Feeder Profit Calculator (FPC) (6)
Finally, you have a powerful, no-nonsense tool to highlight the true profit potential in your calf crop. It is time to leverage the investment you’ve made in your bull battery and the expense you’ve put into your health program to receive a third-party validation of the predicted feedlot success of your feeder calves. The IGS Feeder Profit CalculatorTM incorporates the genetic knowledge of most mainstream sires, regardless of breed, by referencing their EPD profile. At the same time, the extra time and serious effort you’ve put into your preconditioning and vaccination program are also considered as a fundamental part of feeder calf value. Weaning management and a responsible health program set your calves up for success.
By Drs. Randie Culbertson, ASA and IGS Lead Geneticist and Jackie Atkins, Director of Science and Education |
Daughters sired by bulls in the top 25 percent for stayability were over twice as likely to remain in the herd as six-year-old cows and averaged almost two more calves in their lifetime compared to daughters sired by bulls in the bottom 25 percent for stayability EPDs.
The financial success of cow-calf operations depend on a cow’s ability to remain in the herd long enough to recoup the cost of heifer development and cow maintenance. In order to achieve this, a heifer needs to calve as a 2-year-old and produce a calf each subsequent year. Stayability EPD was developed to predict this reproductive success (or failure) and is defined as a cow’s ability to remain in the herd to a specific endpoint, with the assumption that open cows are culled. The typical endpoint is defined at six years of age. Stayability has an economic influence on a cow herd through female reproduction, increased calves per cow, and increased calf performance given mature cows on average wean heavier calves.
As with most reproductive traits, the heritability of stayability is low (less than 0.20) indicating a large non-genetic influence on stayability. These non-genetic influences can range from ranch conditions to ranch management and are not inherited by future progeny. On the flip side, if you provide the optimal environment for your herd but lack the genetics for cow longevity, you will still find yourself with cows falling out of the herd prematurely. Although a low heritability for stayability illustrates the importance and significance of management, it also tells us that there is an underlying genetic aspect to a cow’s ability to remain in the herd. Furthermore, since cow longevity is largely determined by the environment, making genetic selections to improve longevity is far more accurate with a stayability EPD compared to a phenotype heavily influenced by the environment. In the context of genetic improvement, ignoring stayability EPDs will slow or reverse the genetic progress for this highly relevant trait.
Since its development, the stayability EPD is currently being published by multiple breed associations but how reliable is this EPD for predicting cow longevity? To examine this question, over 140,000 daughters from high-accuracy bulls for stayability from the IGS database were analyzed. These sires were ranked by their stayability EPD and divided into four percentile groups (or quartiles; 1-25 [top or best], 26-50, 51-74, 75-99 [bottom or worst] percentile). Within each quartile, the percentage of daughters remaining in the herd to six years-of-age and the average number of calves from daughters in their lifetime was compared.
As you can see in the graph, as Stayability EPD increased, the percentage of daughters reaching the age of six also increased. When comparing the lowest quartile to the highest quartile, the percentage of daughters remaining in the herd to age six more than doubled.
Only 22% of the daughters reached the age of six for the lowest quartile compared to 49% of daughters for sires in the highest quartile.
But how does this translate to calves on the ground? The second graph illustrates the average number of calves from daughters of sires within each Stayability EPD quartile group. There is a clear increase in the average number of calves per cow as we move towards the top percentile. Daughters from sires in the top Stayability quartile averaged nearly two more calves in their lifetime compared to daughters out of sires in the lowest Stayability quartile.
Female longevity is one of the most economically impactful traits of commercial cow-calf operations. When choosing genetics for replacement females, emphasizing stayability will optimize the genetic potential for longevity in the herd.
International Genetic Solutions offers free, third-party validation on feeder calves.
Using the IGS Feeder Profit Calculator, cattlemen are able to provide sire information, regardless of breed, as well as preconditioning, weaning and health data in exchange for a Total Relative Value that compares the profit potential of their calves to the industry at large. That value, indicated on a formal certificate, can be used for producer benchmarking and buyer insight.
Superior Livestock Representative Clint Berry says such technology is in line with what he sees for buyer demand.
“We sell cattle in all capacities, all formats, but the one thing we see continued pressure on is cattle that offer flexibility to the buyer, that gives the buyer a chance to have some value-added options,” Berry says. “If he can recapture from that purchase price, he can recapture a profit on his side. Whether those are export verification programs or cattle that simply grow and grade better in the feedyard on his side of the business.”
