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Purpose of an Index

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

In previous articles I have mentioned that the purpose of the seedstock industry is to continually advance and make animals that fit into the commercial industry and make them more profitable. I have also mentioned the tools that are available to producers to help them make informed breeding decisions that should lead to increased returns. A key component to informed decisions is that a producer should never select on just one criterion, in other words avoid single trait selection. When looking at Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) it can sometimes be difficult to avoid single trait selection because a producer may become too focused on one trait, such as birth weight. To help producers avoid this, many breeds including Beefmaster, have implemented one or more indices that weight EPDs appropriately for different production systems. The use of index selection has been around since the 1940s. In 1943 Hazel noted that using an index that was properly weighted was more efficient than single trait selection or culling based on several traits with an individual culling level for each trait. In summer 2016, BBU released two indices, $M and $T, to help producers select animals that fit their production systems. $M is the maternal index and should be used when females are being retained in the herd. $T is the terminal index for BBU and should be used in a terminal production system.

$M is the maternal index and it is designed to balance weaning weight with cow maintenance and fertility. The index includes the EPDs for birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), Milk, yearling weight (YW) and scrotal circumference (SC). It was developed for the profit per cow exposed, due to the weaning weight of her calf and accounting for cow maintenance. $M is helpful in evaluating how a bull’s daughters will contribute to the advancement of a herd. When looking at Beefmaster cattle $M seems like a smaller number than $T, however the effects of $M are cumulative because of retaining females in the herd. A bull that consistently produces high quality females that are kept in the herd is continually increasing in value to the producer in terms of $M.

For example, if a producer is looking to use a bull that will produce quality females that will wean a good calf every year and they are choosing between two bulls, then $M is a good tool. If Bull A has a $M of 24.50 and Bull B has a $M of 14.50, then it would be expected that Bull A’s daughters would return approximately $10 more per head per year. This may seem to be a small amount, but if we assume that both bulls are bred to 20 cows and 10 heifers are retained each year, then after a year there is a $100 advantage for Bull A. If both bulls are used for four years with the same results on keeping heifers, then there is a $400 advantage to Bull A. Now assume that each of the heifers that is kept stays in the herd for 10 calves, now there is a $4,000 advantage to Bull A. This is a value that could be increased by using reproductive techniques, such as artificial insemination or embryo transfer, to produce even more females from a valuable bull.

$T is the terminal index and is designed to be used when bulls are mated to cows in a strictly terminal system, in other words all offspring will be harvested. The EPDs that are used in the calculation of $T are YW, rib-eye area (REA), intramuscular fat (IMF) and Fat. The goal of this index is to help the producer select and use bulls that will produce high quality carcasses that also yield well and will help make the operation more profitable. By comparing $T of different bulls a producer can estimate how much more a bull could potentially be worth in a terminal system.

For example, if a producer is selecting a bull to produce calves that will do well in a feedyard and they are choosing between two bulls, then $T would be an informative tool to use. If Bull X has a $T of 100 and Bull Y has a $T of 60, it would be expected that Bull X’s calves would be $40 more valuable per head on average. In this situation if both bulls are used on 20 cows and you produce 20 calves, then after one-year Bull X is worth $800 more than Bull Y. If both bulls are used for four years in the herd with the same results, then Bull X becomes worth $3,200 more than Bull Y. This value could be even more if artificial insemination was used and more steer calves from Bull X were produced each year.

An index is another tool that producers can use to make informed breeding decisions that will help return the most profit to the operation. It is important to remember when using an index that a producer should have a production system in mind and then choose the appropriate index. Selection on an index is more efficient than single trait selection or setting culling levels for multiple traits because it is economically weighted for that production system. $M is the Beefmaster maternal index that is designed for a maternal system where replacement females will be kept and used in production. $T is designed as a terminal index to be used when all calves will be sold for harvest. There has been a great amount of research put into both indices and the economic values assigned to each trait. They are a great tool that can and should be used to help eliminate single trait selection. Remember to use each index for its intended purpose.

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2019 Springtime in Texas Beefmaster Sale Report

 

Brenham, Texas –  April 27, 2019

  • 5 Bulls $20,700 avg $4,140.00
  • 1 3n1 $2,200.00
  • 13 Pairs $30,300 avg $2,331.00
  • 19 Bred $36,850.00 avg $1,940.00
  • 32 Opens $68,600.00 avg $2,144.00
  • 2 Picks $18,250.00 avg $9,125.00
  • 1 Semen $1,900.00
  • 1 Embryo Lot $3,600.00
  • 74 Total Lots $182,400.00 avg $2,465.00

Top Bulls

  • Lot 53- sire, Tiger Britches, consigned by Carl and Fran Ditta, Cleveland, Tx:  Sold to Jeff Davis, Burton, TX for $6,250.00.
  • Lot 69- sire, Cain 15Z, consigned by Karisch Cattle Co., LaGrange, TX:  Sold to Steve McFaull, Cameron, TX for $5,000.00.
  • Lot 14- sire, Red Bayou, consigned by Rick Seeker, Brenham, TX;  Sold to Jim Candler, Iola, TX for $3,750.00.
  • Lot 13- sire, CF Sugar Britches, consigned by Rick Seeker, Brenham, TX;  Sold to Jim Candler, Iola, TX for $3,750.00.

