For a new producer wanting to start a herd there are many questions.
Finding the right land? Bale or buy hay? Supplementing grains?
Not to mention the pharmaceutical and animal health side.
Many think about the bred they prefer – however do they think about whether to raise a registered or commercial herd?
Producer Jerry Moyer has raised registered Herefords for many years. Moyer said raising registered cattle is quite different from raising commercial, and registered is more for someone interested in the pedigrees and genetics.
“If someone is interested in seedstock – registered is the way to go,” Moyer said.
However, the registered cattle business is not easy on the pocketbook. Moyer said it does not come cheap.
“The biggest thing is expense – to stay up with the trends and genetics – like AI and flushing cows,” Moyer said.
The American Hereford Association, for example, requires a producer activation fee every year, requires annual EPDs per animal and herd inventory.
“Hereford’s require full DNA on all the calves,” Moyer said. “It adds lot of expense to raising calves.”
The requirements also call for extra time and labor that commercial production doesn’t necessarily require.
Moyer said three quarters of producers in the cattle industry are part-time producers.
“For part-time livestock producers or ranchers, it is hard to maintain a registered herd because it’s so time consuming,” he said.
Moyer said it is easier just to buy a black bull and turn in with the cows –which is something he has discussed with his wife many times.
“But we then think about our daughters – especially for their children to have (cattle to) show,” Moyer said.
Moyer said tradition is important and is obligated by that tradition to say in the registered business.
“I can remember when in Washington County (Ark.), there were 10 registered Hereford herds – now there are probably three,” Moyer said, adding that the breed became unpopular in the 1980s.
He said for many it was too costly to keep going or the producer retired and got out of the business permanently.
“Selling registered cattle] is a little harder in this area – but it has gotten better in the last six to seven years,” Moyer said.
Moyer said in the Ozarks it was hard to sell bulls at a premium. Many producers did not care about genetics when it came to their herd.
“That has changed a bunch in the last six or seven years,” Moyer said. “Marketing has become easier.”
Moyer said if the producer’s main goal is to go to the sale barn, a registered herd isn’t a good idea.
“A registered Hereford isn’t going to make as much as a black baldly at the sale barn,” Moyer said.
The decision between a commercial or registered herd is up to how much time and money someone prefers to spend.
Moyer said the registered business can be a successful one with the right mind set.
“It takes a person willing to realize it’s not simple as buying a bull and putting it in a herd,” Moyer said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here