Expert says Charolais can add pounds, profit to sales
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Charolais cattle owners, both seed stock producers and commercial producers were told July 14 to consider marketing their cattle to compliment the predominant black breeds favored in the eastern United States.
Austin Paul of Eugene Barber & Sons Livestock Inc. suggested ways Charolais owners can increase the demand for and profitability of cattle cross bred with the cattle they raise.
Paul outlined his ideas in a presentation to the “Listening & Learning Session” here sponsored by the American International Charolais Association.
Paul told the audience that 90 percent of the animals in the East are black.
“I don’t think you guys trying to sell Charolais bulls can reinvent the wheel,” he said. “You can compliment what they are doing.”
He referred to people who are producing Angus and Angus cross breeds, cattle that are in demand by the people who traditionally buy black beef cattle from Virginia producers.
Paul’s employer provides livestock services and buys and markets cattle, hogs, sheep and goats in the United States.
“You are basically selling pounds,” Paul told the audience several times during his presentation.
He estimated a Charolais bull can significantly increase cattle weight. More pounds translates to more money, was the emphasis of his presentation.
“Black cattle are bringing a little extra, but not enough to offset the pounds,” he continued.”
He maintained the best way to sell Charolais bulls is to talk about the pounds and crossing with English breeds.
“It’s super important to have some kind of cross,” he stressed.
Paul was joined in the morning session of the event by Brian Bertelsen, vice president of Field Operations, U.S. Premium Beef, Dodge City, KS. And Dr. Bain Wilson of Virginia Tech.
U.S. Premium Beef has unitholders and associates in 36 states aiming for quality beef production, it reports. Bertelsen reported that it sells handles from 20 to 25 percent of the cattle sold in the country.
He said he travels the country helping producers learn how to make their business better through such things as genetics and nutrition.
He urged people wishing to sell their cattle to a feed lot to present themselves to the feed lot owners as someone who will be a long-term supplier.
Bertelsen suggested five top quality influences for beef cattle:
• Feedlot management;
• Growth potential.
He said his company buys fed cattle, not feeder cattle. He noted it looks for marbling and maintained marbling is a lifetime achievement. He urged producers to give the cows better nutrition.
Wilson offered nine steps to follow in buying a bull. He attributed much of his information to his colleague, Dr. Scott Greiner of Virginia Tech.
Wilson suggested identifying herd goals and assessing both herd strengths and weaknesses. His next step is establishing herd priorities. Then he uses selection tools, establish benchmarks, do the necessary homework, find a source, have a look and make a sound investment.
Wilson stressed the importance of actually looking at the animals which are being considered rather than depending on other information alone.
He noted producers in the East are fortunate to have abundant forages and reminded them they are selling pounds
He said the buyer also needs to look for good maternal traits and not depend on bulls for good calving ease.
During the afternoon, the group herd from Dr. Sally Northcutt of AICA Breed Improvement Consultant, from St. Joseph, MO and Maggie Smithee, AICA assistant recording secretary, Kansas City, Mo.
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