samples far, far in advance of the sale.  I would not expect results in any less than 45 days and will certainly send in samples at least 60 days in advance in the future.  Not having the test results prior to the sale cost me some money.  Of course it is my opinion, but the bred heifer we consigned is one outstanding female and I believe would have sold well.  It won't bother me, though, to have another great producing Zulu daughter in the herd.  I have been told that results from the "other testing lab" are received in a week or less, but the ASA will not put them on the pedigrees.  Is this true?

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