Before You Scan

Scanning Ages by Breed

Acceptable Scanning Age
Breed Yearling Bulls Developing Heifers Feedlot Steers and Heifers
Angus 320-440 days 320-460 320-460
Brangus 310-430 310-430 310-430
Braunvieh 320-410 320-410 320-410
Charolias 320-430 320-430 320-430
Chianina 320-440 320-460 320-460
Gelbvieh 320-410 320-410 320-410
Hereford 301-530 301-530 301-530
Limousin 300-450 300-450 300-450
Maine Anjou 330-440 330-440 330-440
Red Angus 320-440 320-460 320-460
Salers 330-450 330-450 330-450
Simmental 300-440 300-440 300-440
South Devon 320-440    

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Find a Technician

  • Name:
    Fabiano Araujo
    Address:
    300 Teofilo Ribeiro, Apt 403 Vargem Grande do Sul 13-880 Brazil
    State:
    Brazil
    Phone:
    55-62-3092-4559
    Fax:
    55-19-3641-1886
    E-mail:
    faraujo@aval-online.com.br
  • Name:
    Yuri Baldini Farjalla
    Address:
    Rua 270, quadra 52, late 22 Setar Coimbra, Goiania, Goia, 74533190, Brasil
    State:
    Brazil
    Phone:
    (62) 3092-4559
    E-mail:
    yfarjalla@aval-online.com.br
  • Name:
    Alvaro Jobim
    State:
    Brazil
    E-mail:
    alvarojobim@aval-online.com.br
  • Name:
    Mário Antônio da Silva Júnior
    State:
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 (62) 3297 1194
    E-mail:
    mjunior@aval-online.com.br
  • Name:
    Brian Frank
    Address:
    28028 County Road 9, Haxton, CO 80731
    State:
    CO
    Phone:
    970-218-0309
    E-mail:
    bepreciseag@hotmail.com
  • Name:
    Shawn Nicholson, DVM
    Address:
    827 E. Front Street, Box 277, Stuart, IA 50250
    State:
    IA
    E-mail:
    stuvets@stuartvetclinic.com
  • Name:
    Bonnie Larson
    Address:
    1625 210th Ave., Diagonal, IA 50845
    State:
    IA
    E-mail:
    bonnielarson10@gmail.com
  • Name:
    Will Larson
    Address:
    1625 210th Ave., Diagonal, IA 50845
    State:
    IA
    Phone:
    641-464-0771
    E-mail:
    bonnielarson@dishmail.net
  • Name:
    Toby Muller
    Address:
    1408 110th Ave. Adair, IA 50002
    State:
    IA
    Phone:
    515-971-6916
    E-mail:
    utraova@iowatelecom.net
  • Name:
    Matthew Hahn
    Address:
    74 County Road 2700E, Minonk, IA 61760
    State:
    IL
    Phone:
    309-645-9656
    E-mail:
    mhahn1894@gmail.com
  • Name:
    Paul Ritter, DVM
    Address:
    2903 County Rd. 320, Monument, KS 67747
    State:
    KS
    Phone:
    (785)672-3411
    Fax:
    785-846-7660
    E-mail:
    docritter@yahoo.com
  • Name:
    Michael Lindell
    Address:
    9691 Shermand Rd., Leonardville, KS 66449
    State:
    KS
    Phone:
    785-293-5282
    E-mail:
