All of the beef publications I receive are still jammed full – cover to cover – with bull sale advertisements. You will quickly notice that nearly all of the bulls being offered have been bred and selected to help you increase your production per cow (weaning weight). This has been the primary focus of the beef industry for over 50 years. Registered breeders continue to select for higher and higher growth EPDs, and for bigger and bigger weaning weights.
Growth EPDs for most bulls are through the stratosphere! Several registered breeders are bragging about their 800, 900 and even 1000-pound weaning weights. Are they implying we can get the same results simply by using their bulls? Sadly, the fact that these registered breeders continue to sell a lot of bulls for a lot of money tells me there are a lot of commercial cow-calf producers who remain duped.
What does it take to produce calves that weigh 800 to 1000 pounds at weaning? First, it requires cows that weigh 1800 to 2000+ pounds. These cows do not fit any environment outside of a feedlot. Is this the kind of cow you want? Producing calves that weigh 800 to 1000 pounds at weaning also requires calves to be fed a hot ration – starting soon after birth. Can you afford to do this?
Registered breeders are willing to spend whatever it takes to get the results they want. They can justify spending all this extra money because commercial cow-calf producers are still willing to pay big bucks for overfat bulls that have artificially inflated weaning weights. This is a ruse many seedstock producers have mastered.
Commercial cow-calf producers, on the other hand, cannot justify spending extra money to get the results they were promised. They will never get paid enough for those extra pounds to cover the cost of the extra pounds. For this reason, they will NEVER be able to produce calves as big as their bull provider is producing.