Farm Talk

September 11, 2012

Mo. Steer Feedout offers opportunities


CNHI

Parsons, Kansas — Feeder cattle are bringing nice prices and the prospects for high costs of gain have cow-calf producers asking, “Why should I even consider putting part of my calf crop in the Missouri Steer Feedout?”

“Granted, fed cattle price prospects in the spring are promising and costs of gain may not be as pessimistic as forecasters say, if you have top performing cattle,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “However, there are some questions that feedout participation can help you answer.

For example, Cole says these are some of the questions that participants can get answered by participating in the Missouri Steer Feedout:

•Why don’t order buyers bid one or two more times when my calves are in the sale ring?

•How well do my calves do in the feedlot as far as gain, feed conversion and health are concerned?

•What percent of my cattle grade Choice or better when hung on the rail?

•Do my steer’s carcasses have desirable Yield Grades or do too many receive price discounts for 4 Yield Grades.

•Are my cattle too extreme in size, both small and large, for today’s market demands?

•Are my cattle candidates for the new, Missouri Quality Beef-by the numbers program?

“Other questions can be answered that give progressive cow-calf persons assistance in making breeding, management and marketing decisions in the future,” said Cole.

The feedout is a low-risk opportunity to retrieve post-weaning data on calves since as few as five steers can make up an entry. Larger herds are encouraged to consign more numbers to receive a more accurate picture of their herd’s performance. Herds with 10 or more in the consignment are eligible for a $300 per head cash advance.

Missouri cattle will be fed with the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity in Southwest Iowa. The TCSCF is well known for their 30-year program of helping cow-calf producers track their cattle’s individual performance. While gathering the data, they’ve also been involved in numerous research projects that look at health, genetics and management effects on feedout cattle’s performance in the lot and on the rail.

Entry deadline for participation is Oct. 10. A 45-day weaning time is recommended ahead of actual pickup and delivery the first week of November.

The pickup point in southwest Missouri is at Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage. The northeast pickup site is the Paris Veterinary Clinic, Paris and another north Missouri potential pickup site can be arranged around Savannah by contacting Jim Humphrey, (816) 324-3147.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551 or Dona Goede in Cedar County, (417) 276-3313.£