By: Gary Fike, Director of Red Angus Commerical Marketing
It’s no secret that quality grade has been on a steady incline over the past several years. In 2005, about 56 percent of all fed cattle were grading Choice or Prime. Skip forward two years to 2017 and 78 percent of fed cattle are grading USDA Choice or Prime, according to CattleFax. The percentage of beef carcasses qualifying for the Prime grade reached an all-time high the week of Oct. 9, 2017, at 7 percent. Yet the Prime premium continues to climb! At one point in time this summer, the premium paid for Prime carcasses was more than $45 per cwt. On a 900 lb. carcass, that’s more than $400. If you had just ONE carcass that graded Prime on a load of 40 head, that’s an additional $10 per head. The message is clear: consumers, both foreign and domestic, are demanding high quality beef. Additionally, FCCP-tagged cattle on the Tyson Choice Plus grid receive a $4 per cwt. premium on cattle that grade in the upper 2/3 of Choice.
It pays to keep tabs on marbling when selecting seedstock/semen to use on your females. Carcass traits like ribeye area and marbling are moderately to highly heritable and it is not difficult to move the needle when selecting for those traits. Please keep in mind that we are not advocating single-trait selection, but don’t leave it out of the total equation when picking sires.
Not retaining ownership? Don’t care what happens or how calves perform after they leave your ranch or farm? Think again. Buyers know which rancher’s calves perform and grade, and which ones do not. The most POWERFUL information you can have on your calves to provide to buyers includes health programs, genetics, time weaned, implant status and lot size. Carcass data is even more valuable, but if you’ve never retained ownership or partnered with a feedlot on your cattle, you’ll never know. Creating demand for your cattle is a lot like consumer demand for beef: keep producing a quality product, and the buyers will return!
January, 10 2016
Dear Cattlemen and Women,
As I look at the 2016 colander I am amazed at how fast time seems to pass the older I get. In many ways it’s good to take 2015 off the wall, not dwelling on that year’s record, dry, heat and fire, but as we in the cattle business all know it is one of long endurance and perseverance that got us here. True to its legacy your Ranch is of a long term commitment likely multi generational. As did our fathers and grandfathers before us, we too shall overcome the hardships of nature in order to pass it on to future generations. The adaptations and adjustments in how the ranch is managed will become the foundation and guideline of the future. Be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished and make the most of what is put before you.
Another season begins another calf crop on the way. We anxiously await the arrival of the new calves with high anticipation of genetic progress through last year’s bull purchases. More likely than not, through genetic selection we will all have made decisions that will add value to the calf crop for years to come.
The cattle market seems to be less stable the last two months than previously predicted. Several things have contributed to the lower demand the data shows that feedlot numbers are still low. Heifer placements are behind steers however so the herd re build is well on its way. Cattle feeders struggle to make up for losses due to the record price paid for calves in early 2015 and late 2014. In the end the ones left in the business will be those who purchased calves with added value bred into those cattle and were able to take advantage of premium markets with incentives to high grading high yielding cattle. Red Angus is now well known for their ability to genetically add value to those feeder cattle.
Value added Programs – Just yesterday at the 2016 Annual Red Angus Brain Trust in Denver CO. President Kim Ford announced the acquisition of the controlling interest of Top Dollar Angus. Developed by Mr. Tom Brink as a marketing tool to bring higher premiums to producers who can genetically identify superiority in their calves for higher carcass merit and growth potential. To qualify for the program the sires of the feeder cattle you are marketing, need to be identified and the combined average Grid Master Index from the RAAA Epd read out must be in the top 25 percentile. These sires can be of any breed which will allow your cross bred calves to qualify. Backing the now two year old program is a sizable list of feedlots and cattle buyers who are looking for these high performance cattle and are paying as much as $7.00 per cwt premium.
As with adaptation and program modification brought about by nature, we also must continue to monitor and analyze the way we do business. This includes marketing the calf crop, for more information on Top Dollar Angus and other marketing tools, contact RAAA Marketing team at 1-940-387-3502 or give us a call.
