Cattle Today

Cattle Today



Lincoln, Neb. – The Braunvieh Association of America (BAA) Fall National Braunvieh Influencer Bull Test Sale will offer a select group of performance tested and RFI-tested bulls on Oct. 27, 2008. This premier video sale will be held at the American Royal Headquarters, Kansas City, Mo. The sale will feature more than 50 yearling and 18 month-old bulls from breeders across the country.

Special to this sale will be an offering of young commercial Braunvieh female packages. Commercial bull buyers and Braunvieh breeders will have the opportunity to compare the best Braunvieh genetics with measured performance records as well as select herd bulls using residual feed intake (RFI) data.

Performance evaluation beyond the norm is the key to this unique Braunvieh test, which uses the patented GrowSafe® feed-intake and behavioral-monitoring system to evaluate RFI of all animals on feed. While all standard performance data is measured – average daily gain, weight per day of age and carcass traits as indicated by ultrasound and breeding soundness – it's the assessment of residual feed intake that will give commercial producers unique data to select bulls that will be more profitable to them as sires.

The BAA is one of the first breeds in North America to begin RFI testing and offering that data to bull buyers. A relatively new measure of feed efficiency, RFI is an individual record taken during long-term feeding trials that measures feed offered, feed refused and average daily gain. With the RFI trait heritability at 40 percent, RFI measurements will be a valuable tool for bull buyers when marketing their calves. “Next to having a live calf to sell, feed efficiency is viewed by many cattlemen as the single most important factor in profitability,” said Mark Nelson, BAA executive vice president.

In an experiment conducted by Dr. Gene Felton at West Virginia University and the University of Missouri, progeny of a negative RFI (efficient) bull were compared to those sired by a positive (less efficient) RFI bull. The calves out of the negative RFI bull consumed almost $70 less feed per head from 950 to 1,350 lbs. In this case, a negative RFI bull used for a three-year period to cover 40 cows per year would save $8,400 in feed costs compared to an inefficient bull.

“While Braunvieh cattle are more feed efficient than most breeds, they are truly unique in being able to lower yield grades while generally not lowering quality grades, Nelson said. “This makes them the sire of choice for cattlemen who seek profitability in feeding and grid marketing their calves.”

In addition to purchasing bulls that have been uniquely tested, cattlemen can benefit from an exclusive calf buy-back program offered by Braunvieh Beef LLC, a newly formed business entity. This program is essentially putting a marketing guarantee behind any calves sired by bulls purchased at this sale. Under the terms of a contract, Braunvieh Beef LLC will purchase calves sired by bulls from the National Braunvieh Sale and will pay producers a premium over the price being paid at their local market.

In addition to a guaranteed buyer at a premium, the producer will avoid paying a sale barn commission, save on shrink and have the ability to sell their calves, without color prejudice, for a premium. “Our hope is that the benefits of Braunvieh Beef LLC will put more money into producers' pockets than if they sold their cattle through normal methods,” said Steve Whitmire of Braunvieh Beef LLC. Additional program details are available at

Sale bulls have been on test at the Green Springs Bull Test Center, Nevada, Mo. A pre-sale bull viewing will be held at noon on Oct. 26, 2008, at Green Springs Bull Test Center. Free transportation from Kansas City will be available. Bull data, video and sale details are available at This site also gives extensive background on the GrowSafe® system, RFI testing and the Braunvieh breed.

For more information about the Fall National Braunvieh Influencer Bull Test Sale, call Mark Nelson, BAA executive vice president, at (402) 984-8263 or visit the Web site


Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1998-2008 CATTLE TODAY, INC.