Longevity and Fertility are Profit Drivers for Cattle Operations

by Clifford Mitchell

Reblogged from Cattle Today

DSC_0094_6x4_72Producers in the 21st century beef industry come better prepared than ever before. Continued education programs and an abundance of online resources help cattlemen stay well informed. Record keeping practices have improved and cattlemen have a good handle on the costs associated with their operation.

Tightening margins have forced producers to further evaluate the management plan, running through many different scenarios to find the best production model. For some this was a real eye-opener, for others it reinforced the approach they were taking to manage the herd for a profit. A genetic base complete with a bundle of traits also played a key role in the success of the operation. Many cattlemen have argued with neighbors and colleagues until they were blue in the face over their point of view; however, most will agree longevity built into the female is a definite advantage for most outfits.

“Every year I can keep a cow it cuts my costs $1,500. Because that’s what it costs to get a female into production,” says James Henderson, Bradley 3 Ranch, LTD, Memphis, Texas.

Photo by Penny Bowie

Photo by Penny Bowie

“Operations have to be profit driven. Fertility is a good trait to have and will lead to a long life on many ranches, but females have to be productive. Make sure cows are able to live in your environment, breed back and do it profitably year after year,” says Dr. Robert Wells, Livestock Consultant, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

“Longevity is one of the reasons we have Brangus females. A lot of times you wouldn’t know that old cow, is not a six or seven year old, because she’s still milking well and raising a good calf,” says Adam Whitesell, Lockwood, Missouri. This operation maintains 600 to 650 Brangus females and retains ownership of the calf crop most years at Decatur County Feedyard in Oberlin, Kansas.

Cattlemen have been programmed into two schools of thought; either buy or raise the replacements that the operation needs. Costs are associated with each method; another big debate among cattlemen looking for the most profitable answers.

“I know it costs us something to get that heifer into production. I have never put a pencil to actual costs. When it’s time, we select our replacements they go to grass and the cull heifers go to the feedyard,” Whitesell says. “I would think a five-year-old after producing three calves would have paid for herself in our program.”

“The cost of a replacement will vary from one operation to the next depending on if heifers are home-raised or bought. The first thing producers need to do is maximize the salvage value of that cull cow,” Wells says. “Quality replacements, from a known source and bred to good calving ease bulls are costing any where from $1,000 to $1,200 in our current market. Most females, depending on the value of the calf she is producing, should pay for themselves by the time they are four or five years old.”

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“Just to break even in our operation a cow has to be six and produced four calves,” Henderson says. “According to my calculations, it costs me $1,500 every time I replace a cow. This includes feed, facilities, pasture, semen and labor. None of these things come without a cost.”

Care and handling of these replacements will bring genetics to the forefront when done right. Management could help these females lead long productive lives just by making the right decisions as they are introduced to the next stage in the production cycle.

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Brangus Association Awards Cattlemen

Five of the most elite cattle producers and Brangus breeders were honored by the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) for their outstanding achievements and their contributions to the Brangus breed as well as the beef cattle industry.

Joe Fuller, Connie Morrow, Martha Morrow, Carly Morrow, and Dr. Tommy Perkins

Joe Fuller, Connie Morrow, Martha Morrow, Carly Morrow, and Dr. Tommy Perkins

The Pioneer Award recognizes an IBBA member, past or present, for his/her service, loyalty and contributions to the Brangus breed. Jerry Morrow served as IBBA’s Executive Vice President from 1980 to 1988 and had an influential role in the association. Several advancements were initiated under his leadership including the first National Junior Brangus Show, first National Brangus Sire Evaluation, first Brangus bull sale at the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, and the first of any breed to have ultrasound enhanced carcass expected progeny difference (EPDs).

Trey Kirkpatrick, David Vaughan, Susan Vaughan, and Dr. Tommy Perkins

Trey Kirkpatrick, David Vaughan, Susan Vaughan, and Dr. Tommy Perkins

David Vaughan also received the Pioneer Award for his influence both domestically and internationally. Vaughan was the owner of Salacoa Valley Farms in Fairmount, Ga., which sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida. He served the IBBA in several capacities including a term as president in 2007-2008, and he was awarded the Brangus Breeder of the Year award in 2005 for his progressive ideas and successful operation.

