by Tommy Perkins, PhD., PAS
Society continues to stress the importance of improved sustainability in our industry. This includes the impact beef has from a social, environmental and economic perspective in producing a viable product that accounts for the planet, people and animals. Most understand crossbreeding will improve beef’s sustainability through the improvement of production efficiencies. These improvements include a positive impact on cow longevity, improved reproductive rates, and gains in calf performance from hybrid vigor. Ultimately, improving maintenance energy requirements per pound of beef produced and overall profitability.
Research indicates the use of crossbred Bos Taurus by Bos Indicus dams will improve calving rate, calf survivability, calving assistance, weaning rate, and weaning weight due to hybrid vigor. Additionally, the use of available technologies along with crossbreeding will increase production while reducing total input costs. This makes it a great time to use Brangus, Red Brangus, Ultrablack, and Ultrared genetics in your breeding program to take advantage of these improvements of efficiencies and net profitability.
Use of these genetics support the desire to be more sustainable as they produce market cattle that grow rapidly and efficiently. The cattle produce large ribeyes and excellent marbling levels to complement the black-hided cow population that exists in today’s commercial beef industry. The carcasses produced will meet or exceed requirements for many branded beef programs in the industry. Just as important, they produce progeny with improved survivability and hair shedding ability to excel in the most unpredictable and harsh environments of the world.
With the commercial cattlemen in mind, the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) has recently released a Brangus-specific DNA test for selecting replacement heifers. The Brangus Profiler DNA test is available from GeneSeek through IBBA at a cost of $25 per animal. Cattlemen will receive three different economic indexes (maternal, terminal and all-purpose) to identify cattle that best fit the marketing needs of their operation. The test, also, includes free parentage verification (if the sire and/or dam have parentage markers on file) and tenderness results.
The Brangus Profiler product merely enhances the utilization of genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) released monthly on registered Brangus cattle. The use of GE-EPDs, with greatly improved accuracies, allow commercial cattlemen to buy with more confidence when selecting young, unproven bulls. GE-EPDs have become the tool of choice in breed improvement strategies in the beef industry and commercial cattlemen continue to make gains in beef production with their use.
The Brangus breed will do it all, from the pasture to the plate and everywhere in between. Commercial cow-calf producers appreciate their docility and near-perfect udder confirmation, cattle feeders love the performance in the feedlot, and retailers appreciate the excellent carcass qualities available from the packing industry. Brangus cattle are known to produce a tender, high-yielding beef product with optimum levels of marbling which meet the stringent demands of health-conscious consumers.
Please enjoy reading the valuable articles on carcass performance, animal health, and other helpful management practices in this edition of the FRONTLINE Beef Producer magazine. Do not hesitate to call us if you have any specific questions about Brangus, Red Brangus, Ultrablack, or Ultrared genetics for use in your operation. For information about IBBA programs or other inquiries, please call (210) 696-8231 or visit www.GoBrangus.com. Stay connected to IBBA through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or receive news updates by joining our email list.