Never judge your neighbor’s kids or cattle if you want to avoid controversy. This time-proven wisdom also applies to building a list of the nation’s top 100 beef cattle seedstock suppliers.
Yet BEEF takes on this annual challenge for a number of reasons, which include monitoring the level of seedstock concentration and the relative market engagement of seedstock suppliers. It’s also meant to recognize the contribution of seedstock producers who make all or a substantial portion of their cattle income from the seedstock business.
BEEF’s Seedstock 100 list is based on the number of bulls marketed last year, not the number of cattle registered annually or the number of cows listed in inventories with a breed association or other genetic organization.
The volume of product offered is never equivalent to product quality. In the seedstock business, though, it typically speaks to a host of supplier attributes associated with customer satisfaction over the long haul, such as specialization, industry knowledge and commitment, adaptability and the wherewithal to earn repeat business.
The BEEF Seedstock 100 list makes no claim to be a proxy for the seedstock industry as a whole. And just because an operation isn’t listed doesn’t mean its genetics are any less important and useful to cow-calf producers. If you study the list, though, compare it with recent years, you can see some overall industry trends.
For instance, there is the overall growth in bull numbers as the nation’s cowherd expanded, including recovery from drought in the Southern Plains. This year’s list of 102 operations represents seedstock suppliers marketing at least 205 bulls last year for a total of 54,699 bulls. That’s 4.8% more bulls than last year and 23% more than two years ago.
You can also see the ongoing preponderance of commercial focus on utilizing Angus, Red Angus and their composite
Year-to-year, there appears to be increased focus on hybrids and composites. Consider that Sim-Angus emerges as one of the top five genetic offerings with 12% of operations citing them. That’s just ahead of Charolais at 11%, and behind Angus (74%), Red Angus (20%) and Hereford (16%).
The beef business is changing and as it does, its genetics suppliers are changing too. The BEEF Seedstock 100 list is your sourcebook and your history book for this highly important sector of the beef business.