How the Rex Ranch Learned even more about their Cattle

(Jim) I am Jim Shroyer, Extension Wheat Specialist, Kansas State
University. (Erick) And I am Erick DeWolf, Extension Plant Pathologist also for Kansas State University. This is our County Extension Demonstration Plot Tour season and we visit all the County Extension Variety Plots and so far this past week we’ve been to Harper, Barber, Kingman, Pratt, Edwards and Kiowa County. And today we’re in Sumner County looking at the plo(Bob Cervera) When the Rex Ranch got into the feeding business, they learned more about their cattle. But rather than change their focus, it only intensified it. (Chip Ramsay) We’ve had a long term view of it for a long time. I’ve been with the company for twenty something years down in Florida and now up at their Nebraska operation. We’ve basically, for several years before we ever owned a feedyard, we’ve viewed, what is the value of that calf to the next customer? The only way to view that is to think past him to the packer. (Bob) Genetic improvements are apparent even after just one interval. That allows the ranch to be responsive with its breeding program. (Ramsay) What we want to raise is a cow that can survive and produce and thrive in our environment. After we have that, because it doesn’t matter how good he was going to be. We’ve got to have a calf first. After that, then we look for all the post weaning traits we get. They’re fairly equally weighted in our system. (Bob) They select for increasing carcass weight, rib eye and marbling, but the cattleman knows management plays an important role, too. (Ramsay) As we’ve owned a feedyard, we’ve really focused on trying to figure out what really adds value in the chain. Not smoke and mirrors. What really adds value and other things that we’ve found out is cattle from different areas feed differently. You have to tailor your management, your ration, your implant strategy. You have to be willing to look at different ways and experiment with different ways to get the most out of what the genetics that they have out. (Bob) Ramsay says they can fit the cowherd to the environment and still have cattle that excel in the feedyard and on the rail. I’m Bob Cervera.

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