Volume 12, Issue 3
INSIDE... Limousin Commentary Rediscover Limousin
Full Circle Economic Crossbreeding Opportunity on the Horizon.
Strategic Crossbreeding Success starts in the cow herd and is emphasized through your bull battery.
A Value Added Calf Crop Strauss adds value to Limousin influenced calves.
Strategic Crossbreeding Mike Horvath, Director of Commercial Marketing North American Limousin Foundation
Bottom Line is published three times per year by the North American Limousin Foundation, 7383 S. Alton Way, Suite 100, Centennial, Colorado 80112; (303) 220-1693; fax: (303) 220-1884; www.nalf.org Executive Vice President Bob Hough, Ph.D., Ext. 120 Dir. of Communications Jonathan Beitia, Ext. 117
As a cow-calf producer, survival and profitability are reliant upon efficiently producing uniform calves for target markets, in an economical fashion. Doing so requires a clear management plan, set goals for the cow herd, proper bull selection and a concise marketing scheme. Collectively, these things reduce risk and generate greater returns to your bottom line. Breeding cattle isn’t rocket science, although it does require common sense and a certain degree of business savvy. Simply put, there are three basic markets available: mainstream, lean fed markets, and the upper ⅔ premium-choice markets. The majority of commercial producers shoot for the mainstream commodity market, while a handful of managers gear their operations towards either lean fed markets or the upper ⅔ pre-
mium-choice markets. The handful of producers, who gamble with their cattle, must also be comfortable absorbing greater risk into their operation. An example would be if a particular set of calves get sick that are targeted for a natural program and must be treated with an antibiotic. Regardless of your target market, true success starts in the cow herd and is emphasized through your bull battery. Females have to be correct, regardless of breed composition. Cows must be sound structured, big ribbed, loose flanked, easy fleshing and moderate. Conservatively sized females will usually be more profitable and efficient as they often wean more total pounds of calf per cow exposed. Their calves have more market flexibility as they can be either backcontinued on page 12
Rediscover Limousin By R.L. “Bob” Hough, Ph.D. Executive Vice President North American Limousin Foundation R.L. “Bob” Hough
One of the items that has just come to light from the USDA Limousin is back! Bull sales were up across the board this Meat Animal Research Center is the average cow size of difspring, and the feeder cattle at video auctions have been sellferent breeds. Surprisingly, Angus has the largest cow size in ing great. This is not by accident, but a continuing long-term the industry, over 1400 lbs., with Herford running a very close commitment to make Limousin the preferred Continental second. Limousin has maintained a moderate average mature common denominator in progressive beef producers crosscow size, allowing them to be used to moderate Angus and breeding systems that ultimately work for the feeder, packer Hereford cows. and consumer. This has not happened without the hard work The major strength of Limousin has always been its pureof our breeders, and the exciting thing is, through our recentbreds and full-bloods and their ability to add ribeye area, ly adopted strategic plan, Limousin breeders are committed dressing percentage, eliminates Yield Grade problems and to make the breed even better for the commercial industry. increase premiums, and increase calf vigor. With moderate First I want to answer the two questions we always get milk and moderate mature size, and carcass traits that are the from non-believers of Limousin cattle. perfect complement to Angus, Limousin crosses can go into Let’s take on the first question we get right up front and almost any environment. I think a big selling point for Limouthat is disposition. We have always had breeders that bred sin is milk and the number of environments they can go into, cattle with good disposition. After the influence of show bulls while certain breeds’ carry so much milk, it limits in the 80’s left the breed with some waspy cattle, their usage. the Limousin breed took disposition head on. Limousin is back! Probably the most exciting thing going on This lead to the industry’s first Docility EPD in Bull sales were right now in the world of Limousin is the Lim1995 and the genetic trend has been extremely up across the board Flex® program. Lim-Flex® is a Limousin, Angus positive ever since. Today’s Limousin has little this spring, and in common with the Limousin of 25 years ago. or Red Angus hybrid. While the hybrids caught the feeder cattle I was amazed this spring when I went to one of on quickly in Gelbvieh and Simmental, it took a the Limousin breeds’ largest bull sales, running little longer to develop Limousin. Now the Limat video auctions approximately 280 bulls through the ring. The two Flex® hybrid is growing like gang-busters and have been people working inside the ring stood right there in Lim-Flex® bulls are available in quantity from selling great. with the bulls, only going behind the guards for various breeders. That is because Angus and two head. Tell me another breed that can run that Limousin are the perfect complementary breeds; many bulls through a ring and say that? With all this unbelievheterosis is becoming such an all important factor in today’s able success, we are still not satisfied. Under Limousin’s new beef industry. It is estimated that herds gaining maximum hetStrategic Plan, we will continue to work on docility, until Limerosis will return 25 to 30 percent more per cow. Understand ousin is one of the most docile breeds in the industry. that 2/3’s of the Nation’s cowherd being high percentage The other common question we get, relates to quality