Top Females

  • Lot 2a- open, sire, CF Sugar Britches, consigned by Rick Seeker, Brenham, TX; Sold to Jon and Michelle Colburn, College Station, TX for $5,500.00.
  • Lot 3- open, sire, CF Sugar Britches, consigned by Rick Seeker, Brenham, TX; Sold to Hiatt Diamond H, Mt. Ulla, NC for $4,750.00.
  • Lot 52- bred to EMS Headliner, consigned by Bradley Cattle Services, Groesbeck, TX:  Sold to Clay Mills, Mt. Airy, NC for $4,600.00.
  • Lot 2b- open, sire, CF Sugar Britches, consigned by Rick Seeker, Brenham, TX;  Sold to Clay Mills, Mt. Airy, NC for $4,500.00.
  • Lot 51a- sire, CF Sugar Britches, consigned by Bradley Cattle Services, Groesbeck, TX:  Sold to Ryan and Pam Walker, Big Spring, TX for $4,250.00.

Volume Buyers-  Jim Candler, Iola, TX;  Jeff Davis, Burton, TX:  Clay Mills, Mt. Airy, NC:  Hiatt Diamond H, Mt. Ulla, NC;  Jim Darling, Houston, TX.

Auctioneer- Anthony Mihalski, San Antonio, TX

Sale Manager- 3G Sales and Service, Franklin, GA

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2019 SEBBA Dixie National Sale Report

 

Tunica, MS March 30, 2019
6 Bulls $15,650 avg $2,608
4 Pair $8,200 avg $2,050
15 Bred $28,600 avg $1,907
23 Open $45,450 avg $1,976
6 Semen lots $38,165 avg $6,361
5 Embryo lots $44,550 avg $8,910

59 Lots $180,615

Average $3,062

Top Bulls: Lot 29- Sire, Black Bayou, consigned by Mason Cattle co., Brownstown, IL; Sold to Britt Parker, Montrose, GA for $5,000.
Lot 24- Sire, CHRK Generator, consigned by Channarock Farm and Hiatt Diamond H, Rockfield, KY: Sold to Ricky Cornelison, Iuka, MS for $3,600.
Lot 13- Sire,, Sugar Britches; consigned by South Oaks Beefmasters, Lexington, TN; Sold to Walt McKellar, Senatobia, MS for $2,750.

Top Females:
Lot 26- Open, sire, Cl’s Lovemaker, consigned by Clark Jones, Savannah, TN; Sold to Santa Anna Ranch, MCAllen. TX for $8,000.
Lot 51- Open, sire, Ace of Spades, consigned by T5 Ranch, Bedias, TX; Sold to Swinging B Ranch, Axtell, TX for $3,750.
Lot 27- Bred to Cl’s Sure Fire, consigned by Clark Jones; Savannah, TN; Sold to Hurla Farms, Paxico, KS for $3,500

Other Lots
Lot 42- Sugar Britches Semen; 120 units sold for $28,125

Volume Buyers: Victor Jiminez, Mexico; Clark Jones, Savannah, TN; Jason Hearn, Henderson, TN

Auctioneer- Anthony Mihalski, San Antonio, TX
Sale Consultant- Bruce Robbins, San Antonio, TX
Sale Manager- 3G Sales and Service, Franklin; GA

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Data Collection Tips #2

 

We recommend that our members and Beefmaster breeders do the following at weaning time…

  1. Collect weaning weight on calves

– Calves should be between 140 and 270 days old when weaning weights are recorded

– Contemporary groups are formed by calves born within 60 days of each other

 

  1. Collect mature cow weight and Body Condition Score on cows (this should be recorded with BBU when completing the calf’s registration)

 

  1. Submit and record weaning weights with BBU using the online system or weaning worksheet
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Emmons Ranch Bull Sale Report

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Data Collection Tips #1

 

We recommend that our members and Beefmaster breeders do the following at calf’s birth…

Birth Weight:

  • Take the weight of the calf within 24 hours of birth
  • Use a consistent weighing method and have the same person weigh calves
    • Use a scale or tape, do not guess weights
  • Report all weights on calves to avoid biased data

Calving Ease:

