Technology featured at cattle field day

Bruce Schultz, Page, Timothy G., Gentry, Glen T.

LSU AgCenter beef and swine specialist Tim Page talks about the use of ultrasound technology to determine beef quality potential of calves during the Evangeline Parish Cattlemen’s Association Field Day on June 6. (Photo by Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter)

Participants at the Evangeline Parish Cattle Field Day watch a drone being operated by LSU AgCenter engineer Randy Price at the Horseshoe T Ranch near Pine Prairie, Louisiana. (Photo by Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter)

Photo 3 – Veterinarian Craig Fontenot shows an ultrasound image of a developing fetus to attendees of the Evangeline Parish Cattle Field Day. LSU AgCenter reproductive physiologist Glen Gentry operated the equipment and explained how it can be used on pregnant cows. (Photo by Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter)

News Release Distributed 06/10/15

PINE PRAIRIE, La. – Cattle producers attending the Evangeline Parish Cattlemen’s Association Field Day Saturday (June 6) learned how high-tech devices can help them improve their herds.

LSU AgCenter beef and swine specialist Tim Page and LSU AgCenter reproductive physiologist Glen Gentry demonstrated the use of ultrasound on cattle.

Gentry showed how the technology can be used on pregnant cows to determine the health of a fetus. Page demonstrated how ultrasound can be used to determine the quality of beef on a live calf, including ribeye size and marbling.

Slaughter houses reward cattle owners for better quality meat, Page said. “They are already discounting to some degree when the quality is not there.”

Page said he will not buy bulls without data that can be obtained from ultrasound. “At least you have an idea what you are getting.”

Carcass traits are the most inheritable aspect in cattle breeding, he said.

The Angus breed has made the most progress at improving beef quality because it is the most popular in the U.S., Page said.

Terry Ardoin and Tom Ardoin of the Horseshoe T Ranch, where the field day was held, invest in quality genetics, Page said.

Veterinarian Craig Fontenot, of Vidrine, demonstrated a bull soundness exam, which Page said is essential before the start of a breeding season. “If you don’t do that, you’re looking for a wreck,” Page said.

Page also advised cattle owners to only bring virgin bulls into their herds to avoid introducing diseases to their cows.

Veterinarian Grant Fontenot, of Oakdale, said body scoring cows is a way of gauging herd health. As a rule, higher-scoring cows conceive sooner, he said.

Keith Fontenot, AgCenter agent in Evangeline Parish, demonstrated calibration of a boomless spray rig, and AgCenter engineer Randy Price flew a drone that could be used in agriculture.

Results of tests using several common herbicides were shown at the field day by Keith Fontenot and AgCenter turf grass and weed specialist Ron Strahan. Applications of the herbicides were made 30 days before the field day.

A test of killing Chinese tallow trees using Tordon RTU in the hack-and-squirt method was compared to an application of one part Remedy to three parts of diesel on the tree trunk. A third test sprayed trees 3 to 4 feet tall with eight different herbicides that also killed briars and broadleaf weeds. All methods showed high percentages of effectiveness.

In addition, a test of Velpar on smutgrass showed the recommended rate of three pints per acre provided excellent results.

Bruce Schultz
6/11/2015 12:12:59 AM
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