The impact of genetics on the Grassland Livestock Project First Step

In December 2018, agronomist Armélio Martins Rodrigues from Sisal Planejamento Agropecuário e Assistência Técnica Ltda contacted us to let us know about the launch of the Projeto Pecuária à Pasto Primeiro Passo. We have known Armélio since 1996, when he was already advising Faz on pasture management. Justiceland of Mr. Gilberto Pires de Oliveira Dias, one of our first partners at Qualitas in Britânia – GO. Therefore, the First Step Project was not born overnight, there were thousands of steps for him to start his journey. It consists of applying all the knowledge and technologies developed by Armélio in a simple but well-done way, only now on your own property. This is a true example of what we can say, “risk your own skin”, that is, do what you recommend to your customers. And for us this is extremely noble.

Armélio (first on the left) presenting the Projeto Pecuária à Pasto Primeiro Passo to the partners of the Qualitas Genetic Improvement Program – Faz. Engenho de Serra – Bela Vista de Goiás – GO.

And as the name says, the project aims to show in practice what would be the first steps that a rancher should take to increase the productivity and profitability of his business and follow the evolution of the system for a period of 5 years at Faz. Engenho de Serra in Bela Vista de Goiás – GO, 50 km from Goiânia, which has 82 ha of pastures and is dedicated to breeding and finishing males.

For this undertaking, several people and companies were invited to contribute with additional knowledge and technologies to what is already applied by Armélio.

For our part, in 2018 we helped Armélio in the acquisition of 80 calves from the breeder Ilézio Inácio Ferreira da Faz. Bonanza in Bandeirantes – GO, Qualitas partner since 2009.

The following data refer to 78 of these calves (defined as Nellore Qualitas) because 1 died and the other was not sold at Frigorífico Minerva de Palmeiras – GO like all the other animals. They also refer to two other groups of animals, ½ Blood Senepol (offspring of Senepol Bulls in cows ½ Blood Angus/Nelore) and Commercial Anellorado (as the name already says animals with Nelore blood and also crossbreds of other breeds that we cannot define with accuracy).

All animals were separated by weight in 2 rotations with 6 paddocks each, being reared on corrected and fertilized pastures in early 2019 and supplemented with protein in the proportion of 0.1 to 0.5% of the live weight provided by Flex, since the beginning of 2019. arrival at the farm until May 13, 2019. From this date on, two batches were submitted to pasture termination with high supplementation (close to 2.0% of the live weight of concentrate supplied by Nutroeste) and the last batch also entered in the same finishing system on July 12, 2019. All animals were whole, without castration until slaughter.

Table 1: Performance of 3 groups of animals from purchase to slaughter in the Projeto Pecuária à Pasto Primeiro Passo – Faz. Engenho de Serra – Bela Vista de Goiás – GO.

Table 2 presents the average disbursement per steer of each group. All contributions are considered, including investments in the disbursement per head as used by Inttegra, which, through its Franchisee, Optimize, monitors and compiles all the financial information of the Project.

Table 2: Disbursement per head until slaughter according to the stage and date of sale of the 3 groups in the Projeto Pecuária à Pasto Primeiro Passo – Faz. Engenho de Serra – Bela Vista de Goiás – GO.

The Nellore Qualitas animals were acquired shortly after weaning and were insemination offspring from Qualitas bulls or pass-through bulls raised by Faz itself. Bonanza. The ½ Sangue Senepol males were also younger animals, weaned in 2018 and those from the Anelorado Comercial group had different age groups as we can see in table 3, which shows the classification through evaluation of the teeth of the animals at the time of slaughter.

Table 3: Classification of dentition at the time of slaughter of 3 groups of animals slaughtered in the Projeto Pecuária à Pasto Primeiro Passo – Faz. Engenho de Serra – Bela Vista de Goiás – GO.

We only present the real average ages of the Nellore Qualitas animals because the breeder controls the date and semen used in the IATF and also the date of birth of all animals.