    hightechbeef@yahoo.com
  • Name:
    Russell Coon
    Address:
    1318 Shelby 169, Bethel, MO 63434
    State:
    MO
    Phone:
    Cell: 660-341-2705
    Fax:
    660-284-6518
    E-mail:
    rcsolutions@marktwain.net
  • Name:
    Becky Hays
    Address:
    27577 State HWY CC, Maryville, MO 64468
    State:
    MO
    Phone:
    660-562-2074
    Fax:
    660-562-2091
    E-mail:
    bhays@uicuplab.com
  • Name:
    Craig L. Hays
    Address:
    27577 State HWY CC, Maryville, MO 64468
    State:
    MO
    Phone:
    660-373-1897
    Fax:
    660-562-2091
    E-mail:
    craiglhays@yahoo.com
  • Name:
    Heather Smith
    Address:
    10404 E. Hwy WW, Apt. A Columbia, MO 65201
    State:
    MO
    Phone:
    573-239-1878
    E-mail:
    TrustInUltrasoundImaging@gmail.com
  • Name:
    Sonja Gregory
    Address:
    8740 Forest Grove Rd. Box 5380, Lewistown, MT 59457
    State:
    MT
    Phone:
    (406)-538-8824
    Fax:
    (406)-538-8824(call
    E-mail:
    bardlivestock@yahoo.com
  • Name:
    Matthew Lane
    Address:
    2103 North 8th Road, Huntley, MT 59037
    State:
    MT
    Phone:
    406-698-5809
    Fax:
    406-967-2414
    E-mail:
    mlane@nemont.net
  • Name:
    Cody Bode
    Address:
    601 Clark Ave. Creighton, NE 68729
    State:
    NE
    Phone:
    402-843-8890
    Fax:
    402-843-5433
    E-mail:
    codybode30@gmail.com
  • Name:
    JR Tait
    Address:
    6265 Cascade Dr Lincoln, NE 68504
    State:
    NE
    Phone:
    515-296-1429
    E-mail:
    richtait@gmail.com
  • Name:
    Audry Biggs
    Address:
    P.O. Box 1201, Yerington, NV 89447
    State:
    NV
    Phone:
    775-434-4885
    E-mail:
    audrybiggs@aol.com
  • Name:
    Bonnie Bradford
    Address:
    5631 Glynwood Rd., St. Marys, OH 45885
    State:
    OH
    Phone:
    (419)-394-5076
    E-mail:
    premier1@watchtv.com
  • Name:
    Casey Worrell
    State:
    TX
    Phone:
    512-413-1610
    E-mail:
    casey@theranchersresource.com
  • Name:
    Michael Rigby
    Address:
    HC 13 Box 4002, Fairview, UT 84629
    State:
    UT
    Phone:
    435-469-0402
    E-mail:
    rigbys1@hotmail.com
  • Name:
    Andy Meadows
    Address:
    1891 Rockdale Rd, Wytheville, VA 24382
    State:
    VA
    Phone:
    Cell: 540-520-2609
    Fax:
    540-254-2710(call fi
    E-mail:
    ameadows@att.net
  • Name:
    Mike Stanek
    Address:
    P.O. Box 217, Potosi, WI 53820
    State:
    WI
    Phone:
    (515)450-2234
    E-mail:
    mike_stanek@hotmail.com
  • Name:
    Eric Geving
    Address:
    1613 Park Lane Cody, WY 82414
    State:
    WY
    Phone:
    307-272-4763
    E-mail:
    egeving@tctwest.net

