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2021 Poll Results Are Out

By Ron Metz, PDCA Vice President

Each December, Progressive Cattle magazine publishes the results of their reader poll. With a circulation of 52,472 their annual poll can give us some good insight into trends and preferences in the cattle world. I have summarized below their 2021 results.

There are two questions I think Dexter breeders should pay special attention to in regards to new market opportunities and breeding.

Do you calve heifers earlier than the rest of your herd?

Yes - 52.8% yes

No - 47.2%

Which issues surrounding the beef industry are you most concerned about?

Environmental Policy changes - 35.6%

Fake meat - 23.8%

The beef supply chain - 12.9%

International trade and exports - 11.9%

Antibiotic restrictions - 5.9%

Tax changes - 4%

Other - 5.9%

What month do you aim for rebreeding your spring calving herd?

April 22.9%

May 25.5%

June 30.1%

July 21.5%

What kind of drought management measures do you have in place?

Buy more feed - 31.4%

Trim herd numbers - 29.2%

Wean early - 27%

PRF insurance - 12.4%

Do you graze your cattle on crop residue?

Yes - 55%

No - 45%

Has the pandemic affected your livestock buying decisions?

Nothing has changed - 67.3%

Relied more on online auctions - 13.9%

Started buying through private treaty - 9.9%

Only attend sales where masks and social distancing are observed - 8.9%

What benefit is the most important when considering new genetics for your herd?

Increasing fertility rates and calving ease - 35.2%

Consistent calf crop - 21.2%

Opportunities for premiums/increased profits - 18.6%

Increased herd longevity - 12.8%

Improved prime grade and yield - 12.2%

What is the predominant breed in your herd?

Angus - 37.8%

Simmental - 20%

Hereford - 11.6%

Red Angus - 10.7%

Other - 20%

There were a couple other questions I felt were not important. One asked what the worst thing about winter was. The other asked do you use a hydraulic or manual squeeze chute. Environmental Policy Changes and fake meat ranked high on the topic of beef industry concerns.

Two questions specifically caught my attention and directly relate to Dexter cattle:

“When considering new genetics for your herd, what benefit is the most important?”

Dexter cattle knock it out of the park in all answers except improved prime grade and yield. The implementation of DexStar will address improving Dexter beef quality.

For me, the most astounding answers were to the question

“What is the most predominant breed in your herd?”

20% answered “other”!

That 20% represents a large potential new market for our cattle. As a new year begins, we as an association need to contemplate how to reach that 20% by developing advertising and marketing plans that promote the many benefits of the Dexter breed. Our proven traits directly address the other question “what benefit is the most important when considering new genetics”.


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