As far as significant moments in the beef cattle timeline, I daresay we’re living in an exciting one. Drought, a dwindling supply and a fluctuating market are just a few of the challenges faced by today’s cowman.

But with years of low herd numbers hedged by high beef prices, experts say, and I would agree, we’ve entered the expansion phase. We’re rebuilding.

In our world, synonymous with growth is the replacement heifer, and projections put the national cow inventory increasing by 1 to 1.25 million animals this year.

Now’s a good time to have a plan.

Kent Andersen, Zoetis Beef Genetics, says we have one in GENEMAX®.

OY0lC2RS6HeZBJrd5aOUEny-4S0LoVsD8yPgMV6EFbs,srK7lpMvDbWXtm4QhXqwRFXNOrfie9w_1MnpVRu-DcwAs associate director of global technical services for the animal health company, Kent spends his education, experience and time working with ranchers like you and me to make sure we’re getting the most from our cattle, both in the feedyard and in the pasture. Specifically designed with the commercial cattleman in mind, the selection tool incorporates the HD 50K test and marries it with mating technology to be the predominant tool for heifer selection.

“After having tested close to 150,000 Angus seedstock, we’ve taken what we’ve learned and built GENEMAX® ADVANTAGE™,” Kent says. “We think it’s the Cadillac of the place in heifer selection technologies.”

So how much exactly does that Cadillac cost? Tuesday saw an announcement of a price decrease from $44/head to $39/head, but the real question should be gain.

untitledOn a scale from 1 to 100, normally distributed and 50 as average, Kent and his team have determined that for every unit difference in Cow and Feeder Advantage score, there should be a dollar difference in net return per calf out of those daughters.

If that gets your head spinning, Andersen sets it up like this:

“We have one female that we test and she scores 75 on cow advantage index. Another heifer scores 25 on the same. Now there’s $50 difference between those two because there is about $1 per unit of score for the cow and feeder index.”

For every calf, the 75 scoring heifer would be anticipated to generate $50 more dollars than the heifer that is 25 – assuming calves are marketed at weaning or shortly thereafter.”

There are more indexes that come into play, and other calculations that tell us what could happen if we retained ownership of the cattle.

gkMIUhW7r9mVCEgumCBmlHFNfrnhDJEYPS8qlrmNLs8,YOtqAvlrdiVLiFr2wKyOuygEd5O3TDLxalJ9lh4sFkYIf a producer retains ownership and markets on a grid, there is about a $1.50 net return difference per Total Advantage score unit as compared to the dollar difference associated with the Cow and Feeder Advantage scores – for each calf produced over the replacement female’s life.

“Let’s talk about the 75 versus the 25,” Andersen says. “There will be 50 units of score difference, so usually about 1.50 per score on the total advantage score. That means a $75 difference between the two in our example. For every two animals, the retained ownership customer would experience a $150 difference in net return from progeny out of the 75 versus 25 Total Advantage scoring replacement females.”

Barring the fact that more than 30,000 animals have been tested with GENEMAX® ADVANTAGE™, Andersen is confident those who implement the test are in a good position to leave a positive imprint in cattle history.

Thanks for allowing me to tell your story,


Follow along as we blog our way through November. Here’s what you may have missed in our “Every number has a story series”:

Day one:

PS-Have you been following along this month? “Every number has a story,” and we’re telling them all right here:

Day one: $6.93

Day two: 2.5 million

Day three: $204.10

Day four: 12.1 million

Day five: 11/13

Day six: 8 million

Day seven: 139

Day eight: $39

Day nine: 30.1%

Day 10: 120 million

Day 11: -2.26

Day 12: 12 to 15 minutes 

Day 13: 30%

Day 14: 32 million

Day 15: $154,000

Day 16: 118

Day 17: .51

Day 18: 105

Day 19: 1650

Day 20: 36,575

Day 21: 603

Day 22: 23%

Day 23: 31