UA Livestock Producer Workshop Responds to Ranchers’ Needs

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Livestock Producer Workshop at V Bar V Ranch

The University of Arizona Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension hosted a Livestock Producer Workshop May 8 at its experimental ranch in Yavapai County, the V Bar V. Cooperative Extension assistant area agents Ashley Hall and Andrew Brischke organized the program for 63 participants from eight counties across Arizona and New Mexico. The morning program included three topics:  

  • Merlin Gleed from Powder River Livestock Handling Equipment discussed different options for facilities design.
  • At the request of many stakeholders, Keith Cannon and Keith “Bopper” Cannon demonstrated how to palpate and ultrasound cattle for pregnancy. They discussed the advantages of ultrasound including increased animal safety and earlier detection of pregnancy which enables quicker re-breeding of open cows.
  • Kevin Heaton, Utah State University Extension, showed producers how to frame score and body condition score cattle. Frame score is a simple way to describe the skeletal size of cattle. Body condition score is a management tool used to distinguish differences in nutritional needs of beef cows. Research indicates there is a strong link between the BCS of a cow and her reproductive performance.

The afternoon program featured three more presentations. Attendees held on despite 100-degree temperatures.

  • Keith and Bopper Cannon demonstrated how to test bulls for Trichomoniasis (trich). Trich is a venereal disease in cattle that affects the reproductive tract of bulls and cows. This disease can have significant negative economic impacts on a cattle operation because it can cause abortion, decrease in calf crop, and other infertility issues. Though the test is not certified, producers may perform a trich test for their own management purposes. This demonstration showed the correct way to test a bull as well as how to purchase a test.
  • Russell Tronstad, UA Extension agricultural economist and specialist, discussed the economics of culling decisions, an important topic for producers needing to make critical management decisions regarding their livestock during the current drought conditions.
  • Jaimie McCain, BCF Technology, covered ultrasound equipment options for producers and answered additional questions related to the morning session demonstration.

Due to high interest in hands-on workshops, a demonstration on artificial insemination is being planned for the fall at V Bar V headquarters at Mahan Park. Updates will be available here.

Mitch McClaran
Associate Director, Experiment Station Strategy - Rangelands