Feed Lot

SEP-OCT 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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14 FEED•LOT  September/October 2017 FEEDLOT FOCUS Prime... from previous page cowherd function and performance. "There's a lot of rhetoric in the in- dustry that says these cattle aren't as good maternally," says Lee Leach- m an, Fort Collins, Colo., Kusser's g enetic supplier. "We don't think that's right. The mistake a lot of peo- ple make is that they've seen some of the high-marbling cattle that cre- ated females that lacked adaptability in their environment, because they were bigger and heavier milking than what people wanted." There is such diversity among Angus cattle that high-marbling, lower-input genetics are out there now, he says, and the same can be said for better ribeye and dress- ing percentage. "You can find them and use them. Certainly the database and the EPDs and DNA tests now make all that easier," Leachman says. To those like Mike Drury, west- ern region president of Newport Meats, that's good to hear. "On the East and West Coast, it's all about product and service dif- ferentiation," says Drury, Irvine, Calif. "Wanting to play at that high level, and then having inconsisten- cy in there, your risk-reward for the operator is very high." Colorado State University re- search shows, on average, just 3% of Prime middle meats are unaccept- able to the consumer, compared to 34% for Select-grading cuts. Cattlemen initiate that con- sumer-satisfaction chain. "We are 100% reliant on what they do," Drury says. "I would just say don't waiver from the quality, because at the end of the day, that's all we have. No shortcuts." That's motivation enough for cattlemen like Gerry Shinn of Jackson, Mo., to keep trying to beat their own grading records. "That's why the premium is there. There's a few times when it will narrow down a bit, but day in and day out, it's always there," he says. "I've just observed that it's never difficult to sell a Prime." FL

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