Angus; it leaves a lot of money on the table. grade. In 2004, Limousin held a “Visions Symposium” in which Lim-Flex® can be used one of two ways. The first way is it identified the need to improve marbling. In the last five to breed Lim-Flex® on Angus based cows and produce quaryears the marbling genetic trend dramatically increased, makter-bloods. This leaves a lot of heterosis on the table, but ing today’s Limousin a reliable partner to cross with high perthe quarter bloods sold extremely well at the video auctions centage Angus to hit commodity grids. Not satisfied with our this year. The second option, and what I suggest, is to put progress, Limousin’s new strategic plan makes it a priority to purebred bulls on your Angus based cows, and then go into eliminate outliers that are low marbling sires from use to a straight breeding program with the offspring using Limmake the breed an even more reliable partner. Flex® bulls. This way you can maintain a 50 percent LimouNow that we have dispelled the old Limousin myths, lets sin, 50 percent Angus herd with a high amount of heterosis move on to the good stuff. Limousin is hands-down the best and an extremely easy breeding system. breed at feed efficiency. Research after research trial has Yes, it is time to rediscover Limousin. The cattle have shown this. Margins are simply too tight in the feedlot induschanged so much in the last 25 years it is amazing. Plus excittry, not to take advantage of this all important trait. The exciting new programs like Lim-Flex® add a whole new dimension ing measure is that there is a growing body of evidence that to how you can breed your cattle with Limousin. It is truly a this type of efficiency equates to the cow side. fun time to be with Limousin. Page 2
Full Circle Economic Crossbreeding Opportunity on the Horizon Mike Horvath, Director of Commercial Marketing North American Limousin Foundation Over the years, the cow-calf segment of the cattle industry has experienced many interesting ups and downs, to get to the point that it is today. Hereford cattle were first imported to North America in 1817 with 3,703 head registered between 1828 and 1886. In the early 1870’s Hereford genetics expanded westward and were used on existing Texas Longhorns with phenomenal results. Herefords do-ability in the Western
LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
expanses afforded their survival through the severe winters of 1881 and 1886, sealing their fate as kings of the Country and resulting in the “range turning red”. Hereford cattle served as the original English breed pioneers and paved the road to modern beef production. In 1873, George Grant imported four Aberdeen-Angus bulls from Scotland to the middle of the Kansas prairie. Those bulls made a lasting impression on the U.S. cattle industry when they made their debut in 1873 at the Kansas City Livecontinued on page 5
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resulting percentage calves generating much excitement among producers, feeders, and packers alike. Those were the years when crossbreeding was truly at its peak, the economic continued from page 3 advantages of heterosis were understood and promoted. The industry thrived. stock Exposition. Grant was a forward thinker and soon Unfortunately, in modern times, many of the baldy-based crossed the bulls with native Texas Longhorn cows, yielding a cow herds across the country have turned black, and straightsubstantial number of hornless black calves that survived breeding has become the norm. Branded beef programs and well on the harsh winter range. The calves wintered better niche markets have emerged in an effort to increase marand weighed heavy the following spring, demonstrating not ketability of resulting calves and to further promote straightonly the value of the Aberdeen-Angus, but also the worth of breeding and single-breed dominance. That is all well and hybrid vigor associated with crossbreeding. Angus numbers good until it begins to interfere with the producer’s bottom in the U.S. grew explosively between 1878 and 1883, as 1,200 line. The problem with straightbreeding is that heterosis is cattle were imported directly from Scotland into the Midwest. quickly lost. In our current situation, weaning weights have Over the next 25 years, continued efforts by those early declined while number of Yield Grade (YG) 4’s has increased Angus breeders led to additional herd formation and more dramatically. As an industry, we have bred ourwidespread use of Angus genetics. ® selves into a corner from which only crossbreedIn the early 1940’s World War II raged on “Lim-Flex adapt ing can save us. With a basic history and halfway around the globe. At home in the quicker to their evolution of the beef industry, let’s get to the botStates, Angus cattle continued to gain popularienvironment tom line of the article. The moral of the story is ty. It was during that time the Angus breed than any other that re-creation and recognition of crossbreeding aggressively advanced west, into the expansive breed we have ran will improve the end product to the consumer Hereford-dominated ranges. Soon after, crossand create a healthier bottom line for producers, ing Angus bulls on Hereford-type cows emerged. in the past.” feeders, and packers. The resulting F1 offspring of those initial matAndy Bailey The Lim-Flex® hybrid offers an opportunity to ings would become a dominating force across the country and much of the range was turned re-establish heterosis within the cow herd and from “red” to “black and white”. A cattleman’s Cadillac, the realize advantages of hybrid vigor. It was designed by cattleEnglish-based baldy is durable, adaptable and versatile. Addimen, for cattlemen, with commercial producers’ interests in tionally, with the early importation of Charolais, especially in mind. Today’s properly