REBUILD COW HERD WITH IMPROVED BEEFMASTER FEMALES

by: Tommy Perkins
Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Beefmaster Breeders United

It is clear that the US beef cow population is as low as ever. The prolonged drought across the nation, high feed costs and other competition for the land use has certainly changed the dynamics of the beef industry as we once knew it to be. The traditional ten year beef market cycle may be challenged moving forward. These interesting dynamics lead me to believe that there is a tremendous opportunity awaiting us in the beef cattle industry. More specifically, Beefmaster cattle should be part of the upcoming herd rebuilding that is bound to occur sooner than later.

USDA data suggests that cattle (ranch) owners are an aging group with over one third of them being 65 years of age or older. Additionally, more than fifty percent of them are age 55 or older which is even more reason to use Beefmaster cattle in the rebuilding phase. Beefmaster cattle have been selected for docility for more than sixty years and you can rest assured that they will make working cattle more pleasurable because of their superior temperament. Data clearly shows that selecting for calm, docile cattle simultaneously improves feedlot gain, health and ultimate carcass performance.

Beefmaster cattle optimize traits necessary to rebuild the cow herd because they excel in fertility, calving ease and longevity. Commercial cattlemen understand the economic advantages that improvements in these traits offer a beef operation. These include, but are not limited to, higher conception rates, more weaned calf per cow and reduced replacement heifer development costs. You will appreciate the high quality females that Beefmaster bulls produce as they will excel in the hot, humid environments of the South to the wet, cool climates up north and everywhere in between.

Efficiency is also a strong attribute of the Beefmaster breed. In a recent all-breeds performance test in Texas, yearling Beefmaster bulls were the highest average daily gain (ADG) on test as well as the lowest residual feed intake (RFI) on test. Beefmaster cattle not only have high daily gains, they also consume less feed per pound of gain. Use of Beefmaster influenced cattle allows you to be a low-cost producer with reduced input levels in the cow/calf enterprise. These cost cutting measures have been built into the Beefmaster influenced female and will be necessary for cow/calf operators to survive in the developing beef industry.

Docility, fertility, efficiency, and longevity are just a few of the traits that Beefmaster cattle offer as you will also appreciate the early growth of these calves. Your weaned calves will have heavy weights at the market place and will have added value in the feedlot segment of the beef industry. For example, feed out data from Mississippi shows that Beefmaster sired calves made $201 more per head than Angus sired calves. All of the calves were born on the same ranch, in the same season, weaned and backgrounded together and all fed in the same Kansas feedlot. The Beefmaster calves harvested with an average yield grade of 2.7, high select quality grade and 1361 pound live weight whereas the Angus calves averaged a yield grade 2.5, high choice and weighed 1112 pounds. The Angus calves may have had a higher quality grade but the combination of increased weight and efficiency of gain improved the bottom line for the Beefmaster sired calves.

Interest in Beefmaster genetics has been extremely good the past several years as the beef industry has seen the positive changes in the cattle recently. If you are looking for solid colored (red, black or dun), muscular, fertile, and easy calving cattle don't hesitate to call 210-732-3132 or go to our website at www.beefmasters.org for additional information.







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