Maternal Efficiency that we “Can” Measure, And that we “Can’t” Measure!!

As many of you know and some of you don’t, I am also employed off our Ranch as a Legacy Consultant for First Dakota National Bank.  I lead the division called, “Keep Farmers Farming.”  What we do is work with Farmers and Ranchers across the Midwest with “Estate Planning”, “Family Transition Planning”, implementation of “Best Business Practices” and facilitate “Strategic Planning.”  For us at our Ranch, this provides the opportunity for Blake and Christian to have full time Career Opportunities at our Ranch.

What does the above information have to do with Maternal Efficiency?  Well, my position puts me in a position to spend a lot of time with both Farmers and Ranchers across the Midwest and at some point, we talk “Cattle.”  Everyone has a story and as I listen to their current cattle story,  a picture is evolving to me that with all the single trait selection of “Hide Color” (Very Measurable) and the reason for this selection, cattlemen are beginning to recognize weaknesses in their Cow Herd (Very Difficult to Measure) that are “Very” real, that are beginning to give some significant challenge.  So when I get asked, “Why Gelbvieh or Balancer”, my answer always explains the opportunity, according to USDA”s MARC, that Gelbvieh influenced genetics, “Wean more pounds of calf at Weaning than the other Breeds”, the opportunity of influencing “Top Feedlot Performance” without sacrifice to carcass merit with a proper crossbreeding strategy and again according to the USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), the Gelbvieh cow has the most moderate mature cow size of all the major beef breeds which brings an element of efficiency and longevity to compliment the well known “Maternal Strength” that just flat “Builds” the cow herd. 

Cattlemen are telling me that they are seeing more and more disposition problems and calves that just don’t get up and suck (Maternal characteristic that is hard to Measure) like they used to.  We all understand the importance of getting colostrum into the calf as soon as possible after the calf is born but at a recent Zoetis meeting that I attended, research was shown that that suggests that the quality of the colostrum significantly decreases every hour after birth as well.  They also showed data that shows the “Life Time” performance of the calf is determined in the “First 60 days” of life.  You can’t get it back if we don’t maximize the opportunity for the calf in the “First 60 days of Life!!”  WOW!!

“Maternal Strength” is more than Milk, Calving Ease and Birth Weight of which are very measurable.  We are now beginning to understand that the Maternal Strength characteristics of the Mothering ability of the cow, which are very difficult to measure, probably have more impact on the Life Time Performance of the calf than we have ever known.  “This is a controllable for you.”  By adding the Maternal Strength of the Gelbvieh Influence through the use of Gelbvieh or Balancer Genetics, you will have the opportunity to influence the Performance of Your Entire Calf Crop at Birth. This is the First Research that I have seen that connects the overall “Maternal Strength to Life Time Performance!!  At the ranch, this could be your greatest missed opportunity.

We hope you will consider the Hojer Gelbvieh/Balancer Ranch program on March 7th, 2016 as you maximize the profitability decisions of your entire operation that all begins with the Maternal Strength Of “Your” Cow Herd.