Genetics for Producing Profitable and Sustainable Grass-Fed Beef
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Genetics for Producing Profitable and Sustainable Grass-Fed Beef Dr. Scott M. Barao Executive Director The Jorgensen Family Foundation Hedgeapple Farm. The Jorgensen Family Foundation. Created in 1997 to conduct beef and forage research for the benefit of farmers in the Mid Atlantic region.

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Genetics for Producing Profitable and Sustainable Grass-Fed Beef Dr. Scott M. BaraoExecutive DirectorThe Jorgensen Family FoundationHedgeapple Farm


The jorgensen family foundation
The Jorgensen Family Beef Foundation

  • Created in 1997 to conduct beef and forage research for the benefit of farmers in the Mid Atlantic region.

  • Hedgeapple Farm is the centerpiece of the foundation and serves as a working model operation.

  • Hedgeapple Farm focuses on grass fed beef production and direct marketing.


Beef cow efficiency
Beef Cow “Efficiency” Beef

The optimum use of your specific set of resources toward a profitable and sustainable level of production.


Beef cow efficiency1
Beef Cow “Efficiency” Beef

Total pounds of weaned calf per pound of female exposed?

Total pounds of calf weaned per pound of feed consumed?


Issues to consider
Issues to Consider Beef

  • Mature Cow Size

  • Milk Production

  • Reproductive Performance

  • Carcass Traits


It all comes down to energy
It All Comes Down to Energy Beef

Can you provide sufficient calories, in a cost-effective manner, to support the machine you have selected and bred?

In a grass-based system the question becomes, do you have a year-round pasture/forage supply of sufficient quantity and quality to support the genetic potential of your cow herd and their offspring?


Priority of energy use by the cow Beef

Source: Short et al. 1990


Issues to consider1
Issues to Consider Beef

  • Mature Cow Size

  • Milk Production

  • Reproductive Performance

  • Carcass Traits


Issues to consider2
Issues to Consider Beef

  • Mature Cow Size

  • Milk Production

  • Reproductive Performance

  • Carcass Traits


Issues to consider3
Issues to Consider Beef

  • Mature Cow Size

  • Milk Production

  • Reproductive Performance

  • Carcass Traits


Issues to consider4
Issues to Consider Beef

  • Mature Cow Size

  • Milk Production

  • Reproductive Performance

  • Carcass Traits


Cattle operation
Cattle Operation Beef

Grass Finishing Program

  • Approximately 150 head per year

  • Steers and Heifers

  • Additional calves purchased at weaning from cooperator herds

    • Use HAF bulls

    • Follow HAF production protocol


Grass finishing production
Grass Finishing Production Beef

Growth

  • Phase 1 - Birth to Wean (8 months)

    • 2.0 lbs/day

  • Phase 2 - Wean to Yearling

    • 1.8 to 2.2 lbs/day

  • Phase 3 - Yearling to Slaughter (X=19M)

    • 1.5 to 2.0 lbs/day


Grass finishing production1
Grass Finishing Production Beef

Carcass Performance Averages (2008-2009)

  • Slaughter Weight

    • 1070 lbs. (Range of 900 to 1200 lbs.)

  • Slaughter Age

    • 19 months (Range of 17 to 23 months)

  • Yield Grade

    • 2.2

  • Ribeye Size

    • 10.9 (typically 1 sq. in. of Ribeye per 100 lbs of live wt,)

  • Quality Grade

    • Steers: 71% Choice; 26% Select+

    • Heifers: 88% Choice; 12% Select+


Grass finishing economics
Grass Finishing Economics Beef

Averages (2008-2009 YTD)

  • Live Wt. = 1070

  • Carcass Wt. = 642

  • Retail Wt. = 390

  • Farm Value = $1284.00 (@ $2/lb HCW)

  • Processing Cost = $418/head

  • Cost of Goods (retail) = $4.36/lb

  • Retail Value $2681.00

  • Retail Value/lb = $6.87

  • Margin = $2.51/lb or $979/carcass

  • Total System Value = $2262/head


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