Wagyu...

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your favorite breed.
WestTNguy
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Wagyu...

Post by WestTNguy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:35 pm

I posted earlier in the beginners board, if you’d like to get some background of where I am coming from. I am a true beginner. But, I have the opportunity to buy a registered, full blood Wagyu bull. To breed with some quality angus heifers.

My question is: why aren’t more folks breeding Wagyu? I’ve never lost money in the stock market, because I buy stocks that I think are undervalued. It has always paid off. I look at what Wagyu has to offer, when it is crossed, and it blows my mind that it hasn’t exploded.

I first noticed Wagyu when I was at a fancy restaurant in Nashville, and the price for a steak was $105. They are selling F1 crosses. After doing some research, I see that there are only 40,000 registers Wagyu in the US, compared to more than 330,000 Angus. 90% of Wagyu beef is graded as Prime. Wagyu has more Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids than Salmon. Japan has recently restricted imports of embryos and semen to the US, while their exports of beef have increased 200%. When you have an F1 Wagyu/Angus cross, you get the best of both genetics. Don’t forget the low birth weights. I’m sure most of you can read between the lines of what my point is...

A buddy of mine sent me pictures of Wagyu beef at a butcher shop from Pensacola. It was imported from Australia and selling $43/pound for filet mignon and $9/pound of ground beef. There are zero restaurants around my area offering it on the menu.

Why has the US market not ran with this? I see a lot of potential, personally. Just curious....
Last edited by WestTNguy on Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Wagyu...

Post by bird dog » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:50 pm


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Re: Wagyu...

Post by WestTNguy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:38 pm

bird dog wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:50 pm
This might be of interest.

https://www.progressivecattle.com/topic ... -and-wagyu
This reinforces my point. What am I missing?
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Re: Wagyu...

Post by farmerjan » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:42 pm

In your small numbers, the most obvious outlet is the local stockyard for the calves. Black is the preferred "color" in better than 1/2 the US is seems. You would have to keep, feed and then market your calves direct. You don't have the grass/grazing to do that. They will be around longer, older animals. It is a NICHE market. Yes a good one. But .... if there is someone else in the area doing it, you could maybe market the calves together, direct to a feeder that specializes in it. The average beef feeder that goes to the ones that feed out or feed then send to a finisher, do not want animals that will be around longer. There is a big resistance to anything that has a "dairy look" to it. Wagyu are much less "beefy" built and looking than a straight beef breed. The first generation calves will have "skinnier" butts, and no matter how they grade, you have to know how to get them fed out to grade properly. The one quarter calves will look more like the "beef" animals that we know.

You need to have the available market for your calves or they will wind up at the local stockyards at a discounted price due to their "build". Commercial buyers know what their clients are looking for and will greatly discount anything that doesn't fit their wants. Again, having a place to go with the calves is the only way to do it. The article that touts all the benefits, does it in a big enough way to be able to have a real say so in their calves. A small producer, of 10-50 calves will not benefit unless they have identified where they are going before they have to sell them.

If you do have a specific market for them.... trucking only 10 or 20 will be EXTREMELY expensive to a final destination, from the eastern states/mid-atlantic areas. Our biggest drawback is the trucking that it costs to get cattle from our area to states where they run big numbers of feeders. That is why our prices are usually less than anywhere from Mo west.....

That kind of enterprise on a small scale is best suited to someone who raises from birth to table and sells privately. Or maybe a couple of farmers that get together and one has the cows/calves, one that raises the feeders to the size where someone else is set up to finish them. Then you have to have some proof of the end product..... before you can get much of a following. Not what someone else says they kill and dress out as, but some from your own animals. Not all Wagyu crosses with angus, or other breeds, will kill out as good as they say. The trick in getting good beef is in the feeding and gaining ratio.

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Re: Wagyu...

Post by farmerjan » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:50 pm

If you are going to only have 10-20 head of heifers.....NOT SUGGESTED for a beginner....... then AI is the way to go. Investing in a "good registered" bull will never pay you back. He will work for maybe 60 days breeding your animals, then eat for 10 more months. Even if you leased him out, then you are setting him up for some possible disease that could destroy your own cattle from settling in the future. Where would you keep him for the 2 months that the heifers are calving so they don't get bred back too soon? There are some real issues to be considered with keeping bulls. Most all of us on here have bulls, some do AI only, but many are a mix of some AI and bulls. Ours do spend alot of time "loafing" in order to have a closely defined calving window to get all the calves on the ground as soon as possible so they are more uniform in size.

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Re: Wagyu...

Post by wbvs58 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:04 am

The trouble is you gotta look at em.

Ken

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Re: Wagyu...

Post by WestTNguy » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:21 am

FarmerJan....if I could download all of your knowledge into my brain, I would pay good money for it.
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Re: Wagyu...

