Cattle Today

Cattle Today



DuBose Cattle Company, owed by Graham K. DuBose, is a progressive 150 head commercial cow calf operation located south of Camden, SC near the tiny town of Rembert. Graham (known to most as "Mister") has been involved with Agriculture in one phase or another, his entire life. But, even when he grew rowcrops there were always a set of cows grazing somewhere. His passion has always been the challenge of using cows to turn grass into profits.

"After a variety of ventures in the cattle business over my lifetime, I was able to get back to running commercial cows full time about six years ago. From the start I have used Spitzer Ranch Brangus bulls and they have dramatically improved what was a pretty average herd of puttogether cows," says Mister. Most of those cows were primarily Angus cows although he was able to purchase a set of Brangus X Hereford F 1 cows along the way. His genetic goal is to produce '/a Brangus females from his original base cows and then implement a Brangus X Angus twobreed rotational crossbreeding program. Mr. DuBose said, "I believe this will be the program to match cows to my environment and grass resources, raise a steer calf with which I can make money sending to the feedlot in a retained ownership program and produce an extra fancy heifer calf that will find a ready market as a replacement female. "

He has turned out only Spitzer Ranch Brangus bulls and has culled hard on the original cows, replacing them with the Vz and 3/a Brangus females as fast as he can. Now pretty much all cows are V2 Brangus and a few 3/4 Brangus heifers will be bred to Angus bulls this spring. A serious performance records program has been initiated using the GPVEC, University of Nebraska COW/ CALF computerized records program.

Data collected the past two years has documented performance nothing short of fantastic. The 2006 born steers were weaned at an average age of 233 days (7.5 months) and averaged weighing 654 pounds with a 205day adjusted weight of 630 pounds. Their heifer mates averaged weighing 585 pounds with a 205 day adjusted weight of 559 pounds. And these weights are from milk and grass as no creep feeding is practiced. Mister placed the steers on heavily fertilized crabgrass supplemented with a commodity based backgrounding ration where they gained 3.46 pounds per day for 48 days and were shipped weighing 840 pounds at nine months old.

Steers born in 2007 came off the cow a little younger at an average age of 221 days (7.2 months), but average weight was 675 pounds with a 205 day adjusted weight of 662 pounds. Sibling heifers averaged weighing 609 pounds and had a 205day adjusted weight of 604 pounds. Steers were again fed a back grounding ration on grass. While they were kept at home 70 days in 2007, severe drought pretty well stopped crabgrass and gains slowed to 2.43 pounds per day. Steers still had a shipped weight of 845 pounds at a few days over nine months of age. "I'm pretty proud of the kind of performance we have gotten out of this herd, but 1 just absolutely don't skimp on the quality of bulls I buy to turn out. Although I try to run these cows at the lowest possible cost I cannot afford not to spend dollars on the kind of genetics it takes to produce a profit. There are lots of places to try to save money when running cows what you are willing to pay for the "right kind" of bulls sure isn't one of them, " says Mister.

If you were to look over DuBose's shoulder at the Spitzer Ranch Sale you would find him bidding against the Brangus breeders in attendance that are looking for Registered Herd Sire prospects. "Mister is certainly one of the most professional cattlemen anywhere in the country," states John and Patricia Spitzer. "As such he recognizes that most of the genetics in a cow are from the last three bulls in that cow's pedigree whether she is a registered or a commercial cow. He is fast building a REPUTATION COW HERD with a very strong demand for his surplus replacement heifers because of the extreme quality and productivity bred in." In fact, DuBose has sold females in each of the last two Spitzer Ranch sales as part of their Customer Owned, Commercial Brangus Female Sale held in conjunction with their Performance Tested Brangus Bull Sale. He has created such a strong demand for his commercial Brangus females that buyers readily bid $1,100 $1,200 for his open yearling heifers because of the quality reputation for what they can do in the real world.

In summary, steers being weaned off the cow averaging 650 700 pounds at 7.5 months of age and capable of sustained post weaning gains of 3.5 pounds per day or more. Extra fancy heifer calves being chased by demand from other commercial cattlemen and that are capable of going into any cow herd and generating profits. That pretty well sums up the program at DuBose Cattle Company.

Oh yea! There will be about 20 head of those elite DuBose heifers in the 2008 Spitzer Ranch Sale. They have been developed to be big enough to breed at sale time to the bulls of your choosing. Heifers are on a complete health and vaccination program, have also been calf hood vaccinated against brucellosis and were "ear notched" and guaranteed to be PI BVD Free. Please call the Spitzer's at 864/972 9140 or email spitzeranch to be added to their mailing list. And call Graham DuBose at 803/432 4173 (HOME) or 803/424 7640 (CELL) to find out more about his program and his replacement females.


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