“Producers get paid to have better cattle. It’s common to see spreads of $20-$40 at market from additional information and value-added programs,” Berry says. At present, he adds, there’s no ceiling.
“As we move forward, the genetic key in that is becoming more and more prominent for producers who are wanting to sell at the top of the market,” he says. “Being able to verify those genetics and have a record of those genetics is the key difference.”
As a third-party validation tool, the IGS Feeder Profit CalculatorTM satisfies that need. Buyers who pay a premium on a set of calves will look to recoup those and add additional profit down the road at harvest.
“In our format, they might buy a calf in July, that ships to them in October, that doesn't die until April of the next year. There's a lot of time frame between the day that he made the decision to do the bid price, and the day that he recaptures his monetary value,” Berry notes.
By leveraging what is there on the front end, success is more likely to follow.
“Having flexibility and having a security blanket, you might call it, for a buyer to know this set of cattle is better than the average goes a long way when you want to demand a premium for your cattle on the market,” he says.
The IGS Feeder Profit Calculator is offered to all cattle producers at no cost and is available for mobile use through the App Store.
- IGS Feeder Profit Calculator
- Non-breed specific, independent
- Free to all IMI Global customers
CASTLE ROCK, Colo., July 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Where Food Comes From, Inc. (WFCF) (OTCQB:WFCF), the most trusted resource for independent, third-party verification of food production practices in North America, today announced that its IMI Global division has established an exclusive partnership with International Genetic Solutions (IGS) to offer the IGS Feeder Profit Calculator within its suite of verification services for beef producers.
The IGS Feeder Profit Calculator utilizes the largest and most comprehensive set of management and genetic data available in the beef industry to calculate the Relative Value of feeder calves in a one-of-a-kind, breed agnostic, independent manner. The evaluation and resulting value are based on both management and genetic criteria. The Relative Value, as indicated on a formal certificate, enables producers to benchmark their work to continuously improve management and genetic decisions in their herds. For buyers of the cattle, it provides insight into projected feedlot and carcass trait performance and overall profit potential.
“The IGS Feeder Profit Calculator is the perfect addition to our suite of value-added services for our beef producers,” said Leann Saunders, President of IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From. “We have been searching for this kind of solution for years, and feel that the IGS tool is far and away the most inclusive and sophisticated calculator available in the industry today. By enabling beef producers to see the value their management and genetic decisions are providing to their operation, it enables them to have a benchmark from which they can make confident, knowledgeable choices about how to continuously improve their operations. As my dad has always said, ‘If you buy unknown genetics you never know if they are going to finish like an elephant or an ant.’ Knowledge matters and the IGS Calculator provides producers with one more tool in their toolbox to make transparent, informed management decisions.”
The IGS Feeder Profit Calculator will be offered to all of IMI Global’s customers at no added cost to their existing verification programs.
“Deciding to establish a partnership with a company like IMI Global was an easy decision for us,” said Chip Kemp, Director of IGS Commercial and Industry Operations. “Even in today’s data-driven world, this level of genetic awareness in the commercial cattle sector is woefully inadequate. Price discovery as we know it today most often does not take into account the actual performance potential of a producer’s cattle. The IGS Feeder Profit Calculator is unique in that it offers a level of genetic awareness of feeder calves that have not been previously possible in the beef business. This, combined with the progressive, market-driven programs IMI Global provides, will enable their producers to market calves with the ultimate value-added package.”
To learn more, visit http://www.internationalgeneticsolutions.com/index.php/feeder-profit-calc.
About International Genetic Solutions
International Genetic Solutions (IGS) delivers objectively described, user-friendly and science-based genetic predictions to enhance the profitability of beef cattle producers. To learn more, visit http://www.internationalgeneticsolutions.com.
About Where Food Comes From, Inc.