Steve Densmore, Dr. Robert Vineyard, and Traci Middleton

Steve Densmore, Dr. Robert Vineyard, and Traci Middleton

Steve Densmore of Bryan, Texas, was one of two recipients of the Breeder of the Year Award. The substantial amount of carcass data the IBBA has received on fed Brangus steers is, in part, due to Densmore’s dedication to the Brangus breed. He has a passionate devotion to the Junior Brangus Association and was the recipient of the Georganne Myers Award in 2011 for his support of the Junior program. Densmore also served on the IBBA Board of Directors from 1997 until 2003 and was elected President in 2002. He was elected to another three-year term from 2010 to 2013, which collectively totals 10 years on the IBBA board.

Tracy Holbert, Penny Coggins, Mike Coggins, and Traci Middleton

Tracy Holbert, Penny Coggins, Mike Coggins, and Traci Middleton

Mike Coggins was another recipient of the Breeder of the Year Award for his progressive ideas and outstanding seedstock operation. Coggins is a truly progressive breeder who produces some of the best genetics with the latest technologies available. Coggins owns Blackwater Cattle Company in Lake Park, Ga., where he oversees a purebred Brangus cattle business along with a diversified agriculture operation. He is very knowledgeable about all sectors of the industry and understands the needs of commercial cattlemen, seedstock producers and consumers alike.

The Commercial Producer of the Year award was presented to Russell Trefney of Weimar, Texas, in recognition of his achievements and success of incorporating Brangus genetics in his commercial cattle operation. A fifth generation cattleman, Trefny found Brangus to be the best breed for his crossbreeding operation in Central Texas in order to maintain a consistent product that resulted in higher quality carcass grades at the harvesting stage, making it more profitable for him to retain ownership through the feedlot.

Don Cox, Jessye Trefny, Michaelanne Trefny, Russell Trefny, Traci Middleton, and Dr. Tommy Perkins,

Don Cox, Jessye Trefny, Michaelanne Trefny, Russell Trefny, Traci Middleton, and Dr. Tommy Perkins

Award recipients were presented their awards Friday, March 7, 2014, by the IBBA in Houston, Texas, at the IBBA annual convention. Award recipients are nominated and selected by the IBBA Awards Committee. Please visit http://www.gobrangus.com for more information.

 

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Brangus Spring Photo Contest

Our spring photo contest involves something every producer loves this time of year– BABIES! Send us your best Brangus calf photo(s), and your photo could be featured in the May issue of the Brangus Journal. Send photos to Tyler Dean- tyler@int-brangus.org by Tuesday, April 15!

RULES:
1) Photos must include Brangus cattle

2) A caption of the subject(s) must be submitted with each photo

3) You must submit the photographer’s name

4) Photos must be 300 dpi resolution (contact Brittni or Tyler if you need help with this).

*All submissions become property of the IBBA

Aussie Buyer Pays $70,000 for Brangus Cow

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-31/aussie-buyer-shells-out-75k-for-prized-cash-cow/5356616 

Oaks Ms Csonka 541T7

An Australian cattle stud has turned heads in the global genetics market after paying $70,000 U.S. dollars (AU$76,000) for a Brangus cow in the Ideal Video Customer Appreciation Sale hosted March 6, 2014, in conjunction with the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) Annual Convention in Houston, Texas.

The Oaks Miss Csonka 541T7 was purchased by a partnership of Tony Westbrooks of Bushley Creek Cattle Co. in Olla, La., and the Pearce family of Telpara Hills in Australia. Westbrooks also purchased another cow in partnership at the same sale for $70,000, but the partnership chose the option to purchase 2/3 interest, therefore making 541T7 the highest selling cow in the Ideal Video Productions sale and in recent memory.

Telpara Hills runs a herd of approximately 1,000 stud animals near Atherton in north Queensland, Australia.

Stephen Pearce said it is in the unique position to be the only Australian stud to have sold 15 animals for more than $20,000 each in the past few years, including new records for three heifers sold for between $22,000 and $25,000 at Rockhampton last year.

He believes the highly credentialed cow should have no problem returning on the enormous outlay based on the valuable embryos she will produce and the female calves to be retained as part of the Telpara herd.

“Hopefully she has three flushes for us in a given year, and hopefully she produces about 20 embryos per flush. So if we get 50 percent conception rate, that’s 10 calves of which five will be heifers.”

“So 15 heifers a year at least we’ll retain out of that cow, and I suppose the value will be in those retained daughters in our herd, which we’ll then pass onto our bull producers who will have progeny and grand progeny out of that cow.

“So that’s hopefully how we’ll return our money back.”

