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Beef, forage featured at field day, Sept. 22, on MU Thompson Farm


"AI Moves to Tier Two" will be the lead talk at a Sept. 22 field day at University of Missouri's Thompson Farm, a 1,600-acre research farm in northwest Grundy County.

David Patterson, MU Extension beef specialist, will describe progress in improving carcass quality and other beef traits by using timed artificial insemination, or "breeding by appointment." He has conducted breeding research on Thompson Farm's 300-cow herd since 1998.

Research on calving ease with heifers at the farm is the foundation of statewide adoption of the Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program, which has brought national attention to the state for development of high-value replacement heifers.

Jerry Taylor, MU beef geneticist, will talk on "The Future of Animal Selection Through Genomic Testing." Taylor participated in research to decode the bovine genome, opening the way to future breeding progress.

Abner Womack, economist and co-founder of the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, will talk on the research impact on the beef industry. MU FAPRI provides economic analysis of the farm bill and other agricultural legislation before the U.S. Congress.

Registration for the free event starts at 8:30 a.m. Talks begin at 9 a.m. Pasture and cattle tours will start at 1 p.m., after a free lunch. Commercial exhibits will be on view throughout the day.

This will be the first field day at the farm in several years. "There are many advances to report," Patterson said. "The latest AI breeding protocols being tested will eliminate one trip through the cattle chute and simplify the methods used for the high-accuracy results."

Thompson Farm is where breeding protocols now used nationwide were developed and proven.

"The goal of the Thompson Farm Field Day is to show beef research and new programs in forestry and wildlife management," said Rod Geisert, MU animal scientist and superintendent of the farm.

Tours will include stops on pastures, forage utilization and hay testing. MU Extension regional livestock specialists will assist with demonstrations. They will show a portable breeding barn available for rent by producers in the area.

Matt Lucy, MU animal scientist, will describe a new pregnancy test for cows. Scott Poock, MU Extension veterinarian, will demonstrate ultrasound pregnancy testing of cows and fetal sexing of calves.

David McAtee, manager of Thompson Farm, and Jon Schreffler, MU herdsman, will bring cows and calves to grazing paddocks along the road to Drury Barn, the research center on the farm. Groups of cow-calf pairs will show the concept of "Tier Two" breeding.

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