Lincoln, Neb. Braunvieh-influenced fed cattle entered in the Braunvieh Association of America's (BAA) Genetic Challenge contest harvested with exceptional carcass characteristics. The first 24 head posted a Quality Grade distribution of 92 percent low Choice or higher (only 8 percent Select), 54 percent premium Choice (CAB, Sterling Silver and Prime) and 8 percent Prime. This kind of quality grade distribution is usually accompanied with at least 10-15 percent Yield Grade (YG) 4's. However, these cattle truly defied the quality and yield grade antagonisms with 75 percent YG 1's and 2's and only 25 percent YG 3's (no YG 4s).

The 2010 contest had 59 Braunvieh-influenced steer entries from seven different Braunvieh breeders and was held at the University of Missouri Beef Research Unit near Columbia, Mo. Cattle were selected for harvest based on ultrasound fat thickness and when cost of gain exceeded value of gain. The first 24 head were harvested on the Angus America grid at Cargill Meat Solutions, Schuyler, Neb. The remaining 35 head were harvested at the Grand Island, Neb., JBS Swift plant on the GeneNet grid. The overall averages for the group were: 5 percent Prime, 86 percent Choice, 8 percent Select, 22 percent YG 1's, 61 percent YG 2's, 17 percent YG 3's (no YG 4's). Average ribeye area was 13.8 inches and the average carcass $/cwt was $151.79.

"Traditionally, Genetic Challenge entries have included Braunvieh-influenced cattle that are from halfblood Braunvieh to fullblood Braunvieh. This diverse representation has consistently shown that commercial producers can achieve feedyard and carcass success with any percent Braunvieh in their cattle," says Roseanne Segarra, BAA president.

The annual Genetic Challenge contest is a feeding and carcass contest sponsored by the BAA. BAA members can enter their calves, 50 percent Braunvieh or greater, and place them on feed in December at the designated contest location. Participants collect data on their cattle which allows them to promote and benchmark their seedstock programs while having a marketing outlet for their calves. The contest criteria is based on four to five steers in a pen where the data on the top four steers is compiled for each pen.

Genetic Challenge entries are ranked based on four traits including: days of age at harvest (carcass value per day of age), ribeye per carcass hundred weight (used in the calculation of Yield Grade); a more balanced view of an animal's muscling than ribeye alone, Quality grade (marbling score was adjusted to account for the differences in two different plants grading systems) and carcass weight.

The 2010 12-pen competition was won by Darkside Braunvieh, Peculiar, Mo. Their pen of percentage steers averaged 1.6 on Yield Grade and averaged Choice on Quality Grade. Winning steers were sired by FG Faisa (Fullblood Braunvieh) and DSB Mr. Black Ice used on Braunvieh cows. The Darkside pen ran away with the championship and was awarded $1,000 for top placing.

Mystic Hill Farms, Culpeper, Va., made a sound showing with the second, sixth, ninth and 12th place pens. The second place pen was made up of purebred steers sired by MHF Spectrum, MHF Tenacity and MHF Resource out of purebred and fullblood Braunvieh cows.

The third and fifth place pens were entered by W/W Cattle Company, Section, Ala. These were two sire groups of MHF Genesis steers out of mostly percentage Braunvieh females.

Long time Genetic Challenge competitors, Brink Livestock, Piedmont, Kan., took home fourth place with all steers sired by BLC Dark Vader P820 out of percentage Braunvieh females. Results from all 12 pens and non-contest cattle can be viewed at


Don't forget to BOOKMARK  
Cattle Today Online!