Where Food Comes From, Inc. is America’s trusted resource for third-party verification of food production practices. The Company supports more than 15,000 farmers, ranchers, vineyards, wineries, processors, retailers, distributors, trade associations, consumer brands and restaurants with a wide variety of value-added services through its IMI Global, International Certification Services, Validus Verification Services, SureHarvest, A Bee Organic and Sterling Solutions units. In addition, the Company’s Where Food Comes From® retail and restaurant labeling program utilizes the verification of product attributes to connect consumers to the sources of the food they purchase through product labeling and web-based information sharing and education. Visit www.wherefoodcomesfrom.com for additional information.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, based on current expectations, estimates, and projections that are subject to risk. Forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain, and actual events could differ materially from the Company’s predictions. Important factors that could cause actual events to vary from predictions include those discussed in our SEC filings. Specifically, statements in this news release about industry leadership and demand for, and impact and efficacy of, the Company’s products and services on the marketplace, are forward-looking statements that are subject to a variety of factors, including availability of capital, personnel, and other resources; competition; governmental regulation of the agricultural industry; the market for beef and other commodities; and other factors. Readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments. For a more extensive discussion of the Company’s business, please refer to the Company’s SEC filings at www.sec.gov.
Chief Executive Officer
Pfeiffer High Investor Relations, Inc.
by Chip Kemp
In the March Issue of SimTalk, we introduced the revolutionary IGS Feeder Profit Calculator™ and its role in providing true awareness of feeder calf profit potential. In this article, we are going to walk through the simple and straightforward process of getting an IGS Feeder Profit Calculator certificate generated on a specific set of calves.
The first step is to get to the IGS website. You can either use the IGS link at the top of Simmental.org or you can go directly to InternationalGeneticSolutions.com. The IGS Feeder Profit Calculator link can be found in the upper right-hand corner.
The second step will take you to the input form. Complete the form and submit that information for certification. You will provide contact and location information, weaning and herd health specifics, marketing weights and timelines, and of course registration numbers on sires.
It is possible that staff will reach out seeking additional information, but roughly three business days following your submission you will receive an email providing you a digital copy of your IGS Feeder Profit Calculator certificate.
Now it is time to interpret the information on your certificate. On the left side of the certificate will be all information provided by the producer. This gives confidence and knowledge to a potential buyer, knowing you are hanging your credibility on the details you provided. The buyer is able to quickly gauge your management and health practices that built value into this set of calves.
The lower right-hand-side of the certificate focuses in on five categories that are crucial to feedlot and carcass success. The star metrics reflect the ranking of your calf genetics versus the IGS database.
The upper right portion of the certificate is the true foundation and core of the IGS Feeder Profit Calculator. Using the largest genetic database in the industry and some of the elite minds in the business we have leveraged known genetics, herd health, current economic conditions, and basic accounting principles to provide the most robust indicator of feedlot profit potential to date. It breaks it down to a language we all understand — dollars and cents. Frankly, feedlot buyers want to know if a set of calves has a reasonable chance to turn a profit.
Three measures are highlighted on the certificate:
Relative Genetic Value: Predicted difference in value due to genetics between the calves being evaluated and the average Angus calves of the same sex, starting weight and management conditions.
Relative Management Value: Predicted difference in value due to management between the calves being evaluated and those same calves under the assumption of an industry average of 60% of calves being vaccinated against BRD and 60% of calves being weaned for 30 days or more.
Total Relative Value: A combination of Relative Genetic Value and Relative Management Value.
When evaluating each of the relative value categories it is important to be aware that the average in each category is zero. A $0.00/cwt means these calves reflect the breakeven potential of the average calf. There is no artificial adjustment to the base just for marketing advantage or to provide a feel-good effect. You expect the truth and the facts. So do your customers and your buyers.
On the example certificate provided, we predict a breakeven price (at the time they are sold as feeder calves) based on their predicted feedlot performance of an additional $9.84/cwt. In laymen’s terms, that means the buyer at your local auction market or through your online platform could afford to pay an extra $9.84/cwt over the average animal on that day and still come out breaking even. To be clear, the buyer isn’t looking at these calves to break even. Like you, the buyer has an eye on profit. But in this example, the buyer has true awareness, through IGS, that leads him to believe these calves are a safer bet. So is he looking to pay an additional $9.84/cwt? No. Is he willing to give $2, $3 or $4 more on a safe bet rather than risking everything? We think he is.
Additionally, a second page highlighting all registration numbers and known genetics accompanies each certificate.
It is really that simple. And you won’t pay a thing. Roughly 20 minutes of work will provide you with the most credible and trusted information available on the potential feedlot performance of your calves. Trust is the Gold Standard.
