From the Desk of the ABBA Executive Vice President

The value of the crossbred female has received a lot of attention in the past few years from both other breed associations and universities, especially as cow calf producers have struggled to produce the type of calf that the market demands out of cows that don’t fit the environment. Any bovine female that contains the genetics of two or more breeds can rightly be called a crossbred but like the two cowboys say in the old Ace Reid cartoon “Yeah, I can tell she’s a crossbred, but with what?”.

I understand the value and power of selection though the use of EPD, Selection Index, and genomics for our purebred Brahman breeders but the best genetic tool we can off er our commercial cow calf partners is the tremendous increased productivity and efficiency caused by the high level of hybrid vigor created in the Brahman F1 female!

I am sure that you have read or heard of the 5 to 10% increase in reproduction and weaning weight seen in F1 females of other breeds, but when half of that F1 is from Brahman genetics, those values double to 10 to 20% or more, that is the power of Brahman genetics in improving production and efficiency! The biggest bang for the commercial cattle producer buck is in “maternal hybrid vigor” or the hybrid vigor the Brahman F1 female exhibits in earlier puberty and in higher first service conception rates, calving ease, milk production, fleshing ability, and longevity.

Brahman F1 heifers (and their steer counterparts) also have tremendous value as feeders. Hybrid vigor in Brahman F1 steers and heifers is double that seen in non- Brahman F1s and they are very acceptable as feeders and fed steers and heifers or carcasses at all major beef processors. Brahman genetics and hybrid vigor are also very important to cattle feeders, the Texas A&M Ranch to Rail Program showed a significant reduction in sickness and medicine costs as Brahman influence increased in calves fed in the program (from 0% to 50%) and steers with more Brahman genetics had higher average daily gains, reduced cost of gains, and higher net returns.

I encourage you to document the Brahman genetics in your F1 program, through the ABBA Certified F1 Program. Be proud of what Brahman genetics can do to improve the productivity and efficiency of your commercial cow calf customers. I am!

Joe Pascal