designed Lim-Flex® cattle are the the 1960’s, the value of hybrid vigor (heterosis) was realized result of years of science-based breeding and careful selection as breeding of these Continental sires to English based crossto generate females that are functional, versatile, productive, bred cows, yielded premium calves. efficient and genetically balanced. Lim-Flex® are composed of The industry did not truly embrace the value of crossbred 25 percent to 75 percent Limousin genetics, with the remaining calves until much later. Purebreds still dominated the show percentage composed of Angus or Red Angus. As an added ring at such shows as the International in Chicago and at the perk, Lim-Flex® come in red or black, as both breeds involved National Western in Denver. At the time, the show ring was offer genetics in either color scheme. Of all the crossbreds that tied more directly to the commercial industry and cattle garhave been developed, Lim-Flex® hybrids possibly are one of nering purple ribbons and trophies were progressive and repthe best tools offered to the industry since the baldy. resentative of the breed. Though crossbred calves offered The value of Lim-Flex® hybrids is justified in testimony of superior performance and carcass qualities, this was not real-world commercial producers who have, are and will conenough to overcome the allegiance that purebreds had tinue to factor them into the success of their operational obtained on the show scene. Then in 1969, Dr. Don Good of equations. Kansas State University had the fortitude to name a larger, Harley Coleman of Charlo, Montana, has been breeding heavier muscled Charolais-Angus crossbred steer champion and managing Lim-Flex® cattle since the early 1990s. He at the International in Chicago. From that point on crossbegan breeding Lim-Flex® because he felt the volume, fleshbreeding became a practice for consideration and quickly ing ability, fertility and puberty realized from blending Limougained industry acceptance. It was supported by the wave of sin and Angus genetics were second to none. Lim-Flex ® Continental imports in the late 60’s and early 70’s. females also have proven to be moderately sized and materIt was during this time that Limousin entered the scene. nally sound. Due to hybrid vigor, Coleman and his customers The first Limousin bull, Prince Pompadour, was imported typically enjoy an additional two years of cow longevity. from France to Canada in the fall of 1968. Upon release from That is also the case for Andy Bailey of Hiko, Nevada. “Not the Grosse Ile quarantine facility, the Prince was relocated to only do Lim-Flex® females offer unprecedented longevity, but a newly built bull stud and artificial insemination (AI) facility they are extremely fertile and maternally inclined,” he said. at the School of Agriculture at Rimouski, Quebec, and did The Deuter family operates a large scale commercial entermuch to bring attention to the breed as semen became availprise based out of central South Dakota. They have utilized able in 1969. Importation of Limousin cattle grew rapidly an array of genetics over the years in an effort to maximize over the next few years, and they quickly coined the title of returns. They are firm believers in Lim-Flex® and the do-abili“the carcass breed”. Limousin bulls were used with great sucty they offer. cess in the predominantly English based cowherds, with continued on page 7
Full Circle: Economic Crossbreeding on the Horizon
LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
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Furthermore, these hybrids generate roughly 20 percent more pounds of weaned calf per cow exposed and an additional 1.3 years of longevity in the herd. This equates to a 30 continued from page 5 percent increase in cow productivity over straightbreds, due to increased fertility, calf survivability, increased weaning “Our cattle have to be stout, easy fleshing, maternal, and weights and cow stayability. In terms of dollars and cents, an able to fend for themselves. Lim-Flex® do this better than any average commercial F1 crossbred cow has been shown to other type of cattle we’ve ran,” Casey Deuter said. return roughly $70 more per year than a straightbred. If the He enjoys the fact that his half-blood Lim-Flex® females chosen crossbreeding system yields between half and twoare extremely low-input, flesh easily, are highly maternal, thirds of maximum heterosis, the additional $50 per cow per wean heavy calves, and offer unparalleled longevity. year yields at least $400 more in lifetime earnings over a “Some of these old cows we’re running are 93 to 95 modstraightbred. Because 75 percent of the cost of producing a els. Those cows are 15 to 17 years of age. They calve well, harvested carcass is tied up in maintaining the cow herd, that wean heavy, and keep on breeding back. They’ve paid for is news commercial producers should welcome, particularly themselves a long time ago,” Deuter said. “As long as they with feed and production costs at record highs. continue to hold together structurally, maintain good udders, Efficiency as a result of heterosis is also substantial as and hold their condition, they can continue to stay.” Coleman notes his Lim-Flex® females go longer without feed He believes, because Lim-Flex® cows are easy doing and strong-uddered, with unmatched maternal ability, they are or supplement and do a better job of maintaining condition, a afforded the additional longevity. point which Bailey, Deuter, and Boyd Cable all agree. If baldies were the original Cadillac, then Cable manages cattle in east-central Oklaho® properly designed Lim-Flex® females can be the ma and has been using Limousin genetics in his The Lim-Flex commercial herd for the past 20 years. ExperiEscalade of commercial cattle. The hybrid is, in hybrid offers ence has taught