How important is ultrasound data to a producer making genetic selections?


“The only way to make decisions is to look at performance data and ultrasound data,” says Blake Crawford of Adair, IA. Crawford runs a commercial beef operation he describes as "farrow to finish."


“If you have animals that are not measuring up, you have to rely on ultrasound to identify the reason and improve future generations.”


For Crawford, it’s all about herd improvement.


“If you have a herd that’s below average for marbling or ribeye area, you need to improve those traits and increase those numbers,” he says. “So you’re going to make your replacement decisions based on that need. And you’re going to use ultrasound to do that. It’s the only way there is to have a look at those animals and their potential.”


That knowledge not only determines which animals Crawford keeps, it gives him more confidence in his matings.


“I’m not going to cull an otherwise good heifer or cow because she’s low in a particular trait,” he explains. “I’m going to AI her to a bull that makes up for that deficiency. I do that for the future of the herd. If you can cut that difference in half, you’ve helped your herd.”


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