Post by Dave » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:17 am

Neighbor B who runs about 900 cow/calf pairs has about 150 Wagyu. His comment is that there Wagyu will "pay off some day." He is fairly deep into the entire Wagyu program. He has been flushing cow, doing embryo transplants. etc. One day while I was ride along with him someone called him and in the coarse of his conversation he told the other person that if he wanted import or export Wagyu to or from Australia that the had to go through a certain person. With all the effort and money he has put into this he still says it will pay off some day.
The majority of people in this country aren't buying $105 steaks, $43 a pound Filet Mignon, or $9 hamburger.
I know Agribeef out of Idaho has a fairly big Wagyu program. I had a bull hauler tell me that they kill nothing but Wagyu on Fridays at Washington Beef in Toppenish. But I also know that Agribeef has a big export program going to Japan. I would be fairly certain that the vast majority if not all of that Wagyu is going to Japan.

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Re: Wagyu...

Post by WestTNguy » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:19 am

Very very interesting. Here are the cuts I was talking about. From Australia? It would make more sense to me to buy from US suppliers, but I’m ignorant to how all of this truly works.
Image

Image
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Re: Wagyu...

Post by wbvs58 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:09 pm

It doesn't look that well marbled to me. Not what I would associate with high priced wagyu steak.

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Re: Wagyu...

Post by farmerjan » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:13 pm

@WestTNguy.... Thank you for the compliment, but there are many on here alot more knowledgeable than me. I'm just one that "talks alot"..

@Dave, I do think that the Wagyu will have some impact but as you said, there are not a ton of people who want to buy $100 steaks, or hamburger at $8-10 lb. I think it will be a bit of a more "niche" market, and the crosses will produce better beef, more grading prime, and so will add value to an animal on the kill floor. It won't show up in the average farmer's pocket unless he can market them because they aren't the nicest looking animals.... and most of us - yes even me with liking my dairy cattle - want to see some "beef" on an animal that is going into the freezer. I really like the double muscled breeds.... but next to no market for them either.
Then I love my Longhorn heifer..... So I really like contrasts. Love the belted galloways and have 2 heifers that I am going to breed AI so that I can get a couple of those calves to kill and do comparisons.

My jersey steers will marble nearly as good as those pictures.... and they sure don't cost any $10 lb for the hamburger, or $100 for steaks.....

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Re: Wagyu...

Post by Dave » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:28 pm

When the neighbor weaned the Wagyu calves I hauled 3 loads of them home for him. Selling them to anyone other someone who finishes Wagyu you would take a beating. At about 7-8 months old they were small sorry looking calves. There was one char cross calf that was a graft calf to a cow who had lost her calf. He was twice the calf of any of those Wagyu calves. To get them into the condition that brings the big bucks they spend a whole lot more time on feed. When a Wagyu gets mixed in with his other calves you can spot it from a mile away.

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Re: Wagyu...

Post by plumber_greg » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:02 am

If your gonna sell wagu calves, you gotta have an outlet for them. Your talking a 50 cent or more dock at the local sale barn.
Research Circle A and see what their offering.
Buying a wagu bull, and just crossing some angus will fail miserably. GS
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Re: Wagyu...

Post by Sostra » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:16 am

I have also wondered why Wagyu has been so seldom discussed at CT forum. I read about a year ago that it was the fifth breed in numbers in Australia. Their wealthiest person Gina Rinehart has been heavily investing in beef and increasing Wagyu numbers thru her company Hancock Prospecting. There have been serious investments in the last few years both from domestic and Asian companies. That should say something whether it is still a niche breed being one with serious interest from East Asia at least.
I was at a conference last week where the owner of a leading Scottish Angus breeder was telling about his experience in Wagyu. He has been applying his lifelong Angus knowledge on his neighbor's Wagyu herd. He described pureblood Wagyu as "anything bad you can think in a cow, it has it". Due to high marbling they were very low on milk, so the calves were not getting good immune system, and then they were very difficult to raise.
He ended with an advice, that anyone who wants to start with Wagyu needs to know his markets first (his neighbors had contacts with over 60 Michelin star restaurants). And you need to be very patient in regards to future revenues.

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Re: Wagyu...

Post by WestTNguy » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:00 pm

wbvs58 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:09 pm
It doesn't look that well marbled to me. Not what I would associate with high priced wagyu steak.

Ken
I completely agree with this. I saw it and immediately thought the same. After some research, it looks like they are having issues with it in Australia. The issue being: the market took off so fast that everyone tried to get in and started breeding whatever they could to Wagyu. Now, they are struggling the find quality Wagyu to breed with. Don’t take my word for it, this was from an article on the internet. That doesn’t look as good to me as some of the stuff I’ve bought at Food Giant for half the price. My buddy who buys it says it’s the best thing he’s ever ate and wouldn’t ever buy anything different again.
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