him that a 25 percent Lim-Flex® essence, a souped-up baldy with many of the an opportunity to same standard features, plus a few new perks female best suits his country. He prefers Limre-establish bred in. Lim-Flex® is a complementary hybrid Flex® hybrids because they are highly efficient, heterosis within by design. Limousin’s efficiency, calving ease, low-input cattle. the cow herd and docility and muscle are combined with the Lim-Flex® females are moderate, big-ribbed, Angus breed’s maternal strengths, moderation, soft-flanked and functional. They are being utirealize advantages fleshing ability, structural integrity and marbling lized with great success from border to border of hybrid vigor. ability. The end result: a balanced, well-roundand from coast to coast. Lim-Flex® hybrids also ed female, packed full of heterosis and efficienare gaining popularity in Canada, Mexico, and cy with decreased input requirements relative to heightened Australia. performance and economic returns. Limousin-influenced calves’ survivability and do-ability at This unique hybrid allows cow-calf producers to garner birth is unequalled. To commercial producers, getting live monetary results of associated hybrid vigor into their bottom calves on the ground, up and nursing quickly, is crucial to lines. Bailey noted, “Producers should be highly selective operational success. when purchasing or retaining females and focus on those that Calves from Lim-Flex® sires or dams are vivacious at birth, offer the most progressive genetic profiles.” superior in efficiency and conversion, wean heavier, yield Well-planned Lim-Flex® is tough, durable and environmenmore favorably, and still maintain a strong ability to grade and receive grid-based premiums, which is more than any tally adept. Producers in the rough North Country and arid straightbred can claim. Not only will Lim-Flex® cattle work Western United States appreciate the Lim-Flex’s® ability to disperse across the landscape and make better use of expanin the mainstream, but they also fit niche markets developed sive pastures and the varying geography they face. Coleman around both Angus and Limousin genetics. noted Limousin-influenced cattle are more adaptable to the Coleman prefers the fact that Lim-Flex® calves tend to be rough high country in which he and many of his commercial more energetic and vigorous at birth and are normally up and customers manage cattle. nursing within minutes. He is a firm believer that this advan“It seems that many of the other breeds tend to bunch up tage carries on through the feedyard, with Lim-Flex® calves and stay in lower-lying areas, not fully utilizing available experiencing fewer pulls than straightbreds. Coleman has feed,” he said. “Our Lim-Flex® cows are typically scattered had great success marketing Limousin-influenced calves through mainstream markets, with about 70 percent grading from the top of the mountain, clear down into the bottoms Choice, and greater than 70 percent YG 1 and 2. All of that when we gather.” comes after calves have received two implants. Bailey has been retaining and using Lim-Flex® females in Bailey mentions that first-calf Lim-Flex® heifers need to be his commercial herd for more than 20 years. He believes a 25 to 50 percent Lim-Flex® female best fits the rugged Nevada, in good flesh for breeding but are virtually labor-free at calving. Calves are more vigorous at birth and healthier, resulting Idaho and Wyoming range on which his cows graze. in minimal medicine costs when sent to the yard. “Lim-Flex® adapt quicker to their environment than any Cable turns purebred Limousin bulls in with his low-perother breed we have ran in the past. Plus, they spread out centage cows, and the resulting 75 percent Lim-Flex® calves better over the range, making better use of available feed, resulting in decreased need for supplementation,” he said. continued on page 15
Full Circle: Economic Crossbreeding on the Horizon
LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
BREEDER SPOTLIGHT NORTH CENTRAL REGION BREEDERS
Want to advertise in the BREEDER SPOTLIGHT section? It’s easy! Call Jonathan Beitia at 303-220-1693 for all the details.
Straight Limousin 2173 Morgan Ave. * Logan, Iowa 51546 712-648-2180 * 712-592-1350 (Jay’s cell)
Austin, Leah, Bailee & Pitch Hager 4651 2nd Ave. NE Karlsruhe, ND 58744 (701) 525-6363 ■ (701) 626-2345 mobile
Jay & Lori Straight * Jordan & Jackson Jamie, Scott & Brayton Myer Jenelle & Adam Klein
www.straightlimousin.com Production Sale Last Friday In March
Your visit to the ranch is always welcome!
Leonard Wulf & Sons
LC IH M O U S HI N RA NCH A R L E S U N T F A M I L Y
47694 320th St. * Morris, MN 56267 Farm (320) 392-5802 * Fax (320) 392-5504 Jerry Wulf (320) 392-5988 Jim Wulf (320) 392-5966 10 miles south of Morris on Hwy 59
PRIVATE TREATY SALES • Bulls • Females • Semen
10329 Highway 136 · Oxford, NE 68967 Dan Hunt · cell 308-991-3373 firstname.lastname@example.org · www.huntlimousin.com
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION BREEDERS
Lonely Valley Limousin
Your Homozygous Headquarters
PUREBRED AND ANGUS COMPOSITE BREEDING FOR 20 YEARS
Hiram and Darenda ◆ 806/375-2346 Bret, Hayley, McKinley & Boone ◆ 806/375-2345 Box 110, Allison, Texas 79003 email@example.com ◆ www.begertranch.com
Annual Bull Sale last Monday of February Stan, Mike, Mark, Dean and Chad Settje Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org Chad (402) 285-9013 • Dean (402) 783-2105 560th Ave. • Creston, NE 68631
Charles Linhart: (641) 340-1306 David Linhart: (641) 446-6906
A large number of breeding-age bulls available. Trophy hunts available (deer, quail & turkey).
C a t t l e Yo u C a n Tr u s t . . . P e o p l e Yo u C a n Tr u s t
Jimmy Ridings ~ Owner 1912 CR 4120 ~ Meridian, TX 76665
Linhart Limousin When in the market for
top-quality genetics, give us a call.
