Beef Species Session II
A web-based survey was conducted to understand the utilization of digital and genetic information by beef producers to inform the development of an online beef cattle selection decision support tool allowing creation of customized selection indices. Of 1,656 respondents, responses from U.S. seedstock, commercial cow-calf, stocker and feedlot sectors in 43 states formed a subset (n=1,065) used in this analysis. Of respondents, 89% were owners, 76% and 47% identified involvement in the commercial cow-calf sector and seedstock sector, respectively (responses were permitted for multiple sectors). Respondents averaged 55 years old with 31 years beef industry experience. Percentages with 100 or fewer females for breeding, 100-500 cows, 500-1,000 cows and more than 1,000 cows were 47, 38, 8, and 6%, respectively. Bull purchases per year were 0 (21%), 1-2 (53%), 3-5 (15%), 6-10 (5%), 11-20 (2%), and >20 (2%). Seedstock producers and industry meetings were most frequently cited as good sources of genetics information. Expected progeny differences were the most commonly reported/used source of genetic information. Nearly 70% (57%) reported keeping very or somewhat detailed animal production/performance (cost of production) records. The majority (90%) have a smart phone while only 45% use a tablet/iPad. Most producers (65%) used the internet as a source of agriculture data/information at least daily. Of all respondents, 44% spend 10 hours or more per week on the internet and 59% had greater than DSL speed. Two-thirds correctly identified the definition of a selection index with 80% indicating that selection indexes provide an efficient, consistent and objective method of ranking selection candidates. Nearly 64% would probably or definitely use an online tool to generate customized indexes. Willingness to pay annually for a tool varied with 36% only using it if free/sponsored, 17% would pay $50-99, 14% would pay $100-249, with 3% would pay $500 or more.