Depending on how you ponder and dice the numbers, you can make the case that operations populating the BEEF Seedstock 100 list (S100) are increasing their already sizable genetic sway.
First, consider that bulls from the S100 operations could breed 17% to 20% of the nation’s 31.2 million beef cows cited in USDA’s Cattle inventory report at the beginning of this year. That’s totaling S100 bull numbers from the past four years (207,699 bulls), and figuring each bull with 25 cows or 30 cows. Inexact as the approach is, it provides a notion of S100’s potential reach.
Next, there were 7.6% more beef cows at the beginning of this year than in 2014. S100 operations last year marketed 27.3% more bulls than in 2014. The exact reasons behind the growth of the S100 bull marketing relative to the cow herd are open to speculation. However, logic dictates that the S100 operations are increasing market share. That’s as much opportunity as it is responsibility.
S100 operations marketed 56,473 bulls last year, ranging from 215 to 3,986 bulls per operation. They marketed 1,774 more bulls last year than those on the 2016 list. Keep in mind that most of the S100 operations are the same this year.
There are nine operations that marketed 1,000 or more bulls last year, between 1,000 and 3,986 bulls. Those nine operations accounted for 15,831 bulls marketed, or 28% of all bulls marketed by S100 operations.
Just five of those operations marketed 1,500 or more bulls, representing 12,661 bulls, or 22.4% of all bulls marketed by S100 operations.
There were three states with 10 or more S100 operations: Montana (17), Nebraska (16) and South Dakota (12). S100 operations in these states accounted for 24,483 bulls marketed by S100 operations, or 43.4% of all S100 bulls marketed.
The list of breeds and composites that S100 operations offer speaks to the genetic diversity borne by customer need and demand, as well as breed concentration.
On the one hand, S100 operations marketed 32 different breeds and composites. But, the majority offered these breeds and composites: Angus (75.2%); Red Angus (19.8%); Hereford (15.8%); Charolais and Sim-Angus (11.9% each); Simmental (6.9%); Gelbvieh (5.9%); Limousin (4%); and Brangus (3%). Fewer than 2% of S100 operations offered the other 23 breeds and composites.
BEEF assembles the annual S100 list for several reasons, which include monitoring the level of seedstock concentration and the relative market engagement of seedstock suppliers. It’s based on the number of bulls marketed last year, as reported by seedstock operations to BEEF.
As such, the BEEF Seedstock 100 list makes no claim to be representative of the seedstock industry as a whole. Neither is it intended to be a proxy of quality and ability.
Obviously, seedstock operations successfully marketing fewer than 215 bulls last year (the cutoff for inclusion this year) represent the majority of all beef seedstock operations. A list of those operations is available in the Seedstock Directory on the BEEF website. At the same time, inclusion on the S100 list speaks to a host of supplier attributes associated with marketing so many bulls: customer satisfaction, industry knowledge and commitment, adaptability and the wherewithal to earn repeat business.