Boost the Percentage of Prime in Your Herd by Adding GeneMax Data to Your Management ProgramThu, 26 Jan 2017 11:27:01 CST
For Jimmy Taylor and his wife, Tracy, of Taylor Ranch located in Cheyenne, Okla., the best way for his commercial cow-calf operation to stay competitive is to produce the highest quality product possible.
“When we make consumers happy, they want to buy more beef,” he says.
So in 2005, the Taylors decided to pursue optimizing calves’ value by switching to raising high-quality carcass cattle. By doing so, the Taylors could take advantage of extra premiums through retaining ownership of the cattle through the feedlot and selling on the grid for excellent carcass genetics.
A key component of this new focus was the decision in 2012 to use GeneMax from Zoetis. They started with GeneMax Focus, but soon switched to GeneMax Advantage because it offered more data. DNA samples are collected on heifers at two months of age.
“The more data I can get, the better job I can do as a manager,” Taylor says. “GeneMax makes that possible.”
Taylor uses GeneMax Advantage two different ways in his decision-making process: first, as a tool for making culling decisions, and secondly, as a tool in determining matings for his heifers.
The test, refreshed in 2016 to include individual trait reporting for specific maternal, feedlot and carcass traits, is for use in commercial Angus replacement females (75% or greater). It helps producers like Taylor make better-informed selection, mating and marketing decisions.
By weaning time, Taylor already has all the heifers’ genetic data and uses that info to cull outliers from his herd.
At breeding time, Taylor uses GeneMax to help with his mating decisions by using it to evaluate important traits. For Taylor, marbling and tenderness are the most important traits he looks at. Why those two traits in particular? Because marbling and tenderness correlate with a positive consumer beef eating experience.
“When we make consumers happy, they want to buy more beef,” Taylor says.
Taylor adds that Zoetis has done a good job with improving GeneMax to make it a valuable tool for producers.
The biggest financial gain for the Taylors has been in carcass bonuses for steers, according to Taylor. When the Taylors first began using GeneMax, about 15% of their steers went prime. The most recent load of steers had 57% of them scoring as prime.
Click here to get started using GeneMax products to improve the quality of your herd.
Source - The Angus Journal
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