Feeder calves with Continental breed influence and the potential to hit the mark on Quality and Yield Grades are in demand at feeder calf markets across the country. The added pounds of carcass produced are adding dollars to the cattle feeder's pockets.

"A bull that sires 20 head of the heavier-finishing steers each year has created $1,148 in additional progeny value versus another bull that sires the lighter-finishing steers," says Tom Brink, JBS/Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, the largest fed cattle marketer in the world. The feeder wants the added carcass weight that Gelbvieh and Balancer® genetics bring to the equation.

Recent feeder cattle auctions show demand from feeders for Gelbvieh-influenced SmartCross® genetics. Cedar Top Ranch from Nebraska sold 800 pound steers for $147.50. Bedke K Savy Ranch from Idaho sold 490 pound steer calves at $156.00 and 580 pound steers at $140.00. Owl Mountain Ranch located in Colorado received $150.00 for steers weighing 475 pounds. DMD Livestock from Nebraska reached $142.00 on steers weighing 740 pounds. Reiber Ranch out of Montana got a price of $135.00 for 690 pound steers. The Buckingham Cattlemen's Association in Virginia sold Gelbvieh/Balancer SmartCross steer calves weighing 540 pounds at $147.50 and 580 pound steers for $146.00 in their recent August Tel-O-Auction.

In good or tough economic times a Choice Yield Grade 2 carcass is an industry target. An 800-pound Yield Grade 2 carcass that has a USDA Choice grade in today's market is worth $72.00 more than a 750-pound carcass with the same grade profile.

The American Gelbvieh Association uses a carcass value EPD (CV EPD) to calculate carcass parameters on a level that reflects true dollar value of carcasses as cattle are priced in real world grid marketing. The CV EPD is an index of four single trait carcass EPDs: carcass weight, marbling, days to finish and rib eye area.

What sets Gelbvieh apart from other breeds is the inclusion of the carcass weight trait when calculating the CV EPD. Weight drives value. Gelbvieh cattle selected for carcass value will increase grid premium potential in terms of carcass weight, Quality Grade, Yield Grade, and will reduce discounts for "out" carcasses.

Data from Colorado State University's Maxwell Ranch SmartCross research showed Gelbvieh-influenced cattle resulted in significantly more dollars in both a low and high Choice/Select spread market over Angus-sired cattle. When based on Quality and Yield premiums/discounts and carcass weight in both scenarios, Gelbvieh-sired cattle added $53.17 per head in a low spread and $36.67 per head in a high spread.

Regardless of the cow herd base you are starting with, there is an easy way to use Gelbvieh or Balancer bulls to get to the most profitable place in the industry today. Feeders and packers demand an animal that will grade Choice with a Yield Grade 1 or 2. Crossbred cows have added longevity and a Gelbvieh-influenced female gives you more cow power in your pasture.

Visit the American Gelbvieh Association website at www.gelbvieh.org to get more information about the Gelbvieh SmartCross system and how it can work for you or call the AGA office at 303.465.2333. Add pounds and profit to your operation with Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics and marketing opportunities.