But what is more important from a financial point of view is that only animals tracked within SISBOV and slaughtered before starting the dentition change, that is, classified as MILK TOOTH in the post-slaughter inspection are classified as Hilton Cota and which, in the specific case of the animals of the Project, received a bonus from Frigorífico Minerva of R$ 3.00 per arroba.

In the case of Nellore Qualitas animals whose date of birth was known (October 1, 2017 to January 3, 2018) it was possible to verify that the youngest animal that had already started the change of teeth was 22.89 months old. age. In this way, if we wanted to guarantee the bonus of R$ 3.00 per arroba, we would have to slaughter the animals before they were 23 months old. And this is valuable information for fattening planning, where it may be more advantageous to slaughter animals a little lighter, but with a guarantee that they will receive the bonus.

And age (“teething”) had a direct impact on the financial results of fattening each group of animals. Considering only the bonus of R$ 3.00 per arroba for the animals DENTE DE LEITE, the average values received per arroba and the financial results of the fattening of each group in each slaughter are presented in table 4.

Table 4: Sales weight, price per @, revenue per ox, profit per ox and margin on sales of the 3 groups according to the date of sale in the Projeto Pecuária à Pasto Primeiro Passo – Faz. Engenho de Serra – Bela Vista de Goiás – GO.

The data that “pops the eye” when we look at the table above is that the animals slaughtered first, on August 26, 2019, were the most profitable and with the highest margin.

This batch of 43 steers stayed the same time in the rearing as the batch slaughtered on September 10th and 60 days less than the batch slaughtered on November 4th. Therefore, they presented a rearing cost equal to that of the second batch and lower than the third slaughtered batch. The daily spent on breeding was around R$ 2.05 per head.

At the end, it cost R$ 8.00 per head per day. The animals of the first batch remained 103 days, those of the second batch 118 days and those of the third batch slaughtered 113 days. Therefore, they were the ones that had the lowest disbursement until slaughter.

In addition, they were slaughtered at almost 21 arrobas on average and despite being sold at the lowest average value per arroba they were the most profitable. See that even a sale value of almost R$ 13.00 more per arroba in the third batch was not enough to achieve the profitability of the first batch, which gained more weight and spent less time on the farm.

Animal Nellore Qualitas in Pasture Finishing – Faz. Engenho de Serra – Bela Vista de Goiás – GO.
Table 5: Financial results of the 3 groups in the Projeto Pecuária à Pasto Primeiro Passo – Faz. Engenho de Serra – Bela Vista de Goiás – GO.

The results show that Nellore Qualitas animals presented the lowest disbursement per head, the second best average price per arroba in the sale and the highest average revenue per head resulting in the highest margin.

Considering the 82 ha of pastures, the profit was R$ 586.53 per ha. But, “IF”, only animals from the Nelore Qualitas group were in the project, the profit would increase by 40.2% to R$ 822.23 per ha.

I think this is a good way to see the impact of genetics on the Projeto Pecuária à Pasto Primeiro Passo.

I would like to congratulate Armélio and his family (his wife Tânia and daughter Mariana) who are fully involved in the business and to all partners. And invite them to get to know the Project that is really changing the way we all see Brazilian beef cattle. And that now has another batch of Nelore Qualitas animals in breeding, only now from Faz. Caititu de Campinaçu – GO, captained by Wesley and Luisa.

Armélio: cell: 62-99971-4888 –

Big hug, great end of the year and until 2020!


Leonardo Souza
Leonardo Souza
Veterinarian from the Federal University of Goiás, specialist in Beef Livestock at Rehagro, managing partner of Qualitas Genetic Improvement, with 21 years of experience in the areas of management, production and genetic improvement. The Qualitas Genetic Improvement Program has more than 40 farms in the states of GO, TO, RO, SP, PR, MG and MT and also in Bolivia, totaling a herd of more than 250,000 heads.

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