We will once again be offering for sale Friday March 18 a new next generation set of Red Angus Bulls. Bulls with bred in Genetic Merit for siring calves to meet the qualifications for added value marketing programs such as Top Dollar Angus. The Sale will follow last year’s format via live auction. The bulls will be on display at the Bull Development Yard here on the Ranch, Pre photographed and videoed and sold by lot number in the indoor sale ring. The bulls will be viewed on TV screens during the auction and also broadcast via internet. Log on to DVAuction.com and register as a buyer for your convenience of bidding on line from your home. We offer sight unseen guarantee and free delivery within surrounding States of Idaho.
Stop by anytime to look through the bulls and let us help you find the best match for your program.
Leonard, Naomi and Family
January 16, 2015
As I begin filling in the dates of upcoming events and activities on the 2015 calendar it’s hard not to look back on what made 2014 so successful. What a banner year for the cattle industry. One of the few times that there was good profit margins in all sectors of the beef supply chain, from the cow calf producer to the retail counter.
In the RAAA strategic planning session in Denver last week, we heard Mr. John Butler who is COO of Beef Marking Group LLC, explain the factors that led up to the perfect storm that caused record high profits in the industry.
Mr. Butler also suggested that as competition for market share increases in 2015 the cattle industry must remain focused on the quality of our product as beef production also begins to increase. He indicated the challenge that we, “the cattle producers” will be faced with, as the US cow herd begins to rebuild, is breeding the genetic traits that will maintain profitability in the beef supply chain.
Not only does the future cow herd need to be more energy efficient to keep the cow calf man in business but the feeder calves we produce must have the genetic components bred into them to be feed efficient and high converters resulting in carcasses that will grade with a high percentage choice and prime.
Red Angus is poised to meet these challenges as the predictability of our cattle continues to exceed the rest of the industry. Through THR and continued implementation of genomic information, the new Red Angus Indices, and multi breed EPD’s, all contribute to, the largest data base in the industry. Red Angus feeder cattle continue to gain acceptance in the markets and the FCCP Yellow Tag is recognized nationwide, both for feeder cattle and replacement females.
As you plan your 2015 breeding season and make decisions on bull strategies, be sure to utilize all the selection tools available to help make an informed and accurate decision on what bulls best fit your environment and cow herd management.
This year we will be offering 50+ yearling Red Angus 1A, 1B and cat.3 HybRED bulls and seven 2 year olds. Twenty nine of these bulls are high growth carcass bulls to add power and quality to your calf crop. The other 26 are calving ease bulls with higher herd builder indices for use with replacement heifers and cow herd building traits.
Both of these strategies have a high correlation with marbling. It has been shown that marbling has a major contribution to ERT’s in the cowherd and it has never been more important to increase the marbling potential in our feeder cattle as it is a major component in quality grade.
Our breeding philosophies here at the V – X have concentrated to a large degree on marbling since 1978 when Steve & Louise Wood began marketing V – X cattle on the rail. Those philosophies have increased through the years as more and more selection pressure has been put toward marbling. The utilization of ultrasound and in more recent years carcass EPD’s have played a large role in selection criteria. We have also tried to avoid extremes in any one trait maintaining a balance in all genetic traits.
We have helped organize a series of Red Angus producer meetings around the area. With the addition of two new staff members to the RAAA Marketing team this last fall, they now have enough people to get out into the country more often. Barrett Carlisle , Red Angus Association of America Marketing Specialist, will be joining us to present current information from RAAA. All three meetings are free of charge so please join us for dinner, conversation and R A updates.
The first meeting will be in Air Way Heights at Northern Quest Resort and Casino on Feb. 10, 2015, meal served at 6:00 pm, Rooms available at a discounted rate for Feb.10, 2015.
The 2nd meeting is at Memories Diner in Ritzville WA. On Feb. 11, 2015. Meal served at 5:30 pm in conjunction with Cattle Producers of Washington (CPOW) meeting. All guests are welcome to stay for the CPOW meeting at 6:30 pm
The 3rd meeting is in Omak, WA. at the Riverside Grange Hall on Feb. 12, 2015. Meal served at 6:00 pm and co-hosted with the Okanogan County Cattleman’s Association. Meal prepared by Mick Koehn and friends of Pine Ridge Red Angus.