Phone: (254) 597-0044 www.colonialoaksranch.com
27195 175th St. Leon, IA 50144 www.linhartlimousin.com
21314 OSR Madisonville, TX 77864 Mobile (281) 808-3473 Home (903) 344-2331 www.counsilfamilylimousins.com
Jim & Priscilla Schott 27601 108th St. McLaughlin, SD 57642 email@example.com
BQA II Certified Herd Certified Brucellosis and TB Free Your call or visit is welcome
6 0 5 - 8 2 3 - 4 9 74
“Breedin’ the Feedin’ Kind” Bob Mitchell Family • 48715 Hilldale Road • Wauzeka, WI 53826 Bob – 608-875-5049 • Bob (mobile) – 608-553-0971 • Matt – 608-553-1251 Bart – 608-553-8070 • Scott – 608-553-8069 • www.springcreekscattleco.com
LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
Davis Limousin Ranch
Brad, Norma & Blair Davis 12500 Hwy. 279 • Brownwood, TX 76801 325/784-5071 • 325/784-7674 fax 325/647-7681 cell • firstname.lastname@example.org
De Ma r Fa rm s “Unparalleled black Limousin genetics”
10510 CR 1100 • Wolfforth, TX 79382 Leonard & Betty Keeton 806-866-9440 LLKT@door.net
Lyle & Shana Keeton fax: 806-866-9441 806-866-9049 BULLS • CLUB CALVES • HEIFERS
LAWRENCE FAMILY LIMOUSIN
Joe & Margaret Hoot
630 VZ CR 4124 Canton, Texas 75103 (903) 829-8082 DeMarHome@aol.com
Bruce, Paula & Lee Roy Lawrence Johnny, Amber & Tucker Parkinson PO Box 299 ■ Anton, TX 79313 e-mail: email@example.com
AI and ET bulls for the commercial market
Ranch Manager (903) 292-9080
Your call or visit is always welcome.
Limousin cattle raised with the commercial industry in mind.
2202 N 11TH STREET YUKON, OKLAHOMA BOB FUNK, OWNER 800-664-3977 405-350-0058 FAX firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Bull Sale 3rd Weekend in January ~ 125 Bulls Available Roger Comeau: (785) 434-4686
308 West Mill Plainville, KS 67663
Mike Smith: (785) 885-4882
RANCH RAISED BULLS & HEIFERS FOR SALE
Fuhrmann Black Limousin BULLS AVAILABLE FOR SALE PRIVATELY AT THE RANCH
Roy Lee Fuhrmann 2335 FM 1200 • Gainesville, TX 76240 Roybull@earthlink.net Ranch – (940) 665-6985 Mobile – (940) 727-2452
JIM HCR 74, Box 146 Fort Davis, TX 79734-5005 (915) 426-3435 • fax (915) 426-3126
DYER “Se Hablo Spanglish” email@example.com
RIVERDALE RANCH Red & Black Limousin Registered & Commercial 3830 Huckleberry Road • West, MS 39192 Jim Jolley, Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Limousin & Lim-Flex Seedstock P.O. Box 1531 Camdenton, MO 65020
Owners: Daryl & Wally Cunningham
662-967-2407 fax: 601-605-4724
Committed to Excellence RED AND BLACK LIMOUSIN CATTLE
WIES LIMOUSIN RANCH WELLSVILLE, MO 63384
BOB & EUVONNE WIES
Gene & Virginia Raymond Arne & Stacy Hanson (785) 448-3708 (785) 448-6142 “THE BRAND OF BREEDER RESPECT AND COMMERCIAL APPEAL”
Visit For Quality Limousin Genetics You Can Count On
9700 Slaughterville Rd. Lexington, Oklahoma 73051
405/527-7648 email@example.com Edna Manning 405/306-1316 cell
Judy Bugher 405/306-1315
J.W. Snyder 405/306-5202
“News” at www.NALF.org to find a list of this fall’s special Limousin-influenced feeder-calf sales.
WESTERN REGION BREEDERS Coleman Limousin Ranch, Inc. 53717 Gallagher Road Charlo, MT 59824 Larry & Anita Coleman (406) 644-2300 Trent & Melissa Coleman (406) 644-2707
Give us a call for more information about our private-treaty offerings of Limousin and Lim-Flex® genetics.
Conveniently located 60 miles northeast of Denver, CO.
Kevin & Julie Ochsner and family 30300 WCR 388 • Kersey, CO 80644 • H: 970-351-6008 • M: 970-396-5525 firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Production Sale, Second Monday in April
Raising Bulls For The Commercial Cattleman
Gordon & Earline Schuppe 25653 C.R. 63 Iliff, CO 80736-9625
Annual Bull Sale 1st Saturday in March Email: email@example.com
(970) 522-8195 (970) 580-8195
R UNNING C REEK R ANCH
45400 Road 21 Elizabeth, CO 80107
Joey Freund (303) 841-7901
Joe Freund, Sr.
(303) 840-1850 home (303) 341-9310 office
Pat Kelley (303) 840-1848
Q UALITY I N VOLUME
P.O. Box 30435 Billings, MT 59107
Limousin • Red & Black Angus Red & Black Angus Composites Select Seed Stock Producer
h Call us about the bulls & females we have available privately.
406/373-6016 (ranch) 406/373-6048 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org www.tomahawklimousin.com
Visitors always welcome
Brad & Janet Waddle 440 Road 161 Pine Bluffs, WY 82082 307-245-3599 email@example.com
30849 CR 56 • Iliff, CO 80736 • firstname.lastname@example.org Les & Elaine Lewis • 970-362-4321 • Les Cell 970-630-1283 Mat & Wendy Lewis • 970-521-0545 • Mat Cell 970-580-8209
BULLS AND FEMALES AVAILABLE AT THE RANCH
Limousin & Lim-Flex Bulls and Females for Sale Privately!
