38 Special Composite
Allan Nation, editor of The Stockman Grassfarmer magazine has said for years within a 200 +/- mile band along the 38th degree parallel is the area of the globe that dominates grassfed beef production worldwide. Far enough north to have perennial cool-season grass and far enough south to have minimum snow winters. Globally this latitude is where human societies have thrived since the beginning of civilization; Tigris & Euphrates Rivers, Mediterranean Sea, Italy, etc. In the USA, this is across Southern Kansas, Southern Missouri, Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and Northern Tennessee. Basically south of I-70 and north of I-40. Our home at Hartford Kentucky is right in the heart of this grassfed corridor. Why would you select herd bulls from outside of this area?
For years and years I have been selecting for Registered Angus cattle that have the tenderness genes, slick hair and correct linear measurements to perform in this environment. I was utilizing linebreeding of the best, and making slow but steady progress. We also tried crossing Angus with Romagnola cattle that originated in Italy (remember the 38th parallel) and they performed with great muscle. But they were way too late maturing and larger than is economically viable in a grass only production model. They can be a part of the equation, but not the answer.
We tried crossing Angus with Senepol as they were developed farther south with heat tolerant capacity and no ear or navel issues. I hoped they would add to our previous selection for slick hair and heat tolerance. Again not the answer, but could be part of the equation.
Barzona cattle were developed many years ago in southwestern USA, along with similar Bonsmara cattle in south Africa. I have seen these cattle perform in a very southern environment of FL and AL as well as OK and IA and several herds performing well in western Kentucky. Our BarAngus (Barzona X Angus) cattle sure are impressive in looks and performance. I feel there is a great advantage for many conventional as well as grass only cattlemen to benefit from the hybrid vigor and breed complementary genetics of using our BarAngus bulls to make tremendous herd replacements as well as feeder calves.
My continuing drive to develop the ultimate 38th parallel cattle for the forage only, low input producer has led me to development of this composite. A small % of Romagnola added for the muscle and growth. Another small % of Senepol included for their heat tolerance. A substantial % of Angus for the many benefits my highly selected Angus cows bring to the cross, and a strong % of Barzona as well for their proven benefits within this environment. Thus the 38 Special. A composite developed from unrelated genetics to most herds along the 38th corridor.
University and real world cattlemen have known for years the benefits of heterosis or hybrid vigor. Both hybrid vigor in the cow and the calf from breed complementary factors are well documented. Building an easy to use 2 or 3 breed rotation has been the downfall for many who have tried. Just by using our 38 Special bulls produced from many years of selection of the best performers based upon environment and management, not based on EPD’s or color, is the easiest answer regardless of the breed in your present cow herd.
As a first step for many producers, I suggest our BarAngus bulls. They are black, good growth, easy keepers, proven grass only production cattle in this environment. As the 38 Special composite is refined, there will be a few bulls available for those looking for the optimum composite to maximize your profit while producing great calves and superior herd replacements, along the 38th degree parallel forage only environment.
To put a 38 SPECIAL in your pastures, contact me:
Larry Sansom 270-302-2836
Hartford Kentucky www.LarrySansom.com firstname.lastname@example.org