A New Composite Breed For Southern Beef Producers

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The American Gelbvieh Association is officially launching the Southern Balancer™ hybrid and will begin offering registration certificates and performance data in the fall of 2010. The Southern Balancer is a composite breed made up of at least 25 percent Gelbvieh and from 6.25 to 50 percent of a tropically adopted breed or a combination of tropically adopted breeds.

Specifically targeted to beef producers in the southern tier states and tropical regions, this program is unique in that any heat tolerant or tropically adopted breed can be used to cross with Gelbvieh to create a Southern Balancer.

Beef producers who are interested in breeding Southern Balancer cattle or want more information on the benefits of a Continental-heat tolerate composite are invited to attend a Southern Balancer Informational Meeting and Q&A session on Friday, July 9. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Brazos County Expo Center at Bryan-College Station, Texas.

Dr. Joe Paschal, professor and Extension livestock specialist at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center in Corpus Christi, will give a presentation on the benefits of composite breeding. Susan Willmon, American Gelbvieh Association Director of Breed Improvement, will discuss the registration process for Southern Balancer animals. The meeting will wrap up with a question and answer session.

Gelbvieh members in Mississippi and Arizona have been producing and marketing the Gelbvieh-heat tolerant cross with great success. Dr. Lowell Rogers, Seminary, Miss., maintains one-eighth Brahman influence in his Gelbvieh and Balancer cow herd.

“We have been using this cross for several years and I have seen other producers using the Gelbvieh-heat tolerant cross. It is a cross that has proven to work in the southern climate,” said Rogers. “The potential for the Southern Balancer is tremendous as breeders in the south generally like a little ear influence in their cow herds.”

The strengths of both the heat tolerant and Gelbvieh breeds make an ideal composite. Brahman type cattle are highly maternal and have the ability to survive the heat and pest challenges of tropical and sub-tropical environments. The Gelbvieh breed is known for its maternal strengths of milk production, fertility, and producing more pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed. Additionally, a cross with Gelbvieh has the potential to produce calves with maximum maternal heterosis, quieter dispositions and increased carcass consistency.

Being able to offer a registration certificate is one of the benefits of having the Southern Balancer recognized by the American Gelbvieh Association, noted the association’s Susan Willmon.

“Having a registry behind these animals offers additional marketability into Mexico and beyond where a registration document eases the initial acceptability of these animals,” said Willmon. “Additionally, using the Gelbvieh longstanding multi-breed national cattle evaluation, we will be able to provide beef producers with performance data and EPDs on Southern Balancer animals.”

Rogers is looking forward to having EPDs on his Gelbvieh-Brahman and Gelbvieh-Angus-Brahman cross cattle. “I am happy that the American Gelbvieh Association is making a commitment to support the Southern Balancer program and will be providing EPDs on these animals. We need accurate EPDs to make comparisons and assess their genetic value,” he said.

The Gelbvieh association has developed the Southern Balancer hybrid to give flexibility to beef producers based on their available resources and desired percentage – as little as 1/16 or as much as 1/2 – of a heat tolerant breed or combination of breeds. The suggested heat tolerant breeds include Beefmaster, Braford, Brahman, Brangus, Red Brangus, Senepol, and Santa Gertrudis. The member recording the Southern Balancer qualified offspring must provide the registration number or pedigree and current EPDs of the non-Gelbvieh parent animal.

The Southern Balancer Information Meeting and Q&A Session will be held in conjunction with the 2010 American Gelbvieh Junior Association (AGJA) Lone Star Classic – the national junior Gelbvieh show. The week-long junior event will be held July 5-10 at the Brazos County Expo Center in Bryan-College Station, Texas. On the morning of July 9, the AGJA national showmanship contest will begin at 8:00 followed by the market steer show, Balancer bull show and Balancer female show. A Texas BBQ dinner, sponsored by Droomgoole’s Heaven of Richmond, Texas, will be held at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, July 10 at 8:00 a.m. will be the Gelbvieh bull show and national junior Gelbvieh female show. Individuals who attend the Southern Balancer meeting are also invited to attend these junior events.

Beef producers and Gelbvieh members who would like more information on Southern Balancer and are unable to attend the informational meeting are encouraged to contact the American Gelbvieh Association at 303-465-2333 or info@gelbvieh.org.



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