Jeff & Lisa Liston
1234 606th Ave.
Lovilia, IA 50150
Research & Development
New: Facts on RFI savings for Female Costs and Feedlot Feed Savings, then check out our new RFI super star, SF Turtlerock RFI W124.
More details will be provided as possible, but some of our “projects”
- Stacking of GeneStar proven genetics to provide our exclusive
Tailwind Genetics bloodlines to our customers.
- Working on a GeneStar rich crossbreeding program that will be identified as "TRX Crossbreds". At this time other breeds used include Wagyu and Irish Blacks.
- Use of New Zealand genetics to see how and where they fit in our
economic plans and phenotypical models. We have a bull calf from April
2006 by Pinebank Waigroup 41/97 that looks quite interesting. We are one
of the few sources in the US to sell semen on Fossil Creek Ranger, another
very promising New Zealand bull. The genetics of New Zealand have almost
exclusively been raised on grass and never grain-fed. To do this, they
have rugged, efficient, easy fleshing characteristics that offer exciting
potential to the US Angus world- not to mention how important these traits
become when corn goes over $3.00 per bushel. Ranger semen is available
from us at $20 per ¼ cc straw.
- We are experimenting with use of flax as the protein source for
our meat customers- our goal- give them grain fed taste, with health benefits
that are found in grass fed beef- those benefits look like they will include
much higher Omega 3 and CLA than is found in the average corn fed beef.
- We are continuing our scoring and selection of animals that shed
off early and have fewer flies on than their contemporaries. We are going
into our 4th year of this project and it has allowed us to eliminate fly
treatments, and this past year (hope this doesn’t jinx us) we treated
- Late spring and summer calving has been implemented. Our goals
are to reduce winter feed cost and labor, and have cows calving and cycling
in the seasons that match with Nature’s seasons of production and
- Cell grazing- if you have not tried this you cannot believe what
it can do for you. Even without maximizing production through forage selection,
what is there produces more and gets stronger with defined periods of
grazing and resting. I am not sure of the feasibility where ground is
already “fallowed” for a year or more at a time, but where
there is sufficient rainfall, this management tool should not be overlooked.
If you can even set up a few “cells” or small pasture areas
to experiment with, you can soon see that it will dramatically cut down
the grazing acres you need. If we can get our pastures fully renovated
and fenced, we think that we will be able to cut our feed costs in half
by savings of winter feed (by stockpiling for fall and winter) and grazing
ahead with our calves using pasture cells before their mothers are moved
into the same areas.
- Continue to work on more “partnering” with other cattlemen
for purchases and sales. I read a terrific paper on the subject that I
need to find and identify as the source. It basically said if you do not
have at least 500 cows, then you need to associate and partner with enough
other cattlemen to have a nucleus of that size. At that point, purchases
can be made in quantity and often with significant discounts. On the sales
side, everyone knows that a large group of uniform calves sell for a premium
over a small group. This is a difficult sell to farmers and ranchers who
are independent and plan to stay that way, but if you can find a group
or association of producers that have similar enough goals and methods,
the concept works. In our semen sales, when several breeders group together
to purchase 100 or more straws of semen, a nice size discount is usually
available to them. The same can go for many inputs, along with the possibility
of co-ownership of equipment that can be shared without too much hassle.
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