Only two calves from Oaks Ms Csonka have been offered at auction, both for an average of $20,000. She also ranks in the top of the International Brangus Breeders Association’s (IBBA) performance evaluations for weaning weight, yearling weight, maternal traits, rib eye area and marbling.

Pearce said the stud’s latest acquisition will be staying put in Texas where the family also runs a herd of embryo donor females.

“I’m probably the only cattleman that every now and again hopes for a high dollar,” he laughed.

“We don’t know what will happen in the cattle industry. There are downturns and upturns, and yeah, we’ve got a lot of faith in this cow.”

 

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Cost Share Funding Program to Promote U.S. Livestock Exports

U.S. Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE) has received funds which will be available to private breeders, companies, or cooperatives interested in promoting livestock, semen, or embryo sales in international markets through December 31, 2014. These funds are available through the Market Access Program (MAP) of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USLGE sponsors and administers the branded program with the goal of helping the U.S. Livestock Industry increase the international demand for U.S. livestock and genetics.

MAP funding is used to supplement but not supplant private funds that would be used for promotional activities.

The MAP branded program provides for partial reimbursement (up to 50 percent) of approved activities such as international advertising, the development, translation and distribution of promotional materials, and participation in foreign trade shows and exhibitions. Funds cannot be used for travel or personnel reimbursement. An administrative fee is charged to participate in the program.

The allocation of these funds will be made to eligible participants on a fair and equitable basis as set by FAS and consistent with the goals and objectives of the MAP program as outlined by Congress. Funding criteria is based upon available funding, anticipated economic impact and the completeness of the application.

Applications will be considered throughout the year pending availability of funding.

Interested parties should request a FY09 MAP Branded Application and Program Guidelines booklet from U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., 413 N. Broadway, Suite C, Salem, IL  62881, Phone: 618-548-9154, Fax: 618-548-9709, email: uslge@uslge.org.

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Genetic Conditions Update- DD

IBBA Executive Vice President Dr. Tommy Perkins discusses the genetic condition Developmental Duplication, referred to as “DD”, and the impact the defect has on the Brangus breed as well as the beef cattle industry. Perkins also provides IBBA’s response to handling the defect. Visit http://www.GoBrangus.com for more information.

IBBA Hosts Sixth Annual Global Roundup Event

The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) hosted the Sixth Annual Brangus Global Roundup Thursday, March 6, 2014, during its annual convention in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The Global Roundup was an educational event that brought domestic producers together with international guests. Dr. Flavio Riberio, a native of Uberaba, Brazil, and currently a research scientist at Prairie View A&M University, served as the master of ceremonies.

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Dr. Shields uses a live Brangus heifer in his demonstration.

Dr. Tommy Shields, assistant professor at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., discussed live animal evaluation and the importance of evaluating an animal’s confirmation for structural soundness. He demonstrated on a live Brangus heifer in the ballroom by drawing chalk lines indicating key angles and points that are essential in maintaining an animal’s soundness and longevity. He also discussed genetic correlations in cattle and the difficulties trying to breed out confirmation problems if a producer has single-trait selected for other highly heritable traits within their herd.

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Leslie Frenzel cuts up a rib roll in her carcass evaluation demonstration.

Leslie Frenzel, doctoral candidate at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, gave a valuable, in-depth demonstration on evaluating cattle from a carcass standpoint. She explained the differences and procedures used by USDA inspectors to determine quality and yield grade in cattle and how to optimize carcass value. She then gave a live demonstration in deboning and processing a rib roll to an engaged crowd of participants. She processed the whole rib roll and explained the economic differences and compared the values of all the tissue it contained.

A delegation from Mexico was also present to promote and extend invitations to the 2014 World Brangus Congress in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, November 10-14.

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Delegates from Mexico promote the World Brangus Congress in Merida, Yucatan.

Concluding this year’s event was a bilingual video presentation showcasing multiple herd sires and donor dams presented by the Global Roundup sponsors:

101 Ranch
American Marketing Services
Cavender Ranches, LLC
Chimney Rock Cattle Co.
Cox Excalibur Brangus
Cross F Cattle
Diamond K Ranch
Double W Ranch
Draggin’ M Ranch
Geneseek
Genesis Ranch
GeneTrust
Ideal Video Productions
Indian Hills Brangus
Johnston Farms
Mix 30
The Oaks Farm
Salacoa Valley Farms
Schmidt Farms
Suhn Cattle Co.
Westall Ranches, LLC
World Brangus Congress 2014

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