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Add Pounds. Add Profit. Gelbvieh-Sired Females – Working Hard for Your Bottom Line

Gelbvieh influenced females attracted many of the most progressive commercial producers in the industry with the first Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) germplasm study data in the early 1970s. Gelbvieh-sired females topped the charts on fertility, age at puberty and pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed.

Today’s MARC data shows the Gelbvieh breed has reduced mature cow size, has the lowest birth weights of the four major Continental breeds and still maintains the earliest age at puberty. Fads come and go in the beef industry, but the real money to be made is always on the cow side of the business.

Unlike many of the other breeds that were imported to the U.S. in the 1970s, the Gelbvieh breed did not fall into the hands of seedstock producers. Some may say the breed was at a disadvantage without the recognition that can come through the show ring and with high-dollar seedstock breeders. However, it is also said it was one of the best things that could happen for the Gelbvieh breed because it allowed the breed to be developed by its true customer – the commercial cattleman. “Forty years later, Gelbvieh cattle consistently work as hard as what the people do who raise them. Gelbvieh breeders since the beginning have been in tune with the needs of commercial producers. This focus has allowed them to make the Gelbvieh breed ‘rancher friendly’ in terms of lower birth weights, less mature size and more maternal efficiency while meeting the needs of the feedyard and consuming customer,” said Frank Padilla, American Gelbvieh Association director of breed promotion.

Balancer® cattle are registered hybrid seedstock and have documented pedigrees and EPDs. Balancer animals are 25 to 75 percent Gelbvieh with the balance Angus or Red Angus. Balancer cattle combine the Gelbvieh growth, muscle, leanness and fertility with the maternal and marbling of Angus. Producers can chose the percentage of each breed to best suit the marketing target for their calves. The industry focus changes from time to time, but the money in the cattle industry is still made in the cow herd. Today’s Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics will make your cow herd work as hard as you do.

Smaller Mature Cow Size

“The Gelbvieh breed has not lost sight of the need to produce functional, sound, commercially-focused cattle.” – Dan Hoge, Animal Science professor, Black Hawk College, Moline, Ill. The unique genetic package the Gelbvieh breed brings to the beef industry is no accident. This German breed has centuries old history of explosive growth, high fertility and superior milking ability compared to other breeds. This coupled with their docile nature led them in becoming the Continental breed of choice for good cowmen across the United States.

Source: Cundiff, L.V., at. al. 2007: Cattle Breed Evaluation at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and implications for commercial beef farmers. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production.

Shorter Days to Puberty

“After breeding with Angus bulls we began noticing lower weaning weights and lower conception rates. We want to get that weight back on the calves while not losing the maternal attributes and we feel that Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics will allow us to do that.” – Bob Rumney, Rumney Cattle Company, Cascade, Mont., a rancher who purchased Gelbvieh and Balancer bulls to take advantage of hybrid vigor.

The MARC data also shows Gelbvieh-sired calves will reach puberty at an earlier age – 329 days on average. This means, Gelbvieh influenced females have the potential to breed earlier and produce a calf at a younger age – putting money in the commercial man’s pocket. Moderating birth weight and increasing calving ease has been a focus of Gelbvieh seedstock breeders for the past 20 Source: U.S. Meat Animal Research Center Germplasm Evaluation Program Progress Report No. 22. years. The American Gelbvieh Association genetic trends for birth weight and calving ease EPDs show just that – lower birth weights and higher calving ease making the Gelbvieh influenced The Mother Breed of Beef female a top choice for commercial cattlemen. Moreover, cow-calf producers have long recognized the value of In the cow-calf business, there is money to be made in productive, crossbreeding. Crossbred females are 30 percent more productive hard-working females that are able to wean calves at 50 percent or more over their lifetimes due to increased fertility, calf survivability, of their body weight year after year. It is no secret that those cows must increased weaning weights and cow longevity. A breeding program have moderate mature weights, be highly fertile, have sound feet and that utilizes crossbreeding will capture direct and maternal legs, quiet dispositions, and produce calves with low birth weights and heterosis, maximizing profit. tremendous growth. Maintaining those traits in a pasture full of females is the goal of every cow-calf producer.

“The maternal side, especially calving ease and disposition, is what Gelbvieh is really good at. The nature of the calves from the day they are born is so much better with the Gelbvieh influence.” – Pat Gillespie, Scottsville, Ky., who uses Gelbvieh bulls on his 300 Angus and Charolais based cow herd.

Lower Birth Weights, Higher Calving Ease

The Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., continues to be the leading source of unbiased information for beef producers on breed differences through genetic evaluation. The most recent report, Germplasm Evaluation Program Progress Report No. 22, shows the Gelbvieh breed is still the leader for traits affecting maternal cow ability, just as it did thirty years ago. One of the most significant results of the new data is breed comparisons for mature cow size. The Gelbvieh breed was the Source: American Gelbvieh Association EPD genetic trends for birth weight and calving ease. only breed in the study to reduce mature cow size – at an average of 1,382 pounds Gelbvieh-sired females had the lowest five-yearIt is hard to ignore the proven traits the Gelbvieh breed brings old cow weight. According to Leachman Cattle Company of Colorado, to the beef industry and the commercial cow-calf producer. With “Moderate sized cows eat less and wean more pounds of calf per pound the tight profit margins in the beef business, cattlemen cannot afford of cow – they earn up to $75 more profit per cow per year.” to leave money on the table by not taking advantage of Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics. Consider Gelbvieh influenced replacement “By far, [the Balancer-sired females] are the best looking females this fall or a Gelbvieh or Balancer herd sire next breeding season. set of heifers we’ve ever kept.” – Greg Howard, of To find a Gelbvieh breeder near you or for more information Howard Farms in Shellman, Ga., a 130-head commercial on how Gelbvieh-sired females can work hard for your bottom line herd that uses Balancer bulls. visit or contact the American Gelbvieh Association at 303-465-2333.

American Gelbvieh Association | 10900 Dover St., Westminster, CO 80021 | 303-465-2333 |

"Add Pounds. Add Profit." Fall 2010  

Advertising Supplement of the American Gelbvieh Association

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