Virginia Seedstock Producer Paul Bennett Understands the Value of Being Adaptable to ChallengesTue, 15 May 2018 15:34:37 CDT
Adaptability isn’t just about cattle that can survive the cold or the heat. Sometimes, it’s just that they’re able to safely digest the available forage.
That’s the case in the Red House, Virginia, community, where Paul Bennett of Knoll Crest Farms sells 400 Angus, Gelbvieh, Hereford and hybrid bulls each year.
“Likely the greatest challenge we face is the fact that our primary forage is endophyte fescue, Kentucky 31 fescue, so we basically have to create cattle that are adapted to fescue,” Bennett said. “We do not have the option, we believe, of changing our environment to adapt to the cattle, so our greatest environmental challenge with respect to beef cattle production would be creating and having cattle that’ll work on hot fescue.”
Click the PLAYBOX in the window below, to watch a short video clip featuring Paul Bennett of Knoll Crest Farms, who works around fescue challenges on his south-central Virginia seedstock operation by using all the tools available.
The producer is not big on second chances in his culling criteria.
“Well, we just work with Mother Nature, and we let her be part of the selection process,” he said. “We try not to manage problems out of our cattle, but rather let Mother Nature work with us in identifying the cattle that will truly excel in that environment, reproducing those cattle and eliminating the cattle that are not capable of producing in that environment.”
Adaptability is No. 1 for his customers, but Bennett can tackle that and other traits in tandem. He says he relies on genetic diversity to move the needle on growth and carcass quality, for example.
“In the Angus breed, we have a big, broad population to select from and we do believe that it’s important that we utilize the entire population to select our genetics from and in an effort, not necessarily to have cattle that are extreme in any trait,” he concluded, “but balanced and complete in a multitude of traits, we find that it’s, not necessarily easy, but it’s very doable to create Angus cattle that excel at multiple traits and also thrive in our fescue environment.”
It's just a matter of using all available data to create the very best cattle.
Source - Certified Angus Beef
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News