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Tips for Breeders

Whether a first-timer or a long-timer, here is a list of things that should help scan day go smoothly and reduce problems once the images are in the lab. If you are not able to provide some of these “please do's”, visit with your technician when scheduling. Most of this you may already be doing and this will explain why.

Breeder's Responsibility Why It's Important
Schedule in Advance

Field technicians use their own methods for scheduling, but the more time you allow before scanning, the more likely you will be to get the date of choice. This may also give you the opportunity to be scheduled with others in the same area and divide travel costs.

Before scheduling, have an idea of the number of head so the technician can estimate the time needed to complete the scan session.

Choose a scan date that falls within the required age window for your breed(s) so that your data can be processed and adjusted by your breed association(s).

Obtain Barnsheets Request barnsheets from your association online or by calling the association. Some breeds send out barnsheets with the weaning report and requesting is not necessary. Look over the barnsheets to make sure all animals to be scanned are represented. List available information for additional cattle. This will avoid delays in the lab or at the association.
Use a Squeeze Chute Cattle should be restrained in a squeeze chute for scanning. This reduces movement and improves contact, promoting higher quality images. It also speeds things up!
Provide Clean Electricity Electricity is needed to power the ultrasound machine, computer, clippers, blower, etc. An overloaded or ungrounded circuit could cause interference which could jeopardize processing the %IMF images. If using a blower and/or clippers, it may be necessary to provide two sources of power with 20 amp breakers. A generator can be used if necessary.
Clipping Requirements for Scanning It is required that cattle to be used for genetic evaluation must have hair less than ½” long in the areas of scanning. This is to remove dead hair, dirt, and debris which ultrasound waves do not penetrate. All animals in a contemporary group are treated the same and clipping actually saves time! Let your technician know if you will not have clippers available on scan day. If a cattle blower is available, this too helps to remove dirt and debris.
Keep Cattle Dry Vegetable oil is the coupling agent used to allow ultrasound waves to penetrate the hide and view the soft tissue. Oil and water do not mix. A wet hide reduces contact and image quality. Often, animals under cover will dry out after 30-60 minutes.
Eliminate Glare If scanning outside, a tarp helps to reduce glare on the ultrasound monitors. It can also block wind on a cold day.
Weigh the Cattle Empty weights are to be collected within 7 days of scanning. They can be collected at the time of scanning, or from 7 days before to 7 days after. Keep in mind that weighing after the scan date will delay the submission of images to the lab. If collected before, the weights can be filled out on the barnsheets and missing animals/ID problems can be resolved faster.
Keep Cattle Coming Basically, please don't count on the technician to bring the cattle to the corral, sort and pen them, push cattle, run the chute, clip, blow, scan, weigh, change pens ... you get the picture. However, many technicians do enjoy this and are willing to help out!

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Interpreting the Ultrasound Data

The ultrasound traits measured are rump and rib fat, ribeye area, and % intramuscular fat (IMF). The ribeye image is collected between the 12-13th ribs where the rib fat and ribeye area are measured. The IMF images are evaluated between the 12-13th ribs as well, but in longitudinal images instead. In fact, a minimum of four IMF images are collected and the values are averaged. This value would be correlated to the marbling trait for quality grade. The rump fat image is collected between the hooks and the pins of the animal and gives another indication of external body fat.

Ultrasound data can be evaluated similarly to other performance traits. Ultrasound EPD's should be the best indicator of an animal's carcass trait potential. Like other performance traits, find the breed average of each trait and compare that to the animal's EPDs in question. Above average means the offspring are likely to have a higher than average value of a given trait (depending on the accuracy value). To increase values of a certain trait in your herd, choose the higher EPDs for that trait.

Another method of reporting ultrasound data is in ratios, 100 being average. The ratios of any given trait take into consideration the average of the contemporary group (animals of the same sex managed together with the same diet and environment). An animal with a ratio above 100 for a given trait would have a higher than average adjusted value for that trait. Again, if you are looking to increase a trait's value, look for a ratio over 100. Ratios do not have the benefit of utilizing ancestral information as EPDs do, but can still be a meaningful tool within the contemporary group.

Age adjusted values or the actual values may be reported in some instances along with EPDs or ratios. Like other performance data, actual values are more of an indication of management or age of an animal. For instance, a 600 pound weaning weight is not an indication of an animal's performance without knowing if 600 pounds is above or below average in its contemporary group. Likewise, ultrasound values, adjusted or actual, do not indicate the potential of an animal. It is unfair to compare one ranch to another based on actual or adjusted values. That would only be differentiating management practices or feeding programs. Actual values should be adjusted and adjusted values should be evaluated within contemporary groups.

Ultrasound has become a useful tool in evaluating live animals for carcass traits. The ultrasound measurements correspond to the carcass traits evaluated to determine Yield Grade and Quality Grade. Perhaps the greatest advantage of ultrasound data is that the dams, as well as the sires, can be included in an individual's EPD's.

by Becky Hays, Manager
UltraInsights Processing Lab

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UltraInsights Processing Lab, Inc.
27577 State HWY CC
Maryville, MO 64468
Phone: 660-562-2074
Fax: 660-562-2091
E-mail us