“Ranch Tested, Customer Approved”
EASTERN REGION BREEDERS
The Brand You Trust...The Results You Expect
P.O. Box 190 • Platteville, Colorado 80651 Gary Magness, owner • Wendell Geeslin, manager (970) 785-0434 (home) • (970) 785-6170 (office) (303) 659-3822 (fax) • email@example.com
491 E. 12000 S. Draper, Utah 84020 Bob Millerberg * (801) 566-4665 home * (801) 561-9911 office * (801) 673-9911 cell firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Millerberg * (801) 254-6610 home * (801) 303-6017 office * (801) 301-2953 cell
347 Davidson Road West Harrison, Indiana 47060 Evening: (812) 637-2303 Day: (513) 367-0218 www.loganhills.com
Scott Minges, We Cater To Commercial Cattlemen
inerich Land and Cattle Co. BOB MINERICH
OWNER OFFICE: (859) 328-7118 FAX: (859) 328-7120 HOME: (859) 328-4104
Contact the North American Limousin Foundation to receive additional
electronic communIcations LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
Manager (812) 637-5554 Cell: (513) 616-8499
2003 Barnes Mill Road Richmond, Kentucky 40476-0536
REGISTERED LIMOUSIN “Breeding Prime Cattle” email@example.com
Lance Sennett RR 1 Box 82 • Waynetown, IN 47990 (765) 234-8506 Cell (765) 366-4894 firstname.lastname@example.org
Clark Sennett (765) 234-2621
Strategic Crossbreeding continued from page 1 grounded or go straight into the feedyard. Females should be genetically balanced using expected progeny differences (EPDs) are essential if they are to be productive in the herd. Producers realize additional value through maintaining a crossbred cow base. Production and economic advantages of commercial crossbred cows, adapted to their environment, will trump those of straightbred cows, with the following advantages: ■ 20% more pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed ■ An additional 1.3-2.0 years of cow longevity. ■ It equates to a 30% increase in lifetime cow productivity. In terms of dollars and cents, an average commercial F1 crossbred cow has been shown to return roughly $70 more per year than a straightbred. If the chosen crossbreeding system yields between one-half and two-thirds of maximum heterosis, the additional $50 per cow per year yields at least $400 more in lifetime earnings over that of a straightbred. Utilizing a strong cow base, managers are afforded more versatility in bull selection and ultimately, greater access to a larger array of market opportunities. Many of the same criteria used in female selection should be applied when purchasing bulls. Potential sires should be big footed, structurally sound, high capacity, muscular, and have above average testicular development. Genetic composition and associated EPDs should be above breed average and progressive for the direction the enterprise is headed. It is important to know and understand current breed averages for EPDs, so that you can select bulls that will benefit the operation and represent the breed well.
If the mainstream market is your goal, seek to produce roughly half-blood calves. You can accomplish this by turning purebred Limousin bulls out onto your English-based cows and continuing in subsequent breading seasons through the use of F1 Lim-Flex® bulls on the F1 Lim-Flex® females produced. The advantage of “Lim-Flex® on Lim-Flex®” is that it allows producers to realize benefits of hybrid vigor, alleviates many of the necessities required in traditional crossbreeding schemes and allows for easy retention of commercial heifers. Breeding hybrids to hybrids provides manager’s a heightened degree of consistency and predictability in producing uniform calves, resulting in increased merchandising ability. If manager’s aim toward lean fed markets, it would seem sensible to incorporate higher percentage Limousin genetics so the resulting calf crop is at least 75% Limousin influence. You can do that easily by pairing purebred Limousin bulls with half-blood or three-quarter-blood Lim-Flex® cows or by breeding straightbred Limousin bulls to Limousin cows. On the other hand, if producers are geared toward upper ⅔ premium-choice markets, lower percentage Limousin influence is needed, with calves containing 25% or less Limousin. A simple approach to hitting this market would be to turn high marbling half-blood Lim-Flex® bulls in with English-based cows. Breeding cattle to hit target markets is a blend of art and science. Contrary to what some might lead you to believe, it does not require a PhD, nor an understanding of quantum physics. Cow-calf producer’s success lies in a firm understanding of the industry, where the operation stands, where it needs to be and steps that must be taken to get there efficiently. It always helps to have a strong dose of resilience and a light sense of humor help through the hard times.
