Since our inception Circle A has always been about producing a quality beef product in a sustainable and profitable manner. In 2000 Circle A has been incorporating Wagyu genetics into their commercial herd and the project continues to grow in scope and scale. We started by flushing two powerful Angus cows to the highest marbling Wagyu bull in the U.S. We then collected semen on those half-blood sons and used that semen via AI on Angus cows to make quarter-blood progeny. To date, we have now harvested a few thousand quarter-blood progeny and many hundred, eighth-blood progeny. We have incorporated additional blood lines and the project has proven to be very successful and profitable.
The inclusion of a quarter and one eighth Wagyu into our genetics provide multiple benefits when marketing cattle on a typical quality based grid. We routinely see 50%-75% of these cattle grade USDA Prime. We are also able to push these cattle to heavier weights while maintaining a lower percentage yield grade 4 and 5. The extra pounds of red meat combined with a high percent Prime typically return $200-$400 more per head on the rail. While Wagyu cattle have put very little emphasis on growth and feedlot performance, our years of selection for improved feedlot efficiency and gains combined with the relatively low percentage of Wagyu, allows both our gains and efficiencies to remain high. The quarter and eight-blood daughters seem to be functioning well and feedlot health appears to be very good, possibly receive a slight heterotic kick from the cross.