South Texas study results show Brahman, crossbred influence receive higher premiums

Jul 16, 2014 by Blair Fannin
A South Texas study conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service examined the value of crossbreeds in the region, which is important for producers looking to purchase new females as cowherds begin to build back following drought. Credit: Dr. Joe Pascha

Data from a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service South Texas study shows Brahman and British crossbred cattle add significant value to breeding stock in South Texas and performed best in terms of sale price.

"The research here shows the value of crossbreeds in this region," said Dr. Levi Russell, AgriLife Extension economist, Corpus Christi. "The increase in the number of calves a rancher could expect from his or her breeding stock due to Brahman influence certainly increases profit potential for the herd."

The study examined the effects of Brahman influence and other managerial and market factors on prices paid for breeding cattle in South Texas. The results are available in a publication at the AgriLife Extension Bookstore.

The study data was collected in April at the Tri-County Commercial Female Sale in Beeville. The special sale featured 123 lots from which the following information wascollected: number of head sold, coat color, frame size, condition, Brahman influence, physiological stage, polled, price per head and weight.

"Our work with the special sale in Beeville indicates that Brahman influence in British and Continental breeds is extremely valuable in this region," Russell said. "Combining the hot-weather hardiness of the Brahman breed with the high-gain and muscling characteristics of the British and Continental breeds certainly pays off in South Texas."

Russell teamed with Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station, Matthew Bochat, AgriLife Extension agent, Bee County, Brian Yanta, AgriLife Extension agent, Goliad County, Dr. Joe Paschal, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Corpus Christi, and Mac Young, AgriLife Extension program specialist, risk management, Corpus Christi.

The study found that black coat color was discounted due to cattle with black hides being less adapted to the hot climate in South Texas.

"However, the study suggests price premiums don't necessarily imply increased profit, which can only be calculated against production cost data," Russell said. "It's also worth noting that it takes all of these breeds to make some of the cross breeds that command a premium. The biggest surprise was seeing just how much prices have risen for breeding stock.

"This really shows that the rest of the beef supply chain has shown a great deal of increase in value, as documented elsewhere. Some of our other work shows that, even with high prices in breeding females, restocking is still a profitable proposition."

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