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A Value Added Calf Crop Strauss Adds Value to Limousin-Influenced Calves Mike Horvath, Director of Commercial Marketing North American Limousin Foundation In today’s beef industry with production costs, including: Feed, labor, and fuel, producers’ must minimize inputs while simultaneously adding value to their calf crop and increasing marketing avenues. Commercial cow-calf operators cannot afford to breed themselves into a hole they cannot get out of. They must propagate genetically superior cattle that are correct upon visual appraisal and fit into mainstream commodity markets. They should evaluate which branded programs their genetic and management schemes best fit, gear themselves accordingly, and merchandise calves that fit into these markets as opportunities are presented. Producers’ should read specialty markets for what they are, niches, a good way to add value to your calves if they fit, but a poor reason to single trait genetic selection of your herd in a particular direction. There are things that managers can do that will allow them to still produce calves for the mainstream, while increasing their odds of hitting specialty markets. Cowcalf operators should strive to maintain the status of their cowherd as natural, in an effort to add potential value to future calf crops and increase options at marketing. Don’t abandon sound animal husbandry skills, if a cow gets sick or is packing a foot, doctor her and know that her calf won’t fit the natural market. Keep up on vaccinations of cows and calves, but check to assure they meet program specs. The point that needs to be made is that the majority of producers’ unknowingly eliminate themselves through the nutrition program of the cowherd, be it mineral, cake, tubs, or blocks. Ensure that these products are free of animal byproducts, ionophores, hormones, other growth promotants, and antibiotics/medications/insecticides. The stark reality is that producers’ do not need these products in a range cow mineral anyway. A solid mineral and supplementation program will do more for reproductive efficiency, cow performance, and forage utilization than anything. Your program does not have to be complex, extravagant, or the most expensive to work effectively. Nutrition programs should be kept simple, address the LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
needs of the cowherd to maximize production and efficiency at the lowest possible cost (based off the curve of diminishing returns). Ideally producers should take the time to sit down with their area beef specialist or a certified nutritionist at least once every year, to discuss their nutrition program. Their program should be reviewed and modifications made as necessary. This will decrease inputs and maximize returns based off of where the enterprise stands in relation to effectively meeting set goals. A sound nutrition program should evolve from which producers’ have the ability to hit mainstream markets as well as qualify for branded opportunities. Taking the beef specialist or certified nutritionist approach, you know what it is you need and time is not wasted when you sit down and visit with your area feed representative. When a producer evaluates niche markets, there are several criteria that must be considered. Is this program simple and understandable or can it be made so? Anything you do needs to be able to be put on a level that is within comprehension and fully understood. If I partake, what will this program require on my part? Source and age verification are a commonality among all programs. Other branded programs are natural, and thus, producers’ should have an extensive knowledge of what “natural” means. The USDA definition is: A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural. The label must explain the use of the term natural (such as - no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed.) In commercial terms, to be claimed natural the product must be minimally processed, and cannot contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives. Branded programs often require that producers’ fulfill a brief training course, certifying they and associated labor are on target with procedures and requirements specific to the program. They must sign affidavits and complete additional continued on page 14
A Value-Added Calf Crop continued from page 13 paperwork. Feed tags as well as vaccination protocols and timing are also required to assure calves are in fact natural and clear for slaughter. In general, complete and detailed documentation of all procedures performed on or in relation to management of cattle should be kept (this is a good practice to maintain, regardless of how calves are marketed). Operation managers should also be clear on how pricing/bids will be handled, what premiums exist over the rail and how those premiums are determined and paid out. According to the United States Department of Agriculture and CattleFax, in the past, certified natural calves have received premiums ranging between $4 and $8 cwt. and feeder cattle premiums of $2 to $4 cwt. depending upon location, quality, and quantity of stock. These premiums are often necessary to offset losses in productivity associated with management practices to produce natural beef. Occasionally premiums have been great enough to exceed losses in productivity, yielding increased returns. Choosing a branded program to best fit operational goals and desires will require research on the producers’ part, but there is one in particular which should be researched with great interest. Strauss veal entered the scene in 2008 and revolutionized the veal industry with their free raised, never confined concept. Strauss Brands Inc. has grown and diversified since Milton Strauss and his brothers founded Strauss Brothers Packing in 1937, south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Initially, Strauss was in the lamb business and under the watchful eye of third generation owners, Randy and Tim Strauss, Strauss Brands continues to be an industry leader producing Meadow Reserve Veal and Organic Lamb. Honesty, integrity, a sense of pride, a strong work ethic, and family values are of utmost importance. The Strauss family feels that it sets itself apart from other branded programs and niche markets, because it was formed as a family business and remains so to this day. Technology and modernization has made business easier today than in 1937, but the Strauss family’s core principals and beliefs remain unscathed. To the Strauss brothers a person’s honesty and good word is still worth something, they place great emphasis on producer and customer relationships, focusing on long term retention and optimism of both. The Strauss team is dedicated to their business and the industry as a whole. Strauss entered the veal market because they realized a growing demand for “free to roam” veal that maintained high quality standards and met consumer preferences. Strauss conducted a series of blind taste tests and senPage 14
