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From Cow Calf Weekly (long)

A

Anonymous

Guest
Our Perspective Hybrid Vigor Is The Industry's Only Free Lunch At the recent Beef Improvement Federation meeting in Lexington, KY, one breeding specialist after another trumpeted the benefits of hybrid vigor and utilizing breed complementarity. Yet, statistics show that nearly 1 in 5 commercial cows are still straight breds. Why has the industry been so slow to utilize the tools of cross breeding, breed complementarity and planned mating systems?

Colorado State University's Tom Field provided some well-documented points on the value of and need for crossbreeding:

No one breed does all things well and no one breed is without weaknesses. Careful matching of breed strengths and weaknesses can yield optimal trait combinations. Hybrid vigor provides a buffer against environmental stress, and allows crossbred animals to excel the average of their parents. Heterosis is most advantageous in the lowly heritable traits like reproductive performance, calf survival and cow longevity. So, given that and all the years of research documenting that crossbreeding systems improve net income from 11-19%, why haven't these techniques been more fully exploited?

The most common reason is perhaps simplicity. Many of these mating systems are too complicated to implement. Crossbreeding requires a plan, and a breeding program built on the bull-of-the-month club can actually take a program backwards. Plus, when it comes to the benefits of hybrid vigor and heterosis, many producers tend to think in terms of the highly heritable traits like growth.

In addition, within-breed selection has made the advantages of hybrid vigor in relationship to growth less advantageous. In fact, a major challenge of implementing a sound crossbreeding program is in getting too much — too much milk, too much birth weight, too much growth and too much mature size.

The cattle industry has just begun to develop expertise to measure genetic differences in crossbred cattle and provide composite/hybrid/F1 seedstock. This eliminates the need for multiple breeding pastures and wide swings in biological types.

Also, crossbreeding can't be considered a substitute for applying selection pressure. In many cases, crossbreeding systems have been utilized not to improve economic performance but rather to maintain performance while incorporating inferior but inexpensive genetics.

The bottom line is that any commercial operation that isn't leveraging the benefits of heterosis and breed complementarity should take a close look at what that decision is costing them in efficiency. That's especially true considering that the industry has developed the tools needed to make more informed breeding, management and marketing decisions and measure their economic impact on an individual operation's profitability. -- Troy Marshall
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I read somewhere that the benefits of crossbreeding disappear when high quality animals are used. The greatest gain can be had when breeding average cows with a superior bull. Good records and hard selection for quality animals would go far in improving herds in my area. Crossbreeding is not a subsitute for poor management. Quailty crossbred cows are hard to beat when combined with superior bulls. The beef industry needs a way to pass performance and carcass info back to cow calf producers so they can breed cattle for their markets.

pat

pat

> Our Perspective Hybrid Vigor Is
> The Industry's Only Free Lunch At
> the recent Beef Improvement
> Federation meeting in Lexington,
> KY, one breeding specialist after
> another trumpeted the benefits of
> hybrid vigor and utilizing breed
> complementarity. Yet, statistics
> show that nearly 1 in 5 commercial
> cows are still straight breds. Why
> has the industry been so slow to
> utilize the tools of cross
> breeding, breed complementarity
> and planned mating systems?

> Colorado State University's Tom
> Field provided some
> well-documented points on the
> value of and need for
> crossbreeding:

> No one breed does all things well
> and no one breed is without
> weaknesses. Careful matching of
> breed strengths and weaknesses can
> yield optimal trait combinations.
> Hybrid vigor provides a buffer
> against environmental stress, and
> allows crossbred animals to excel
> the average of their parents.
> Heterosis is most advantageous in
> the lowly heritable traits like
> reproductive performance, calf
> survival and cow longevity. So,
> given that and all the years of
> research documenting that
> crossbreeding systems improve net
> income from 11-19%, why haven't
> these techniques been more fully
> exploited?

> The most common reason is perhaps
> simplicity. Many of these mating
> systems are too complicated to
> implement. Crossbreeding requires
> a plan, and a breeding program
> built on the bull-of-the-month
> club can actually take a program
> backwards. Plus, when it comes to
> the benefits of hybrid vigor and
> heterosis, many producers tend to
> think in terms of the highly
> heritable traits like growth.

> In addition, within-breed
> selection has made the advantages
> of hybrid vigor in relationship to
> growth less advantageous. In fact,
> a major challenge of implementing
> a sound crossbreeding program is
> in getting too much — too much
> milk, too much birth weight, too
> much growth and too much mature
> size.

> The cattle industry has just begun
> to develop expertise to measure
> genetic differences in crossbred
> cattle and provide
> composite/hybrid/F1 seedstock.
> This eliminates the need for
> multiple breeding pastures and
> wide swings in biological types.

> Also, crossbreeding can't be
> considered a substitute for
> applying selection pressure. In
> many cases, crossbreeding systems
> have been utilized not to improve
> economic performance but rather to
> maintain performance while
> incorporating inferior but
> inexpensive genetics.

> The bottom line is that any
> commercial operation that isn't
> leveraging the benefits of
> heterosis and breed
> complementarity should take a
> close look at what that decision
> is costing them in efficiency.
> That's especially true considering
> that the industry has developed
> the tools needed to make more
> informed breeding, management and
> marketing decisions and measure
> their economic impact on an
> individual operation's
> profitability. -- Troy Marshall
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> I read somewhere that the benefits
> of crossbreeding disappear when
> high quality animals are used.

