CARROLLTON, Ohio – The first group of calves sired by a single bull in Angus herds around Carroll County are just now hitting the ground, and the Ohio Premium Beef Cattle Producers marketing group is already making changes in its effort to improve its genetics and its marketing abilities.
The producers are planning a second round of breeding to produce calves that can be marketed as a group of similar size and similar genetics.
This time, heat synchronization will be used to attempt to get all the cattle bred within a three-day period either in May or June. Producers can select semen from four sires.
Carroll County Extension Agent Mike Hogan said the program hopes to enroll at least 200 cows this time around.
Only 70 were bred to a single bull last year when the marketing association was formed through the Carroll County Cattlemen’s Association with the assistance of OSU Extension.
There was some hesitation last year from people who wanted to wait and see how it went, Hogan said.
There was also some concern that with cows of different size and stature, a single bull was not adequate.
This year, Hogan said a selection of bulls with different characteristics is being used to give breeders more choice in finding a bull that suits individual herds.
All four sires have been chosen for calving ease and for carcass traits.
Rather than allow producers to breed at will as they did last year, Hogan said all participants in the program will be asked to breed cattle either in the May 25-27 or the June 22-24 breeding period.
A tighter breeding schedule will ensure that the calves will be the uniform size that can be sold in lots. Buyers have been willing to pay a premium for such lots of feeder calves, Hogan said.
A cattlemen’s program in Virginia that the Carroll County program is modeled after has been able to claim a 10-cent to 15-cent premium through this kind of marketing.
Producers who breed through the program are urged to retain any heifers born from breeding with similar sires in order to breed them back into the program.
Hogan said the ultimate goal is to have calves with similar genetics born within a narrow period of time to be sold at an almost identical size by semi-load lots.
Although they are nowhere near that goal yet, Hogan said the producers still hope to be able to sell the 35 or so steers they will realize from the current crop of calves as a single group, and realize a somewhat higher sales price.
Much larger group.
“If everyone who has called and asked about the program this spring decides to come in,” Hogan said, there will be a much larger group of calves entering the marketing system next year.
He said he plans to promote the program in June by using the farms that have the calves born this spring as part of a grazing management tour.
“That will be too late to interest new producers in joining this year,” Hogan said, “but it will give everyone a chance to have a look at those calves and judge for themselves how similar they are.”
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To learn more…
An informational and sign-up meeting for the cooperative feeder calf marking plan will be held at 8 p.m. April 30 at Carrollton High School.
Producers will hear from ABS and COBA/Select Sires about the four bulls that have been selected, and will be provided information about the synchronized breeding program and the marketing plans.
They will also have a chance to sign up for the program.
The program is not limited to Carroll County producers.
Breeders who are interested in participating are urged to attend the meeting.
For information contact Mike Hogan, Carroll County OSU Extension, 330-627-4310.