Carcass data project winners named
By Meg Drake and Steve Suther
The Kansas Angus Association 2012 Carcass Data Project named winners and closed out its second year at McPherson County Feeders, Marquette, Kan., with plans to return this fall.
"We're excited that our participation doubled this year," said KAA Manager Anne Lampe. She thanked Certified Angus Beef LLC for partnering on the 79-head project, and for sponsoring awards of more than $1,200.
"It was another great year of feeding some of the best Angus cattle in the country," said Landon Shaw, assistant manager at the CAB-licensed feedlot. "Having an Angus-sired pen that gains almost 4 pounds a day, grades 93 percent Choice and makes 47 percent CAB certainly proves the value of the breed."
Cattle in the pen came from nine consignors across the state: Hinkson Angus Ranch, Cottonwood Falls; Hobbs Ranch, Penokee; Jeff Klausmeyer, Clearwater; Thomas Klausmeyer, Conway Springs; Dean Larson, Tescott; Dan Melton, Walton; Andy and Mary McCurry, Burrton; Nemaha Valley Angus, Bern; and Howard Woodbury, Quenemo.
Final standings were based on the top three calves from any owner, taking gain and CAB acceptance into account. There were excellent cattle in each consignment, said Gary Fike, beef cattle specialist with the brand.
In a letter of congratulations to all, Fike noted that the top three gainers (regardless of grade) from each owner had an average range of 3.91 pounds to 4.86 lb. average daily gain. "Anybody who tells you Angus-sired cattle cannot gain and grade simply doesn't know what they're talking about," he said.
Considering the individual carcass data received, there were no losers, but the formula of gain plus CAB acceptance highlighted a top cut for the CDP.
"I'm glad my Dad won--that's how it's supposed to be--I'll get my chance," said Jeff Klausmeyer, whose cattle came in tied for third. The champions, winning $500 and CAB merchandise, were from Thomas Klausmeyer's consignment that included three calves from other son, Todd. The K3 Angus family represented nearly 18 percent of cattle harvested, and they were the right kind.
Eleven of the family's 15 head were accepted for the brand, and the top three for the gain/grade combination were 100 percent CAB, marbling score 623 and 3.89-lb. ADG.
Jeff's trio, winning $200 and CAB merchandise, made 67 percent CAB, marbling at 577 and 3.85-lb. ADG. In fact, all other groups of three in the finals turned out with 67 percent brand acceptance.
Five calves were out of AI (artificial insemination) sires, the rest home-raised bulls that trace back to the top K3 cow family for moderation and marbling. Nearly half of the steers were from first-calf heifers.
"I think we're steering in the right direction," Thomas said. Cattle that competed in the CDP were backgrounded in a fall grazing program, he says: two weeks in a grass trap, then rotating to an alfalfa patch before wheat-stockering and on to McPherson County Feeders.
The Klausmeyers rarely retain ownership of any cattle on feed, but after this showing, they may do more of it in the future. "With the genetics we use, it'd be nice to get paid for what we've put into them," Jeff said.
Terry Hobbs came in second ($300 and CAB merchandise) in the CDP, just like last year even as the award switched from individual cattle to groups of three. "We still came in second," he said. "Like last year, and like next year, the steers are one sire group and out of first-calf heifers."
The 2012 reserve champions were sons of Ironwood New Level out of the New Design line on their dams' side. Superior marbling was the edge, with that score at 603 and ADG at 3.77 lb.
Dean Larson's third-place ($200 and CAB merchandise) steers came from a group of five from heifers that were pasture-bred to a calving-ease Green Garden Angus bull. "I didn't breed them for growth, but they sure gained," he said of the 3.77 ADG and 553 marbling score.
"We aim for moderate rather than the biggest cattle." Larson said his 135 commercial cows all have similar bloodlines from the same breeder.
"This was kind of a learning experience," he added. "I'm proud of my cattle and those steers represented our herd. It's nice to know they did well."
Aside from the combination cash prizes, KAA recognized the top gaining group overall with CAB merchandise. These came from Nemaha Valley Angus at 4.26 ADG on 14 head that made 50 percent CAB.
"I would like to think the bulls we kept for breeding stock would do even better," said farm owner-manager Neal Haverkamp. "I entered the CDP to see how they stack up against other quality cattle and to get an idea about what traits we could improve."
Lampe said the KAA mission in the project is, "that our participants gain valuable information that they can in turn use to improve and promote their programs and genetics."
Haverkamp said, "I'd love to see over 100 entries this next year. Competition keeps us working hard to improve our product, and this is a good way to draw attention to the quality of Angus cattle in Kansas."