A Focus on the Cow and the Carcass
Cattle ranchers are always looking for that perfect balance between healthy cow and high-value carcass. No matter if they are finished here in the south-east, or sent to a lot in the mid-west.
For decades, Matt Perrier, from Dalebanks Angus Ranch in Kansas, has sent in breeding records to the American Angus Association to inform fertility tools that predict heifer pregnancy and other maternal traits. Ensuring that calf health and meat quality are of high importance for the end product.
“But that's one thing we've tried to do, is put selection pressure on both of those. Calf fertility, early breed back, low nutrition amounts and acceptable performance in those cattle, and yet still have above average marbling, above-average rib eye area, and above-average performance.”
It takes work. Focus. And a study of the numbers for a high-quality calf that leads to a high-quality cut.
“It's not easy to make sustained progress in multiple traits regardless. So I don't subscribe to the theory that you either got to have high carcass value cattle that are poor maternal or high maternal cattle that don't grow and don't grade. I think we can have acceptable, if not above-average levels of both. But I do think that if you just pick one of those, maternal or carcass value, and don't pay attention to the other there's no doubt you will have one without the other.”