February 2011

Simmental Breed

A History of the Simmental Breed

The Simmental is among the oldest and most widely distributed of all breeds of cattle in the world. Although the first herd book was established in the Swiss Canton of Berne in 1806, there is evidence of large, productive red and white cattle found much earlier in ecclesiastical and secular property records of western Switzerland. These red and white animals were highly sought because of their "rapid growth development; outstanding production of milk, butter, and cheese; and for their use as draught animals." they were known for their imposing stature and excellent dairy qualities.

Shoot-n-the Bull: Spring’s Coming!

As this cold winter starts to end, we need to be thinking about getting our plans set for the early spring season.

1.  Hay season is just around the corner.  Now is a good time to warm up the shop and get out the equipment manuals. Review the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance on your forage equipment.  Sharpen or replace those blades on the cutter to properly cut grass or small grain.  Grease all fittings.  If any are missing, replace them. Check tire pressure on all equipment, inflate if needed, and replace faulty tires.  Fill the baler up with twine.  Replace any broken, lost, or bent spring teeth on the hay rake.  Service the trailers and wagons and get them ready to roll.  By spending the time now for maintenance and repair, we can prevent loss of valuable down time when we need to make hay while the sun is shining.

Product Review – ATVs & UTVs

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) Outlander™ Max 800R
The Bombardier Outlander™ Max 800R comes equipped with many features to help you in your work or help you enjoy your play, like Air Control Suspension (ACS), a suspension system that lets riders customize their ride on the fly.  There are also additions like dual-mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS™), cast-aluminum wheels, a Garmin® touch screen GPS and quick-engaging Visco-Lok QE, and heavy-duty front and rear bumpers.  For comfort and convenience you’ll find an ergonomic passenger backrest, steel racks with 300-pound (136 kg) capacity, and a convertible rack/seat system with totable storage box.

Crossbreeding Beef Cattle

Why Crossbreed?

Crossbreeding beef cattle offers two primary advantages relative to the use of only one breed: 1) crossbred animals exhibit heterosis (hybrid vigor), and 2) crossbred animals combine the strengths of the various breeds used to form the cross. The goal of a well-designed, systematic crossbreeding program is to simultaneously optimize these advantages of heterosis and breed complementarity.

Heterosis or hybrid vigor refers to the superiority in performance of the crossbred animal compared to the average of the straightbred parents. Heterosis may be calculated using the formula:

% Heterosis = [(crossbred average - straightbred
average) ÷ straightbred average] x 100

Corn for Biofuel Production

Corn (Zea Mays) is a popular feedstock for ethanol production in the United States due to its abundance and relative ease of conversion to ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Corn and other high-starch grains have been converted into ethanol for thousands of years, yet only in the past century has its use as fuel greatly expanded. Conversion includes grinding, cooking with enzymes, fermentation with yeast and distillation to remove water. For fuel ethanol, two more steps are included: molecular sieve to remove the last of the water and denaturing to make the ethanol undrinkable.

Current Potential for Use as a Biofuel