abomasum - Fourth stomach compartment of cattle that corresponds to the true stomach of monogastric animals.

abortion - Delivery of fetus between time of conception and normal parturition.

abscess - Localized collection of pus in a cavity formed by disintegration of tissues.

accrual method of accounting - Accounting method whereby revenue and expenses are recorded when they are earned or incurred regardless of when the cash is received or paid.

accuracy or ACC (of selection) - Confidence that can be placed in the EPD (expected progeny difference); for example, high (0.70 and above), medium (0.40-0.69), and low (below 0.40).

acetonemia - See ketosis.

acidosis - A high-acid condition in the rumen (pH 5.3-5.7) caused by rapid consumption or overconsumption of readily fermentable feed; may cause digestive disturbance and/or death.

ADG - See average daily gain.

adjusted weaning weight - Weaning weights of calves are adjusted to a standard age (205 days) and age of dam (5-9 years of age).

adjusted yearling weight - Yearling weights of calves are adjusted to a standard age (365 days) by adding (160 times average daily postweaning gain) to the adjusted 205-day weight.

ad lib - See ad libitum.

ad libitum (ad lib) - Free choice; allowing cattle to eat all they want.

afterbirth - Fetal membranes that are expelled after parturition.  See also placenta.

AHIR - See Angus herd improvement records

AI - See artificial insemination.

AI certificates - Certificates issued by some breed associations that must be submitted before AI calves can be registered.

alliance - An organization in the beef industry (horizontal or vertical) designed to improve profitability by improving coordination of beef production, processing, and merchandizing.

American Meat Institute (AMI) - Association of meat-packing and processing companies.

American National Cattlewomen (ANCW) - Organization of women involved in the promotion of beef through education and consumer relations programs.

AMI - See American Meat Institute.

amnion - Fluid-filled membrane located next to the fetus.

ANCW - See American National Cattlewomen.

anestrous - Period of time when the female is not in estrus; the nonbreeding season.

Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR) - Performance records program administered by the American Angus Association.

animal unit (AU) - A generalized unit for describing stocking density, stocking rate and carry capacity.  Usually accepted to be a 1,000-lb cow with calf or 1.4 yearling cattle.

annual cow cost - Cost (dollars) to keep a cow for a year.

animal unit month (AUM) - Amount of feed or forage required to maintain one animal unit (e.g., a 1,000-lb cow and calf) for one month.

ante mortem - Before death.

anthelmintic - Drug or chemical agent used to kill or remove internal parasites.

antibiotic - Product produced by living organisms such as yeast that destroys or inhibits the growth of other organisms, especially bacteria.

antibody - Specific protein molecule that is produced in response to a foreign protein (antigen) that has been introduced into the body.

antigen - Foreign substance that, when introdued into the blood or tissues, causes the formation of antibodies.  Antigens may be toxins or native proteins.

appreciation - Increase in the value of a capital asset (e.g., land) due to external influences such as inflation.

arteriosclerosis - Disease resulting in the thickening and hardening of the artery walls.

artificial insemination (AI) - Placing semen into the female reproductive tract (usually the cervix or uterus) by means other than natural service.

artificial vagina - Device used to collect semen from a male while he mounts in a normal manner to copulate.  The bull ejaculates into this device, which simulates the vagina of the female in pressure, temperature, and sensation to the penis.

as fed - Feeding of feeds that contain their normal amount of moisture.

assets - Items of value owned by a beef business or producer.

atherosclerosis - Form of arteriosclerosis involving fatty deposits in the inner walls of the arteries.  See also arteriosclerosis.

atrophy - Shrinking or wasting away of tissue.

auction - Market for cattle through which an auctioneer sells cattle to the highest bidder.

AUM - See animal unit month.

autopsy - Postmortem examination in which the body is dissected to determine cause of death.

average daily gain - Pounds of liveweight gained per day.

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Mark Spurgin
Nebraska Rancher