  • Record calving ease at the same time Birth Weights are collected
  • Use the scale provided on the BBU Reference codes form
    • No difficulty/No assistance
    • Minor difficulty/Some assistance
    • Major difficulty/Calf puller used
    • C-Section
    • Abnormal Presentation
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Performance Article Series: Purpose of Technology

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

In the past couple of decades technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in almost every industry. With new technology we have more access to more data faster than we ever have before. The cattle industry is no different and technology is rapidly increasing and helping producers to make even more informed decisions than they have ever been able to before. Many people think that the cattle industry is behind the times when it comes to technology, but this is far from the truth. First producers took and recorded weights on their cows and calves, then other measurement technologies came along such as, ultrasound carcass scanning and now even measurements of feed intake and efficiency. These measurements have all gone into the calculation of EPDs, and EPDs have advanced more with the advent of DNA testing. What is the purpose of all of this technology though? All of these technologies help breeders make the most informed breeding decisions they can to maximize profits and move their cattle in the correct direction.

The first piece of technology that has been around for many years are scales, producers have been weighing calves and making selections based on these weights for a very long time. There are now scales that collect weights and transmit them directly to a computer or even cell phone with the use of an EID tag. It is important to take weights because these weights will go into the calculation of EPDs. Weights are important to every producer because the end product, beef, is marketed by the pound. Ultrasound technology has allowed producers to take images of the carcass without having to harvest the animals. Ultrasound measurements are also used to create EPDs that are used in progressing a herd. Weight traits and carcass traits are easy to improve because they are moderately to highly heritable.

The calculation of EPDs has been discussed in previous articles and the technology used has advanced, especially in the past few years with the advancement of DNA. The purpose of EPDs is to help both Seedstock and commercial producers make choices that make economic sense. DNA has been used in Single Step GE EPD calculations to make the initial EPDs more accurate. This calculation has been discussed in a previous article by John Genho.

DNA has been one of the largest and fastest growing advancements in the industry. The DNA technologies that are used have changed rapidly from using STRs to determine parentage to looking at thousands of SNPs to gather parentage as well as other information about the animal being tested. DNA is also being used on commercial cattle to calculate molecular breeding values for commercial producers and allow them to make decisions on keeping heifers with more information than they have previously been able to utilize.

All of the technology that is used within the industry has a purpose, and that purpose is to help make breeding decisions that will positively affect the bottom line of the producer. It is important in the cattle industry to keep up with technology and not get left behind. The world around us is constantly advancing and to stay in the game we need to advance with the rest of the industry. Use all the tools and technology available to make the most informed breeding decisions possible. Remember that the purpose of the Seedstock industry is to continue to advance and technology is the key to advancement.

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2019 Houston Magic XIX Sale Report

 

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Beefmaster Heifer Takes Top Honors at Houston Livestock Show

 

BOERNE, Texas – On Saturday, March 9 Caeden Scherer, a sixteen-year-old from Brenham, Texas, exhibited his Grand Champion Beefmaster heifer “BeBe” and claimed not only American Division Champion at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Junior Breeding Heifer Show, but won Supreme Reserve Grand Champion Junior Breeding Heifer. The champions were selected from more than 2,000 head of cattle and exhibitors at the 2019 show.

According to Karl Hengst, Managing Director of Livestock Competitions at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, this is the first time a Beefmaster was one of the top two heifers in the junior breeding heifer show.

Scherer is a sophomore at Brenham High School and is a member of the Brenham FFA chapter where he serves as the chapter secretary. He has been an active member of the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association (JBBA) for seven years and during those years he has been among the Top Ten All-Around Champions at the annual JBBA National Show.

“I have been truly amazed and blessed by this experience,” says Scherer. “It is an accomplishment I never dreamed of and I want to thank my family and the entire Collier Farms team for making this possible!”

Scherer shared that this honor was the result of years of planned breeding, hard work and believing in Beefmaster cattle. He added, “I hope this win inspires all JBBA and BBU [Beefmaster Breeders United] members in their breeding programs and reminds us all that nothing is impossible.”

The Beefmaster female exhibited by Scherer, CF BeBe 795/7, is 22 months old and sired by CF Riptide. Her dam is Sugar Shana and she is bred to Red Eagle, expected to calve in May 2019. “BeBe” competed against 219 Beefmaster heifers when she claimed Champion Beefmaster during the Junior Breeding Beef Heifer Show.

Scherer’s mother, Mona, expressed the following after the big accomplishment, “Our ranch-raised kid took his ranch-raised heifer to Houston last week and made Beefmaster history.”

According to Mona, they don’t raise “show cattle”, they just focus on raising good-quality, functional Beefmasters and “this one just happened to end up in the spotlight”.