Barrett will go over Red Angus’s marketing tools and the FCCP yellow tag program and how they fit into the new choice + premium grids with Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. Please RSVP to Barrett Carlisle at [email protected] or call 800-252-0880 by Feb. 6, 2015. I also want to thank Don Dashiell, Willard Wolf, Jim Hutton, Mick Koehn and of course Barrett, for helping organize these meetings.
Another very good source of information is the Bonner/Boundary Cattle Association Beef School. It will be held on Feb.7, 2015 at the Sandpoint Elks Lodge in Ponderay. Meeting starts at 9:00 am and concludes around 3:00pm. lunch is provided in the registration fee, and the public is welcome.
Good Luck Calving and as always, if we can be of assistance please call or e mail.
Leonard, Naomi, Ben, and Dana
Office/ Naomi: 208-263- 5246, Leonard: 208-290-7782, Ben: 208-255-6025, Dana:208 290 1527
They say time flies when your having fun, so if that’s the case we must be having a blast. I have often wondered what it must be like to winter in an environment without snow. This is the first time we have ever gone this long through winter without snow. The Cows have stayed in incredibly good condition and on quite a lot less feed, being able to graze reserves and crop aftermath all winter.
The 2013 calf crop as with the cows have all had a stress free winter so far as well, staying dry and clean and performing very well on the forage based rations.
The bull calves were weaned in mid October with a week in the weaning pens after vaccinations and wormer. They were fed strait grass hay as they became accustomed to feed bunk ethics and then returned to pasture. They remained on grass until mid November after freeze up when we began feeding a starter ration of 4 lbs. of concentrate and grass hay. The on test ration began in mid December. The last 45 days represent the first half of the feed test. The bulls have performed very well for this feed period.
As in the past, the bulls will be fed a high roughage ration consisting of native grass hay and haylage, no alfalfa is fed to the bulls. A 14% concentrate blend is fed at 1% of their body weight through the test period.
This years offering consist of 50 yearling bulls, over half of which are calving ease bulls. We have listed them separate on the spred sheet for your convenience. Many of these are AI Sired.
We will also be adding a small offering of Simmental bulls from our long time friends and neighbors, Harvey & Leslie Lippert. Harvey grew up in the Simmental breed and has spent his early career as a progressive cattle breeder/hay farmer culminating his Simmental herd. With the ongoing collaboration between RAAA and ASA it is a natural fit. The two breeds complement each other emensly for a cross breeding program and the multi breed genetic evaluation established between the two associations allows the EPD’s to be compared evenly across the board.
Much information will be gathered on the bulls in the next 60 days as they develop and are prepared for the upcoming breeding season. Watch our web site for added information and as always we welcome and encourage visitors to come walk through the bulls for a sneak peak.
We will again be hosting our Opening Day Sale Event on the 3rd Friday of March, the 21st this year. Hope to see you then and Good Luck Calving!!
The Wood’s, Leonard & Naomi, Ben & Dana, Levi, Josie, Logan
We hope you have had a productive Summer and your calves are all ripen as you gather and make ready for marketing them. The cattle market has had a few hick-ups but remains profitable for all sectors of the industry. This is good as everyone has to have a piece of the pie.
We are once again offering a very nice set of Bred Heifers. Our summer has been good with as much grass as can be remembered and the heifers have all grown out nicely. As you look at the weights, keep in mind that these heifers were all developed on strictly forage, no grain or concentrates and the commercial heifers all bred on natural heat cycles. We believe that the best and most economical performance can be captured on forage and it is also what these heifers will be expected to live on for the rest of their productive lives.
