Monday Extension Report – February 23, 2015

February 24, 2015

Please pick up Luck of the Draw winnings

I want to say thanks again to everyone who participated in the 4-H Foundation Luck of the Draw fundraiser. We still have a few of the items at our office waiting for the lucky winners to pick them up. We have some workshops coming up and it would be great if the Luck of the Draw items were claimed by then.

Commercial/Non-commercial pesticide applicator training, March 12 & March 19

Speaking of workshops, the initial certification training for new Commercial and non-commercial pesticide applicators is Thursday, March 12. The recertification class for Commercial and non-commercial pesticide applicators whose license expired this year is March 19. Both will be at the Cherry County Extension Office. If you need to take either class, you need to pre-register by next Thursday, March 5. You register online at pested.unl.edu under the certification and licensing tab. You can also call the state pesticide education office in Lincoln at 1-800-627-7216. They may need to mail you workshop materials, so don’t delay.

4-H Reminders

4-H leaders, don’t forget that if you or your club has an idea for a program or project that would improve the 4-H experience for Cherry County 4-H members, you can apply for a grant from the Cherry County 4-H Foundation. The applications are due March 9.

4-H high school seniors, don’t forget that the 4-H Foundation scholarship applications are also due March 9. The deadline for the Kerry Bryant Memorial Scholarship is also coming up soon.

Economic Indexes for Beef Sire Selection

It’s bull buying season and I wanted to remind you about a NebGuide we have that explains Economic Indexes for Beef Sire Selection. Indexes have been around for decades and have been adopted by both the swine and dairy industries for quite a while now. Indexes have been slower to catch on in the beef industry, but several breed associations now have indexes available to help producers make selection decisions.

Economic indexes are the easiest way to select for multiple traits at the same time. They weight EPDs by an economic value and combine them into one number, that’s often expressed in dollars per animal.

Just like EPDs, indexes are to be used across herds within a particular breed. Remember, for young sires, the EPDs that went into calculation of the index were low accuracy. The accuracy values associated with the EPDs in an index are good indicators of how accurate the index will be.

The most important thing about indexes, is to make sure you use the right one. Use the index that matches your production system and goals. You could get your self in trouble if you use an index designed for terminal scenarios (terminal indexes) as the primary selection tool in a herd that retains replacement females. For example, don’t use the Angus $B if you keep your own replacements.

Give us a call at the extension office if you want a copy of the NebGuide. As always, our number is 402-376-1850, give us a call for more information on any of the things I talk about.


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