The spring bull sale season is upon us, and many breeders are busy planning their production sales. Most of you realize that customer service is paramount to a potential bull buyer, so donâ€™t forget to remind buyers that NALF offers various services to them. Whether they are seedstock producers or commercial buyers, NALF can assist with the marketing of their cattle.
The value of turning in data on cattle is apparent given NALFâ€™s analysis of last springâ€™s bull sales, showing the value of having data on cattle for buyers to evaluate. Depending upon which EPDs are of genetic importance to your buyers, the fact that you have actual data on your cattle can tremendously impact the dollar return. Whether itâ€™s birth weight, weaning weight, scrotal circumference, horned vs. polled, color, etc., the increased value for each trait has the potential to be impacted by as much as $1,000 per head depending on the trait.
Scrotal circumference is just an example. Bulls with scrotal measurements of 35-38 cm. averaged $4,623 last year, compared to bulls with a measurement of 32-35 cm. bringing $3,488 per head or bulls with no measurement bringing an average of $3,202. The key is turning in actual data on cattle so potential customers can evaluate their purchases.
I encourage those of you who market to commercial buyers to take advantage of the staff at NALF. Joe Epperly, our director of commercial marketing, can assist buyers on marketing their calf crop and help those individuals receive premiums for their cattle. Joe has direct contact with feedyard managers throughout the country that are willing to pay premiums for cattle that have superior genetics and certification and third-party verification for various programs. He can assist individuals in signing up their herd with companies like IMI Global or Tri-Merit, that can qualify cattle for a number of different programs that will generate additional dollars. The next two years will be an opportune time to promote integrating Limousin bulls into commercial cow herds needing a shot of heterosis to improve muscling and weaning weights, not to mention feed efficiency benefits and the cutability to clean up yield grade 4 problems.
Changing gears, some forecasters are predicting the return of an El Nino weather pattern. Hopefully, they are correct and a more normal moisture pattern transpires. If this occurs the cattle market should be set for a rebuilding stage with the possibility of heifer retention occurring. This will lead to smaller beef production and lower F.I. slaughter in this country over the next two years. This in turn will lead to continued higher prices for all classes of cattle. Cattlemen will look to rebuild their herds with a feed-efficient animal that puts on pounds of quality product that is marketable to all levels of the beef industry. Limousin cattle can be a part of that equation and we need to take an aggressive approach to marketing the advantages of the breed!
We are fast becoming a global economy; nearly 11 percent of beef produced in the United States is exported. That trend is expected to increase over the next year and could grow to as much as 15 percent of our total beef production. As consumersâ€™ income around the world rise and their standard of living increases, beef consumption will increase. Some of these consumers will pay even more for our product than a percentage of our consumers will domestically. This means a strong and vibrant beef industry will stay intact in the United States for the foreseeable future. No other country has the natural resources, feed, technology, climate, genetics, land and progressive producers as the United States. It should lay a foundation for the next generation of beef producers to help feed the world.
To be a part of this future, Limousin breeders need to continue to work on breed improvement and stay progressive on data collection and reporting. We still have room for improvement on marbling, weaning and yearling weights. Recognizing where improvement needs to happen is just as important as selling the current advantages our breed has to offer.
Stay active in your state associations and the Foundation. The breedsâ€™ strategic plan is on target to make these changes occur and keep Limousin at the forefront of an aggressive crossbreeding program. Should Mother Nature cooperate and herd rebuilding begins, we need to be in the position to take advantage of the opportunity to grow.
Good luck on the upcoming sale season and donâ€™t be afraid to aggressively promote the breed. We plan on doing so at the NALF office!