It’s that time of year again. Attending the county and/or state fair is a daily occurrence, sows are farrowing fall litters, and before long, grain harvest will consume almost every waking moment. Simply put, there isn’t always enough time to make it around to every boar stud and strategically plan your mating decisions for the winter and spring litters. Fortunately, I have been able to make it to a large number of boar studs in the Midwest as well as Texas and Oklahoma. So, for the next few blog posts, my aim is to share my perspective on what boars caught my attention, and hopefully, give helpful insight when it comes time to making those mating decisions.
Laird’s Premium Blend Genetics
My boar stud tour started in Arlington, Indiana, with Laird’s Premium Blend Genetics. Wow, to say I was impressed with this set would be a drastic understatement! One, I can’t argue the success Beyond and Visionary have had this summer. Once I finally saw these two in person, I understood why. Beyond is definitely a power hog. He’s incredibly stout featured, extra bold about his center body and way opened up underneath, yet wraps it all up in a sound, functional package. Visionary combines style and power all in one. He’s extra-heavy structured, yet so correct in his skeleton. Even as a mature boar, he still drives with a “show ring” look from the side. Equally impressive was Outlier, the Bone Thug son from Jeff Ramsey. I was a big fan of this one, and honestly, this guy hit me as kind of an intermediate between Visionary and Beyond. He possesses the extra power and mass of Beyond, yet embodies it with a neat look from the profile, much like Visionary. Next, was The Prophet. After this guy sired breed champions at both World Pork Expo (WPX) and National Junior Summer Spectacular (NJSS), I was really excited to see this one, and he definitely did not disappoint. Really stout featured and opened up for a Yorkshire, yet maintained great flexibility and range of motion.
As far as young boars, Premonition hit me really hard. He resembles the same traits of his sire in terms of power, yet projects the great look his mother had. I can see this guy doing some cool things for the Yorkshires. Finally, I’ll talk about the two Visionary sons, Exclusive and Mogel. If you are looking to inject the Visionary bloodline into next year’s crop, these two should probably be in consideration. Both bring the pieces Visionary offers and are square built off both ends of their skeleton. Thanks again to the boys at Premium Blend Genetics. I really enjoyed the visit and the set of boars.
Top Cut Genetics
Next up: Top Cut Genetics. My visit started with looking at two Duroc boars purchased from John Huinker. Autopilot led off the boar tour, and I must say this is one unique hog. If you’re looking for a stout-featured hog that can still keep a balanced and trendy look, Autopilot might be one to consider. In terms of skull, forearm and blade, this guy is really rugged built. He is great in terms of shape up high for a red hog and really powerful from behind, all while being dead level from the side. Centerfold was up next. One thing came to mind when I saw this guy – Duroc females. One who is really basic in his build, bold ribbed and soft centered, yet has the heaviness of structure you might expect from the Huinker firm.
As we got into the crosses, we continued the Huinker trend by bringing out Black Onyx 4-3. Top Cut Genetics says it best when they call this one “intriguing.” He possesses the design and build Black Onyx has made a reputation on, with the stoutness of feature we’ve come to expect from Hillbilly Bone. He is a really good hog and an exciting breeding piece for sure! Executive Decision came next, and he’s one that got me really excited. One that is so complete in the way he is put together and has all the power you could want, I see him to be one that can work on a variety of sows and will make better hogs in one shot. To round off the tour was the old man himself, Killer Instinct. One who continues to do a great job and may be as valuable as ever with the impact of his daughters. I had a great visit at Top Cut, and it is a place people should look to for fall matings. Thanks again to Tim, Wade and everyone else there.
I was fortunate enough to go through Shaffer’s a few years back through a university trip and enjoyed it, so much I knew if I went back again it would not disappoint. My visit with Terry kicked off by seeing what some might call the Hampshire sire of the summer, Outlaw. In person, this guy is as correct of a Hampshire boar as you’ll probably find anywhere. After seeing some of his progeny this summer, he’s one that definitely out sires himself in terms of bone and power. If you need to fix structure issues in your Hampshire sows, consider Outlaw this fall.
After that we changed gears over to Durocs. They brought out the Different Deal son from Brett Beyers they call Real Deal. An exciting breeding piece who is problem free in his structure, rugged in his build, like his sire, but actually probably goes leveler out of his hip and takes a longer stride. One that is very fun to look at and I could tell as I visited with Terry, they have a lot of faith in what this guy can do.
From there we went to look at young boars. One I think people need to consider to breed their Yorkshire sows to this fall is the Reserve Champion Ricker Boar from WPX, Crowd Control. From the show, this guy didn’t melt at all, and if anything, stoutened up and matured into his skeleton more. He is great in his pasterns and stout featured. He is an exciting piece for sure. Thanks, Terry, for the great visit. Always a pleasure to stop by.
Moyer’s Genetic Edge
My week rounded off with a trip to Ohio, to go through the boars at Genetic Edge. I can go on for days on all the boars at Genetic Edge, but I will just touch on the highlights of what I saw. On the Yorkshire side of things, Private Drive is as impressive of a Yorkshire boar as I have ever seen. Heavy boned, great pasterned and has awesome center body. After seeing him, I was not surprised he has had success in both purebred and crossbred show rings.
Equally impressive was Fortune. With all the success Fortune has had, I was excited to see this one in person. Honestly, it’s no surprise as to how his hogs win. He is square built, heavy structured, with great balance and a neat look. He is very impressive, to say the least.
Next we looked at younger boars, and Sky Cam headlined this portion of the visit. He has a neat look, is dead level with the extra bone and the great build of his sire. If you are looking for a way to incorporate Sky’s the Limit and the dark blue into next year’s crop, check this guy out for sure.
Finally, Ben showed me an intriguing Fortune son they call Board Walk. A purchase from Will Hilty, this guy has some way cool pieces to offer. A stouter version of his sire, tall fronted and as square hipped and stout pinned as I have seen. Overall, I was really impressed with the boars at Moyer’s and was very thankful for the opportunity to go through them.
Check back later for more on what I saw as I went on a tour through the Southwest boar studs!