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Midland strives to make a difference with top quality test

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The challenges we face in agriculture make me realize how important it is to carefully watch what we, as cattlemen, invest in cattle, including feed, labor and genetics.  Observation, along with studying and educating ourselves about the tools available to us, followed by application, is critical and gives us all the greatest chance to maximize profit.  

With that being said, Midland takes very seriously the responsibility of performance testing and sorting bulls for our buyers. All bulls are tested here, but not all bulls will sell.  There are many criteria that the bulls have to meet prior to being considered for sale.  

Midland Bull Test provides all cattlemen an opportunity to come and evaluate bulls representing top herds from across the country on a level playing field.  Our average weaning/nursing ratio across all bulls in all breeds is 106 – meaning these are obviously the heavier weaning calves from these herds. 

These bulls are then evaluated, sifted and ranked in a comprehensive index based on traits of economic importance. We include average daily gain, yearling ratios, nursing/weaning ratio and feed efficiency in the index. 

The way we sort bulls for sales ensures buyers are selecting from the top end of the bulls excelling in traits that make money.

Our family tests bulls because we believe it’s a valuable service provided to cattlemen who want to identify bulls, developed conservatively, that have been sorted for traits that matter.  

We provide tools, collected in the form of data, measuring many different characteristics of each bull. This provides us the only path to objectively sort bulls for our customers, and we believe that’s why our program has worked for buyers and consignors for more than 50 years.

If any of the data is unfamiliar, please get in touch.  We would be more than happy to explain it and help an operation decide which data is a tool for you.  Being a profitable producer means making investments in genetics that will make the cattle work for the rancher, not the other way around.

Performance measures evolve and are tweaked as new technology and insight emerges. Leo Jr. and Sam continued the tradition of investing in innovation with the addition of ultrasound, fertility testing and feed efficiency testing.  

We are committed to continue this tradition here at Midland.  

Over time, our family has been fortunate to witness some of the significant impacts that performance and feed efficiency have to offer in real world conditions across the country and the cost savings they provide to cattlemen, feeders and so on down the chain.  

We have tested more than 10,000 bulls and replacement females now across 26 trials and have identified several cow families and bulls that are proven to excel in efficiency, coupled with gain-ability and phenotype.

Each bull at Midland is individually tested for efficiency (RFI) and feed conversion.  

With specific regard to efficiency, we have taken the RFI (residual feed index) concept one step further and created a new index, balancing gain with energy efficiency, while on the feed intake trial for 70 days. 

The reason for this new index?  As cattlemen, we need to identify cattle that excel in both performance, or gain, and efficiency. We always have and always will promote balance.

We are striving to make a difference in the beef industry for all people making a living with cattle.  With the technology available to us, we feel we are headed in the right direction.

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