Feed Lot

DEC 2018

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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20 FEED•LOT December 2018 guess of the potential to grade, the feeding program, or even a hope or a prayer. But a recently introduced program geared for commercial producers with Angus genetics can put a number on the genetic potential of feeder cattle to perform in the feedlot and on the rail. Angus Link, introduced in the summer of 2018 gives feeder buyers a score, or report card if you will, with which to estimate the genetic potential of feedlot performance on a set of calves. Commerical produc- ers turn in data from their bull battery and cow herd from which the score is derived. From there, calves are enrolled in the program and can be marketed with the data in a variety of ways, including the AngusLink website if the rancher chooses to make the information about his calves public. "For the feeder, it's a way to have another piece of information about the cattle you could potentially buy," said Chris Engel, director of the program. "It's a way to manage risk. It highlights cattle that have the inherint genetic ability to perform and meet marketing objectives. Now feeders have the ability to measure genetic performance potential in the calves they buy." The Score Three scores are given to each set of calves enrolled in the program. These scores are based on the bull and cow data provided by the producer. The foundation of the scores are the American Angus Association's dollar value indexes known as $B (beef value); $F (feedlot value) and $G (grid value.) So what do each of these mean, and how do they contribute to the genetic potential in the feedlot? The beef score predicts the genetic potential for feedlot performance and carcass value by looking and EPDs, according to the Association. Carcass weight, barbing and feed efficiency are all considered. The feedlot per- formance score is the group potential for postweaning performance, based on EPDs for average daily gain and dry matter intake. The third and final score, the grid value, predicts performance potential for carcass grid merit taking into account EPDs for marbling, fat and ribeye area. Each score is between 0 and 200, with 100 being the industry average of each score. Cattle feeders can then select a group of calves based on the scores that are most important to their feeding program. How It Works Specifications on enrolling in the program are avail- able at AngusLink.com, and include percentages of the bull battery must be registered, with at least 50% of those being registered Angus. Information on the cow herd is also part of the process. For enrollment informaiton, or to see what feeder cattle are for sale and enrolled in the program, visit www.AngusLink.com. FL There was a time when a set of calves of similar size and sim- ilar color brought the same amount, but now we're seeing more emphasis on specifi- cation feeder cattle and documenting those differences. That was the message from Dan Moser, president of Angus Ge- netics Inc. regarding how technology can document differences in cattle, and how producers can reap the reward of having cattle with more gain and mar- bling potential. With such a high percentage of fat cattle sold on the grid, feeder buyers often purchase calves based on historical success, vac- cination programs and other fac- tors. Sometimes their decision to sell on a grid is based on their INDUSTRY & INNOVATION GENETIC POTENTIAL BY JILL J. DUNKEL Angus Link brings buyers and sellers together through the power of information

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