A summary of AngusSource® fed cattle proves the program does more than just source-and-age verify.

The genetic component helps point out higher-quality cattle, says Sara Snider, AngusSource Director.

Nearly 50 lots of AngusSource-tagged calves were tracked through Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB)-licensed feedyards. The analysis showed the program calves graded and gained better.

“We know that the Angus breed has a higher propensity to marble, and by comparing these cattle to the regional average we were able to quantify the benefits beyond just source-and-age premiums,” she says.

Fourteen participating yards in Kansas and Nebraska shared performance and carcass information on the groups comprised of 71 percent steers, 19 percent heifers and 10 percent mixed lots. When set against the two-state average in the Professional Cattle Consultants (PCC1) database, the AngusSource cattle had the quality advantage by more than 23 percentage points.

They graded 79.7 percent USDA Choice and Prime (See Table 1, “Carcass Merit”), compared to 56.1 percent for the rest of the region. Additionally, they had nearly twice the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) acceptance at 30.9 percent, over the 16.2 percent average.

“These numbers tell us AngusSource is identifying cattle with a greater potential to meet the brand's specifications,” says Paul Dykstra, beef cattle specialist for CAB. “Hopefully feeders will recognize that and manage the cattle accordingly.”

The data also shattered the myth that quality must be achieved independent of performance, he says.

Although the Angus-influence cattle came in 17 pounds (lb.) lighter, they ended up with 36-lb. heavier outweights, at 1,258 lb. versus 1,222 lb.

“The program cattle gained an additional 36 pounds with only twelve more days on feed,” Dykstra says.

This weight advantage is the result of slightly higher average daily gains (ADG) on the AngusSource groups. They posted a 3.17-lb. ADG, compared to 3.06 lb. for the region. The tagged cattle did give up some on feed conversion, at 6.67 lb. of feed per lb. of gain, compared to the 6.53 regional average.

Twenty lots of AngusSource fed through natural programs provide supporting evidence. Those cattle went 86.4 percent Choice and Prime, with nearly 38 percent CAB acceptance.

Applying 2006-2008 USDA carcass values to the two groups shows the AngusSource cattle were worth about $1,150.15 per head dressed, which is higher than the regional average of $1,096.14 per head. (See Table 2, “Economics”)

Adjusting the cattle to a common purchase weight and using a current price slide of 6 cents, Dykstra concludes the breakeven purchase price as feeder calves would be $104.40/cwt. for the source-, age- and genetic-verified calves. That's compared to the $102.01/cwt. regional average breakeven. Of course, as placement weight increases, the performance measures would be somewhat affected, but those could not be re-calculated.

“This data says feeders could have paid $16.59 more for the AngusSource cattle,” he says. “They offer more market flexibility because their carcass merit will bring back premiums. They help insulate you from risk.”

1 Professional Cattle Consultants (PCC), Weatherford, Okla., is a leading feedlot management data gathering and analysis company, helping feedlot clients make decisions and track their progress for more than 30 years. Its vast database includes half a billion closeouts with both feedlot performance and carcass records.


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