NO! The benefits of crossbreeding DO NOT disappear when high quality animals are used. Check your sources.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> Our Perspective Hybrid Vigor Is
> The Industry's Only Free Lunch At
> the recent Beef Improvement
> Federation meeting in Lexington,
> KY, one breeding specialist after
> another trumpeted the benefits of
> hybrid vigor and utilizing breed
> complementarity. Yet, statistics
> show that nearly 1 in 5 commercial
> cows are still straight breds. Why
> has the industry been so slow to
> utilize the tools of cross
> breeding, breed complementarity
> and planned mating systems?

> Colorado State University's Tom
> Field provided some
> well-documented points on the
> value of and need for
> crossbreeding:

> No one breed does all things well
> and no one breed is without
> weaknesses. Careful matching of
> breed strengths and weaknesses can
> yield optimal trait combinations.
> Hybrid vigor provides a buffer
> against environmental stress, and
> allows crossbred animals to excel
> the average of their parents.
> Heterosis is most advantageous in
> the lowly heritable traits like
> reproductive performance, calf
> survival and cow longevity. So,
> given that and all the years of
> research documenting that
> crossbreeding systems improve net
> income from 11-19%, why haven't
> these techniques been more fully
> exploited?

> The most common reason is perhaps
> simplicity. Many of these mating
> systems are too complicated to
> implement. Crossbreeding requires
> a plan, and a breeding program
> built on the bull-of-the-month
> club can actually take a program
> backwards. Plus, when it comes to
> the benefits of hybrid vigor and
> heterosis, many producers tend to
> think in terms of the highly
> heritable traits like growth.

> In addition, within-breed
> selection has made the advantages
> of hybrid vigor in relationship to
> growth less advantageous. In fact,
> a major challenge of implementing
> a sound crossbreeding program is
> in getting too much — too much
> milk, too much birth weight, too
> much growth and too much mature
> size.

> The cattle industry has just begun
> to develop expertise to measure
> genetic differences in crossbred
> cattle and provide
> composite/hybrid/F1 seedstock.
> This eliminates the need for
> multiple breeding pastures and
> wide swings in biological types.

> Also, crossbreeding can't be
> considered a substitute for
> applying selection pressure. In
> many cases, crossbreeding systems
> have been utilized not to improve
> economic performance but rather to
> maintain performance while
> incorporating inferior but
> inexpensive genetics.

> The bottom line is that any
> commercial operation that isn't
> leveraging the benefits of
> heterosis and breed
> complementarity should take a
> close look at what that decision
> is costing them in efficiency.
> That's especially true considering
> that the industry has developed
> the tools needed to make more
> informed breeding, management and
> marketing decisions and measure
> their economic impact on an
> individual operation's
> profitability. -- Troy Marshall

These are some good, basic facts that cattle producers need to be reminded of (oh, a couple breed associations should review this too).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
How much of the extra growth is due to increase in frame size? Crossbreeding is a great tool for producers but it does not replace good records and management practices.

pat

> NO! The benefits of crossbreeding
> DO NOT disappear when high quality
> animals are used. Check your
> sources.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
There are 2 major benefits of crossbreeding. The first one and the one you tend to hear about the most is hybrid vigor. Heterosis (the same term as hybrid vigor) is the term for ALL the increases in production (longevity, reproductive performance, adaptability and survival, AND growth EFFICIENCY), some research has documented the benefits to be as high as 36% greater than straightbreeding.

The second major benefit is termed "breed complementarity" which essentially means you produce better cattle for certain situations and environments by combining the strengths of more than one breed while minimizing the weaknesses of component breeds

Frame size is not a measurement of growth rate and/or growth efficiency. Frame size is how tall an animal is at any certain point in time. So if you are measuring growth in pounds of gain per unit time, the answer to your question is none. If you are trying to measure "growth" by measuring the height of animals, then crossing a large framed animal with a smaller frame animal would yield offspring of an intermediate frame score (on the average).

You are right, crossbreeding is only a tool, as is selection. These are "genetic" tools. Records and management practices are not the same. They are practices that can increase the accuracy of your selection or enhance or hinder your use of genetic tools.

Most cattle production tools and practices are not exclusive, you don't pick, on an "either or" basis. The best cattle breeders utilize all the tools and practices at their disposal.

> How much of the extra growth is
> due to increase in frame size?
> Crossbreeding is a great tool for
> producers but it does not replace
> good records and management
> practices.

> pat
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
>that was a good post DUN, i agree with wht you said, and some things some others said also. good management is just as essential as having good cattle. keeping minerals and salf out , annual or bi annual vaccination programs, good quality hay in winter time, controlling parasites and flies are just as needed as having good cattle. crossbred cattle will stay in your herd as good producers 10% or longer than purebred cattle. non pruducing cows should be culled from your herd and replaced with good producing cattle. it doesn'r cost any more to keep a good cow than it does a bad cow. good quality calves will bring good money at the market, and they don't have to be purebred calves. (talking about the commercial cattleman) i consider a brangus and tigerstripe the best momma cows you can find. an angus or charlois bull crossed with these kind of cattle gets very good calves which sell very well at the market. i can tell you from experience the crossbred cows bred to a good bull will make you more money in the end than breeding the non cross bred cattle



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