Noble Expert Shares Secrets to Building a Successful Beef Cow Herd Tailor Made to Your OperationTue, 24 Apr 2018 10:18:11 CDT
Some cattle producers like maybe one or two breeds. Others are more open to trying a mix of breeds to come up with the right combination for their beef cow herd. Robert Wells of the Noble Research Institute spoke recently with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about how producers can get their arms around finding the right breed or mix of breeds that best fit their particular operation.
“The first thing I tell people is to manage your cow to the environment,” Wells said. “If the cow doesn’t fit the environment, then she’s really fighting an uphill battle every day.”
Wells defines environment as the pasture resources available to a cow and the producer’s management ability. Once you have determined what environment you are providing, then Well says, you can begin to find the breed with the correct attributes to fit into that equation. After you have selected the right breed, the next step is to find the right individuals within that breed to bring to your operation - selecting the best quality cattle you can find that meet the trait requirements of your herd goals. In doing this, Wells says it is important to strike a balance of trait selection - not focusing too much on one trait or another but equally on several different one that will result in a well-rounded cow and offspring when paired with the right bull that compliments the cow’s genetics. He says EPDs, especially genomically enhanced EPDs, are very useful tools when making these selection decisions for your herd.
“So, is there a ‘golden cow’ out there? I would say not,” Wells joked. “Like the old adage says: fit your cow to your environment and fit your bull to your market. Make sure you’ve got that good, functional cow for the pasture, but then find the bull that’s going to fit the niche market you’re going to be in.”
Listen to Wells offer more of his advice on how to select the right cattle for your operation to Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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