Your success is wrapped up in the value of each year’s calf crop. You’ve invested years, significant dollars, and countless hours of sweat to get the calves to this point. Why leave calf knowledge to chance? You can either Know or Guess. Choose Know.
by Will Townsend and Chip Kemp
Imagine you had to find bulls for your operation but you didn’t know any breeders, nobody used EPDs, or even shared actual data. It’s obvious to anyone interested in building quality cattle and maximizing profit this would be a major blow to the bottom line.
Yet, this is how the feeder calf business exists today. Frequently, when purchasing quality feeder calves, we can receive crucial information regarding environmental factors such as management and health protocols, weights, etc. However, when it comes to genetic awareness, color and polled status are often asked to substitute for true knowledge. A common scenario, and at times the best-case scenario, is that the calf buyer has a previous relationship with the seller and has owned and experienced the performance of the seller’s calves before. In more rare cases, we may have some information on the seller’s bull purchases. Again, this is a powerful step forward. It provides at least some insight into a portion of the genetics within the program. However, in a data-driven world, this level of genetic awareness is woefully inadequate. Especially since the financial stakes for feeder calf procurement are even higher than the stakes for bull procurement. Understandably, most large cattle buyers have technology to estimate genetic and environmental performance on feeder cattle but that information is not public and, for obvious reasons, is kept to those companies. Therefore, price discovery as we know it today, most often does not take account the actual performance potential of a producer’s feeder cattle.
Attempts to determine relative value of feeder cattle have been made for a long-time; however, certain issues have made it difficult. The foremost limitation has been accurately gauging the profit potential in the largest genetic group within the beef industry — the crossbred calf. It is a known scientific fact that commercial beef producers wishing to maximize cowherd fertility and longevity must crossbreed. This not only provides them a sustainable and profitable cow base, but fortunately generates an end product that is known to be the best combination of growth potential and carcass merit — the crossbred calf. The history of the Feeder Profit Calculator (FPC) has its roots in ASA’s Terminal Index ($TI). The $TI was developed over a decade ago by ASA in collaboration with Dr. Michael MacNeil, who was a USDA research geneticist at the time. The $TI is an economic selection index designed for selecting terminal sires. Though $TI could do a reasonable job valuing feeder calves, it was determined that evolving $TI into a tool that could account for such things as a current accounting of prices/costs, heterosis, and non-genetic factors (e.g., vaccination status), would improve the accuracy of predicting feeder calf values. Dr. MacNeil, now with Delta G Genetics, was tapped to evolve $TI into that tool — the FPC. Many of the FPC’s non-genetic components were sourced by Dr. David Lalman of Oklahoma State University. Providing the most robust genetic awareness of crossbred calves requires the most robust multi-breed genetic evaluation. Fortunately, International Genetic Solutions (IGS) provides the ideal platform to generate unparalleled information on crossbred and composite feeder calves. IGS, along with its’ member associations, the science team at Theta Solutions, and scientific contributions by Dr. Matt Spangler of the University of Nebraska is ideally suited to provide the industry’s benchmark in gauging feeder calf value. The IGS Feeder Profit Calculator empowers producers to market with confidence and allows feeders to maximize their purchasing dollars.
Capitalizing on novel technology usually requires a tremendous learning curve and a major outlay of dollars. Not this time! The IGS Feeder Profit Calculator is unique. It will offer a level of genetic awareness of crossbred feeder calves that has not been previously possible in the beef business. The IGS science team, the IGS partner associations, and the world’s largest beef genetic evaluation database allows the IGS FPC to be delivered at no cost to producers. That is correct. No Cost!
Beef producers looking for a transparent and straightforward assessment of their calves will harness the power of IGS by simply making a call, sending an email, or visiting the IGS website. IGS and/or breed association personnel will request information on herd health, basic management protocols, the bull battery used in previous years, and insight into the makeup of the cowherd. The more thorough the inputs from the producer, the better the predictive ability of the FPC. While individual sire identification isn’t required, identification of the bulls used in the operation is required. Producers will be asked to share preconditioning information and the health program in place. The IGS FPC will be demonstrated at the 2017 NCBA Convention in Nashville, TN, and be made available to the public shortly thereafter. Three short demos will be held at the IGS booth each day of the convention. For producers who have interest in having their calves evaluated through the IGS FPC please contact one of the IGS breed partners or contact beef@internationalgeneticsolutions. com. Cattle feeders who are interested in integrating the capabilities of the IGS FPC into their purchasing decisions please use the same email. Additional information and highlights will be provided in the coming months.