sory panels to determine type and kind of product their customers sought. Upon analysis of the data, they found that consumers preferred the tenderness and flavor associated with Limousin genetics and that a 25% to 50% British based cross was considered advantageous. This allowed Strauss to process and ship product around the country, maintaining the freshest, highest quality product possible that continues to gain consumer appeal. Today when purchasing calves, Strauss prefers half-blood Limousin calves, ideally 50% Limousin and 50% Angus or Red Angus, with lower and higher percentage Limousin calves readily accepted, based off of whether they fit the program. Strauss has developed guidelines for care and handling of calves raised in pastures. Veal produced under the guidelines must be verified to meet the following specifications. Calves are nourished and raised by mother’s milk and pasture-raised on grass, forage, and fresh water. Calves have never been administered growth hormones or antibiotics and are raised with their mothers on meadows and/or pastures, free to roam without any confinement (never tethered). Calves are traceable to the farm/ranch or birth, never fed animal byproducts and are source and age verified. Calves are natural calves and are not cloned animals. Finally, verification of Limousin or Lim-Flex® parentage through transferred registrations or tattoos. Managing your cows to produce percentage Limousin calves that meet these specifics will pay dividends, as demand for Strauss veal has grown steadily with a 52 weekyear supply needed. Strauss prefers purchasing calves in the 450-500 pound weight bracket with steers, heifers, and all hide colors receiving an equal price. Thus, with Strauss, producers’ will not have to settle for a lower bid on heifers or a discount for red hided calves that they would typically have to swallow when selling through an auction barn. Strauss bases their prices off of regional markets and then adjusts their bid accordingly as a result of producers’ keeping calves natural. Forward buys are also available in addition to spot market contracts with an additional $50 per head hot carcass bonus paid on high yielding calves that dress out carcasses between 240-280 pounds, thus alleviating stress of calculating premiums from a grid. To put the icing on the cake, Strauss pays freight on lot loads of calves and is conscientious of assisting cow-calf producers’ in putting together loads of calves as necessary. If you could get above average prices for your calves off the cow, with great opportunity for additional premiums over the rail, wouldn’t you? Sure thing, because commonsense and livestock savvy tell you that if calves are sold straight off the cows then: The operation does not have to worry about the
still eligible for the ever growing non-hormone treated cattle market (which is strong in Europe). Also, these calves could continued from page 14 be sold outright through an auction barn at weaning or be sent to wheat as stockers. Alternatively, they could be implanted, time and expense of weaning, medicine costs, post-weaning turned out on grass and sold as yearlings. Also, a producer rations, supplements, or pasture for calves. The calves are may choose to retain ownership of those calves through the gone, resulting in increased ability to rotate cows between feeding phase and market them on a grid. The possibilities are pastures and increased quantity and quality of feed This endless and the point is: Just because they did not allows producers’ to better manage ranch fit Strauss this go round, doesn’t mean they won’t Honesty, resources and return females to an ideal body next year, and the current calf crop in question condition score for the subsequent calving seaintegrity, still has a lucrative future ahead that will be conson, which will result in increased reproductive a sense of pride, ducive to the operations bottom line. efficiently and conception rates at breeding. As a strong work The Strauss program truly is a unique value reproductive efficiency and conception rates ethic, and family added marketing opportunity for commercial increase, and more females are bred during the values are producers’. In an era where every step counts first heat cycle, they yield more consistent and and every penny matters, operation managers of utmost uniform calf crops, thus increasing marketability should seek to decrease inputs where available, and demand for resulting progeny. importance. while capitalizing on returns through sound sciSo what does a producer do if they must docence and value added opportunities to create a tor a set of calves that were destined for the healthy bottom line for years to come. Although the price Strauss veal program? This is where the true beauty of this producers’ receive on their calves this year is of utmost specialty market comes into play. If you had to administer importance. Managers should have the foresight to predict antibiotic for one reason or another, or if somebody slipped what marketing calves at a particular phase or time can do and accidently put out a medicated or ionophore inclusive minfor overall efficiency of the cowherd, which is the ultimate eral, your operation is still on track for success. Although driver of profit. those calves will not qualify for the Strauss program, they are
A Value-Added Calf Crop
Full Circle: Economic Crossbreeding on the Horizon continued from page 7 will top anyone else’s at marketing time, he says. “They calve easy, and calves are healthy and energetic at birth,” he noted. He has experienced many years of success merchandising calves into mainstream commodity markets and is exploring natural and non-hormone-treated cattle (NHTC) markets in more recent years because Lim-Flex® calves are a great fit and the premiums strong. Back in South Dakota, Deuter said, “Winters up in this country can get pretty rough to say the least. When snow piles up, temperatures drop and the wind begin to howl, the fact that Lim-Flex® calves hit the ground on their feet nursing is key to calf survival and long-term health.” Ideally, 50 percent Lim-Flex® females will best fit most commercial schemes. Depending upon management goals, a higher or lower percentage Lim-Flex ® female or sire might be advantageous. For commercial producers, use of hybrid sires and dams also allows for management at breeding to be greatly simplified. Lim-Flex® can be mated to each other, heifers retained when and as needed and all other calves marketed accordingly. Increased management, space, breed and pasture requirements associated with traditional rotational crossbreeding systems are alleviated, allowing managers to focus on producing and marketing quality calves into mainstream markets. Another hidden perk surrounding Lim-Flex® cattle is their salvage value. Not only do the females hold up to years of service, but when their days are done in the commercial herd, they will add one more healthy dose of cold, hard cash to the LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
bottom line when sold as cull cows. Coleman, Bailey, Cable, and Deuter all agree, because the cows hold together better and are more muscular (due to Limousin influence), they will top the cull cow market nearly every time. What better way to say goodbye, than with a healthy paycheck? The cattle industry has been an interesting ride these last few years. There have been many joyful days, as well as many filled with sorrow and discontent. Cow numbers are at an all time low, but the board looks good, and beef demand continues to increase, which can only mean that our best times still lie ahead. With increasing competition from South America and Australia, we must keep on our toes and one step ahead of the competition. As an industry, we must see the writing on the wall. If we are going to prosper today and in years to come, we must be willing to make changes and deviate from the norms that have evolved. The take-home message is that, as an industry, we must once again embrace crossbreeding and realize the advantages of hybrid vigor in our cattle and, ultimately, to our bottom line. There is no single breed worthy of market share domination; however, each breed of cattle has unique characteristics, both pros and cons that they bring to the table. One of the secrets to success in the cattle industry still lies in producers’ ability to realize this and breed cattle accordingly. The secret lies in being able to generate crossbreds that emphasize strengths and eliminate deficiencies of breeds involved, ultimately generating healthier returns to producers’ and increasing product demand both domestically and abroad. As you walk away from this article, back out into the pasture to check cows, sort calves, or mend fence, remember: Hybrid vigor and heterosis cost nothing, everything else does.
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Seeking 1/4 to Full Blood Limousin-Inﬂuenced Calves & Feeder Cattle Page 16
Fall 2010 NALF Bottomline Newsletter