In addition to our own home bred and raised heifers, we have put together a set of heifers from other producers utilizing Simmental influence in their cow herds and sired by Red Angus bulls. These bulls were not only V-X Red Angus, but also 5L and Green Mountain, two Very Prominent Red Angus Breeders in Western Montana. We purchased these heifers in small groups and were able to sort through them and make our selections based on calf performance, and do ability as well as disposition and structure.
The heifers were bred to start calving Feb. 10,2013. Most of the heifers were exposed for 65 days to V-X Red Angus Bulls however there are 2 groups with 35 day exposure periods that were bred to black calving ease Bulls. The heifers are grouped in like kind color patterns and expected calving intervals.
They are all Bangs Vaccinated, and have been on strict health programs since birth including all fall boosters and poured with Dectomax.
The heifers are on pasture here at the Ranch in Sandpoint and can be viewed at any time to meet your schedule.
We are offering the heifers by Private Treaty first come first serve and will facilitate load out according to volume and time frame. We would like to have the heifers moved by Mid November.
The Commercial Heifers are Base Priced at $1650.00 each. The Registered Heifers are individually priced according to pedigree, performance and EPD’s.
The Wood´s Family
After an unusually cool, wet, spring which set back the field work including the haying, we have finally gotten our summer. The cool weather broke by mid July and allowed us to get the hay in and catch up on fence building and other Ranch work. The new seeding came in good with the early moisture and also allowed the oats planted as a cover crop to produce well, for a later silage crop.
As with the farming we were forced to set back our breeding a few days. The replacement heifers are generally fed mga beginning April 1, for a May 1, synchronize date, but this year we weren’t able to begin that soon, so consequently our A.I. dates are a few days later, May 9-11. The heifers responded very nicely however and after our preg check data was returned, we were pleased with the results of 76% confirmed bred to A.I. dates.
We began the antagonizing search for another herd bull early on as bull sale season came into full swing. The availability of complete balanced Herd Bull prospects can be a real search effort. To find that bull that’s just right and then be able to get him bought is a real challenge. We finally managed to achieve our goal with the purchase of Loosli Hobo Design 042. We had several bulls picked out from prominent breeders around the area but zeroed in on 042 with the help of Seth Leachman and were grateful for his assistance in our selection. We got him bought for $7750 and after seeing other Sale Reports on other prospects we were thankful to get him for that.
We were able to collect semen on the 042 bull in early May and also collected our 7811 bull who has added so much and done such a good job at moderating birth weight and adding his balanced combination of calving ease, maternal, feed efficiency, growth and carcass quality to his progeny.
Both of these bulls are very similar in that respect so we bred as many heifers to them as we could. These bulls exemplify what our program is focused on, that being a moderate, easy fleshing mother cow, with low maintain requirements, easy calving, and optimal growth and marketability
As the haying was winding down we were all set back with the loss of our very dear friend Alan McNall. We had dedicated the top bull calf of our 2011 offering to Alan and his family as they continued their battle with deadly brain cancer It finally got him on August 8. We will miss him and his wonderful friendship and country spirit. Our Prayers remain with his family as they continue his Legacy raising cattle at McNall Shorthorns. Our thanks and congratulations go out to Albertsons A bar T Ranch for their purchase of the top bull and tremendous contribution to the McNall Family.
As the reflection on the season comes to vision, one must stop and realize how blessed we are with what has been provided for us. With the seasons come new and exciting challenges allowing us to take new journeys in life in pursuit of our dreams and goals. We are very thankful to be living in this wonderful country and as 9-11 approaches we are reminded of the sacrifices made by our countryman that we may enjoy the freedoms we have grown accustomed to.
Our family continues to grow and prosper in our western lifestyle and culture. We thank you for your support and continued interest in our program and remain ready, willing, and able, to serve you and your cattle needs.
The Wood´s Family
Dear Cattle Producers,
It´s hard to believe it´s already past Labor Day; what an unusually short, cool summer. Hopefully with all the moisture we´ll get a nice Indian Summer to take advantage of the extra re-growth from pastures and hay fields. It has been a good year for crop yields as well, with some reports of record barley and wheat yields and hay yields back to normal.