“When academics and respected cattle people from Kansas, New Mexico, and Missouri proclaim to the audience that this heifer, referring to Caeden’s, is the kind of female the entire beef industry needs in order to move forward, the impact is real,” says Scherer’s father, Trey. “They acknowledged that this red-hided, American breed female could compete in any arena and put her ahead of some of the most sought after British and Continental genetics in the world.”

According to Trey, who serves on the Beefmaster Breeders United Board of Directors, it is his hope that with accomplishments like this and those of other high-quality Beefmaster cattle now being produced, that Beefmaster breeders will continue pushing our breed to its utmost potential – making Beefmaster genetics the most desirable in the entire industry.

It was an important day for the Beefmaster breed, at one of the most prestigious and esteemed major livestock shows in the nation. Congratulations to Caeden and the Beefmaster breed for making history.

For more information about Beefmaster Breeders United please contact the BBU office at 210-732-3132 or visit www.beefmasters.org. Stay connected to BBU through Facebook, view our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and receive our news updates through joining our mailing list.

 

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Beefmaster Breeders United (www.beefmasters.org), located in Boerne, Texas, is a not-for-profit breed registration organization that provides programs and services for its members. Beefmaster, Beefmaster Advancer and E6 cattle are selected on the “Six Essentials” of disposition, fertility, weight, conformation, milk production and hardiness.

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2019 South Texas BBA Houston Futurity Sale Report

 

STBBA HOUSTON FUTURITY SALE

HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW AND RODEO

MARCH 1, 2019

 

23 BULLS $144,500  AVG $6,283

2 3N1 $8,500 AVG $4,250

4 PAIR $17,000 AVG $4,250

15 BRED $88,250 AVG $5,883

24 OPEN $81,300 AVG $3,388

2 PICK $21,000 AVG $10,500

1 SEMEN/EMBRYO LOT $6,880

71 LOTS $367,430 AVG $5175

 

TOP BULLS

LOT 73- SIRE, PANHANDLE DREAM, CONSIGNED BY STEVEN AND LYN ANDERSON, AMARILLO, TX;  SOLD TO FLYING B RANCH, LAPRYOR, TX FOR $23,000.

LOT 55-  SIRE, WPR’S CHICK MAGNET, CONSIGNED BY PAUL AND RHONDA WALLEN, LOCKWOOD, MO.;  SOLD TO JERRY VORDENBAUM, SEGUIN, TX FOR $22,000.

LOT 82-  SIRE, SUGAR BRITCHES, CONSIGNED BY KAREN AND TONY PSENCIK, SAN ANTONIO, TX;  SOLD TO IRACHETA, MEXICO, FOR $8500.

LOT 62- SIRE, COLLIER 3760, CONSIGNED BY SEVEN C ANDERSON CATTLE CO, VICTORIA, TX;  SOLD TO BAR M LAND AND TIMBER, BEAUMONT, TX FOR $7500.

LOT 61- SIRE L2 MAX, CONSIGNED BY TYLER GWOSDZ AND DANIEL DOMINGUEZ, ORANGE GROVE, TX;  SOLD TO KEN WALTHER, HOUSTON, TX FOR $7250

 

TOP FEMALES

LLOT 45- BRED TO BROCK, CONSIGNED BY GWOSDZ BEEFMASTERS, ORANGE GROVE, TX;  SOLD TO HOMERO MARTINEZ, MX FOR $15,000.

LOT 41- BRED TO DREAM ON, CONSIGNED BY SHELDON MCMANUS, LAKE CHARLES, LA;  SOLD TO RODRIGO RODRIGUEZ, MX FOR $10,000.

LOT 40- BRED TO MR SUPERIOR, CONSIGNED BY STEVEN AND LYN ANDERSON, AMARILLO, TX; SOLD TO LYSSY BEEFMASTERS, SAN ANTONIO, TX FOR $8,500.

LOT 47- BRED TO GALVESTON, CONSIGNED BY GWOSDZ BEEFMASTERS, ORANGE GROVE, TX; SOLD TO JOHN AND SHEILA MUNDINE, SEGUIN, TX FOR $8500.

LOT 31- OPEN, SIRE, DREAM CATCHER, CONSIGNED BY STEVE DODDS, LEXINGTON, TN;  SOLD TO GOLDEN MEADOWS, SAN ANTONIO, TX FOR $7500.

 

VOLUME BUYERS

IRACHETA BEEFMASTERS, MEXICO; ELIESER AMPARON, MEXICO; DAVID AND SHEILA MUNDINE, SEGUIN, TX

 

AUCTIONEER AND CO SALE MANAGER- ANTHONY MIHALSKI, SAN ANTONIO, TX

SALE MANAGER- 3G SALES AND SERVICE, FRANKLIN, GA

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