The Beginning. The late Bob Magness, who founded Magness Land and Cattle, traded some of his commercial cows back in the 50’s for the stake he needed to begin TCI, which would ultimately become one of the largest cable television companies in the world.
Through the years and various business involvements, though, Bob always had some commercial cattle stashed around. And, he always reminded sons, Gary and Kim, that cattle were the bedrock of the family’s business success.
Fast forward, the Magness family was impressed enough with those first commercial heifers to purchase some Limousin bulls for their Colorado operations, as well as for the storied Silver Spur Ranch in Wyoming, which Magness owned for many years.
Leachman has selected bulls for feed efficiency and $Profit and then progeny tested the bulls to prove that the Leachman-generated EPDs accurately predict steer performance in the feedlot. Resolution is progeny proven to be high feed efficiency and high $Profit.
Can anyone really look at a cow or a bull and tell you if it will enhance the profitability of your cow herd? No, that’s why the industry has been performance testing cattle for almost 50 years. Performance testing in the early days was simply getting a birth weight, weaning weight, and yearling weight. Then sometime in the ’70s, breeders and researchers started going deeper and developed Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs), which changed everything.
The struggle for sourcing feed continues as cattle producers evaluate current and future feeding options. Even though the culling is deep, there still are cows left to feed, so now is the time to call a good beef cattle nutritionist. The market is redefining “least cost” feedstuffs, so producers must review all the options when purchasing feed. The nutrient value of feed is what drives value and performance. However, knowing when and how to feed also is important.
As calendar year 2012 comes to a close and we reflect back on the year, it’s hard to select only a few program highlights to share because there were so many. To be brief, we bring you the Top 5:
BOLD research: Registered Dietitians and other health professionals received factual, scientifically supported beef nutrition information following the publication of the remarkable checkoff-funded Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) research study published in January in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. News of the study reached thousands of health professionals through an educational webinar about beef’s role in a heart-healthy diet.
Mess with corn and soybean prices, you get record-high cattle prices.
The world’s top beef producer expects U.S. cattle prices will jump 20 percent to a record next year as rain on grazing fields and corn crops prompts ranchers from Texas to Nebraska to feed animals instead of sending them to slaughter. Beef output in the world’s biggest producing country will slide as much as 6 percent in 2013 because of reduced processing, JBS SA Chief Executive Officer Wesley Batista said in a Nov. 30 interview from his Sao Paulo headquarters. That compares with a 4.2 percent drop to 24.6 billion pounds (11.2 million metric tons) forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month.
Forage (pasture, silage, hay) is the most natural feed for cattle. Ruminants do very well on forage but don’t grow quite as fast or get fat as quickly as when they are fed grain. Many young cattle are finished in feedlots on grain to save time and total feed. If grain-feeding can take an animal to slaughter readiness before going through another winter (on hay), it can be cheaper. But pasture is the most abundant and cheapest feed for other cattle.
The following is an excerpt from Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle (Storey Publishing, 2009). This best-selling classic provides health, handling, feeding and breeding advice to anyone raising beef cattle.