It´s also been an exciting summer for the cattle market across the west. The summer video sales have been very strong with excellent demand on all classes of Feeder Cattle. In the Superior Video Sale in Winnemucca, NV several sets of Red Angus Calves set the limit with 860# Steers @ 110.50 from DeLong Ranches, 460# Steers @ 140.50 from Mary Otley, and Skinner Ranches sold 550# Steers @ 125.50.
The market hasn´t shown any signs of slowing down as of yet and we are looking forward to strong demand and high calf prices through the fall run. This brings me to some important information for those of you who sell your weaned calves in the Fall.
In the past, the Sale Yards and Auction Barns have held special Feeder Sales on certain days through the Fall. This year we would like to create special Red Angus influenced sections to coincide with these sale dates. This would bring special attention to Red Angus influenced calves and have them sell in special sections designated as such. This will help identify the cattle as to breed, and help to age and Source Verify your calves, making them more desirable for buyers who want similar types of calves. It is becoming more and more well known as to the do-ability and consistent performance that can be expected from Red Angus sired calves, as demand continues to grow.
We have listed the Dates of these Sales for a couple of Sale Yards and contact information for them in our area.
We encourage you to talk to the Sale Managers in your area or where ever you prefer to sell your calves if different from the ones we have listed to bring added attention to your calves.
Stockland Livestock Auction, Davenport WA.
Ted Kerst, Manager 509-994-7743 Cell
Stock Yards 509- 725-1101
Spokane Office 800-372-6845
Market Recording 509-838-8012
Regular Sale – Feeders September 20
Regular Sale Feeders October 4th
Car Load Sale October 9th Saturday 20 Head Minimum
Regular Sale Feeders October 11
First Saturday of November is the annual Stock Cow Sale.
The early October sales are well attended by buyers and would be a good time for small lots of calves (under 20 head) however, the Carload Sale for primarily large lots, is a special feeder calf sale and will have a few extra buyers there. Ted also encourages producers to pool cattle of similar weights and breed make up to create larger lot sizes. He also asks that you contact him a couple weeks in advance so that he can include your calves in his advertisements. If you would like assistance in making contact with the Sale Barn or if we can assist you in pooling calves with other producers feel free to call to let us know how we can help. By working together hopefully we can help each other add value to our Red Angus Sired Calves.
Lewiston Livestock Auction
Clay Bickford 208-791-5090
Feeder Sales 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Bred Females 2nd week in November
Direct marketing to the feedlots is also an excellent choice on larger truck load lots. Usually these direct Sales are based on load lots determined by total net weight. Usually 48 to 50,000 lbs. of cattle per load. There are several ways to sell these large load lots and it´s always good to get several bids for your offering.
Bred Heifer News
Once again, we will be offering a nice set of bred heifers, mostly Red-hided. The commercial heifers are crossbred with percentage Simmental and some with Gelbvieh and Hereford. These heifers were pasture exposed from May 1 through July 10 to V-X bulls specifically intended for calving ease with optimal growth. The commercial heifers will be grouped and penned as to breed make-up, frame size, and color. We will be selling 50 head of these.
The purebred heifers were synchronized and bred to 6 different bulls from May 1 through May 5, some AI and some by natural service. They were then split into two groups and pasture-exposed to two different bulls. We will be selling 20 of these. In order to allow an opportunity to the top cut of these heifers, we will pair the top 20 head and sell them together, but only 1 heifer from each pair sells. You take your pick of which one you want and we keep the other one.
Individual data will be available on the heifers, they will be vaccinated, dewormed, and guaranteed bred. We will utilize the same foremat for the sale procedures as we use on the spring bull sale, selling each lot to the highest bidder through a gentleman´s auction. Also to coincide with the heifer sale, we will have the bull calves penned nearby to allow you to walk through them for a sneak preview as to what will be available next spring.
The sale will be Saturday, October 23rd. Lunch is at noon and the sale starts at 1pm. We recommend you bring your trailer, but if you will need assistance in hauling we will be glad to assist you. We will load out the heifers immediately after the sale.
Hope you have a great Fall.
The Wood´s Family
As summer slowly begins to make an appearance we once again realize how blessed we truly are. With the arrival of spring we have had our share of moisture and are fortunate to have gotten caught up from the lack of snow last winter. Creeks, rivers, reservoirs and lakes are full and plentiful. The pastures are producing above expectation and it looks like we´ll have a pretty good hay crop.
The high light of this spring however has been the arrival of 2 brand new grand daughters. Josie Marie Wood was delivered to proud parents Dana and Ben and her big brother Levi on April 7th. She is a doll and getting more active every day always having a smile ready for Grama & Papa.
Then on May 17th Alena Faith Cates was born to her proud parents Angie and Jason and also her big brother Colter is pretty protective of his litter sister.
Breeding season began May 1st and the activity is tapering off now with only 3 weeks left. The new bulls are holding up very well and we look forward to seeing their offspring and evaluating their genetic contributions. We have made several improvements to the bull arsenal with this spring´s purchases. More rib and marbling rankings while maintaining our maternal, calving ease, and fleshing ability. Check out their stats in the sires tab.
We have 130 replacement heifers being exposed this spring and hope to market about half of them this fall. All together there are 60 registered heifers and 70 commercial heifers being bred in a 60 day window to start calving Feb 7, 2011. The registered heifers will have 6 sire groups initially and then pasture exposed in 2 groups to new bulls purchased this spring. The commercial heifers are in one contemporary group with 3 bulls. The dominant breeder is a 2 year old Mytty In Focus son, a black Red Angus used last year on heifers with excellent calving ease success with this year´s calves.
These heifers will be preg checked and guaranteed bred with approximate calving dates and will have had a full regiment of vaccinations and poured for parasite control. More information will be posted as it becomes available and we will begin distributing data and sale information by early Sept.
We would like to thank again all who participated in our Opening Day Bull Sale event. We were delighted with its acceptance and positive feed back on the bulls. We have increased interest in the herd sire Wood Optima 604 and Genex is also looking at him.
We want to congratulate Jesse Miller from Boise on her recent contribution to the Idaho Cattle Association publication, Line Rider. Jesse is the Idaho Cattle Women representative to the Board of Directors for ICA and was highlighted in a very nice article portraying Idaho Cattle Women. She has spent a lifetime in ranching and continues to give back to the industry she loves. Check it out at www.idahocattle.org. Jesse and her husband Paul are very knowledgeable cattle producers in the Boise area and we are proud to have them as our bull customers.
Hope spring is treating you well and you have a beautiful summer!!
The Wood´s Family
As calving season is approaching or is underway I would like to remind you all of the added value programs Red Angus has to offer.
First the FCCP Yellow ear tags can be purchased at the same 99 cents price offered last year. Not only is this the most economical priced tag in the Industry, it is an excellent quality two piece design tag, and can be ordered with your custom numbers on them.
The real value however is when you market your calves this tag identifies your calves age, source, and genotype ( breed make up ) as long as your calves are sired by Registered Red Angus Bulls they are eligible.
Cattle feeders all over the country are recognizing the “Yellow” Tag as a source of guaranteed Angus genetics not just an Angus hide color.
You can also list your calves on the Red Angus Feeder Fax when you get ready to sell them. This lists your cattle as a group and is viewed by hundreds of feedlots and cattle buyers.
The Females can be listed on the Pro Cow listing which identifies potential replacement females available.
We are feeding all our bulls at home this year and will collect all performance data from the 120 day feed test. We will scan the Bulls around the firsr of March compile all data and this year we will produce a sale catalog with all performance data included.
We will still offer the bulls Private Treaty as in the past but, will have an Opening Day Event scheduled for March 20th so everyone has equal opportunity at every bull.
Our new web site, www.woodvbarxranch.com, has been launched. Hope you are enjoying it so far.
We will also offer on line bidding. Buyers can place bids on line or by phone.
We plan to make it a fun and relaxing day so do plan to come and have lunch with us and enjoy our North Idaho hospitality and camaraderie´s.