Profitability In Steer Feedout Improves, Helps Build Herd Reputations

Entry Deadline for Next Feedout is May 10


   The last two Missouri Steer Feedouts have had a negative $226 return on the steers according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
   “In our last two feedouts there were 23 groups of four or more head that participated in those trials in southwest Iowa. Not one group of steers showed a profit,” said Cole.
   However, Cole says things are looking up based on the numbers from the most recent feedout. The six groups of steers averaged only a $19.62 loss. Three of the groups actually turned a profit, ranging from $6.72 to $57.93 per head.
   The group had one death which likely cost them an overall profit on the 50 head. The steers were born from Aug. 24 to Dec. 6, 2012 with most hitting the ground in September.
   The group averaged 3.39 pounds per day gain with a feed conversion of 6.70 pounds of feed (dry basis) to a pound of gain. The variation in daily gain per steer went from 2.32 to 4.09 pounds. The overall cost of gain average was $113 per hundred.
   The carcass data revealed that only 50 percent attained low Choice quality grade. One steer from Garton Angus in Nevada received a $5.25 per hundred premium for making Certified Angus Beef (CAB). Another Garton steer with a low Choice Quality Grade actually ended up with the top overall profit at $150.70 per hundred.
   “Fall-born calves from southwest Missouri tend to struggle making low Choice and better. An industry goal is to get 70 percent to grade that well. The last eight fall-born groups have only averaged 51.5 percent low Choice or above,” said Cole.
   In contrast, Missouri cattle tend to have above average yield grades. During those same eight feedouts they have averaged 69.6 percent Yield Grades 1 and 2. Another admirable goal is 70 percent Yield Grades 1 and 2. During the recent feedout a Yield Grade 1 received a $6.50 per hundred premium while the 2’s got a $2.50 advantage in price per hundred on a carcass weight basis.
   “Missouri has used Iowa’s Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity since 2001 as a program to find feedlot space, market the steers and compute the data to compare animal-to-animal, herd-to-herd and they even provide a sire summary. The latter breakdown is by breed and allows bulls with a minimum number of progeny to be compared regardless of where they are from and whether used artificially or naturally,” said Cole.
   Persons interested in participating in the next feedout may receive more information by contacting a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist. Eligible steers must be born after July 1, 2013. A minimum of five head is required. Entry deadline is May 10, 2014. Actual pickup is scheduled for June 3. The pickup point in southwest Missouri is Joplin Regional Stockyards. Other pickup sites will depend on the amount of interest.
   "Feeder calf prices are attractive and it's understandable why you may be hesitant to retain ownership another five or six months. However, if you've invested in the right kind of sire, either AI or natural service, you stand to gain more profit from your investment. The feedout can help you build a reputation in the marketplace," said Cole.
   Participation in the Missouri Feedout provides producers a chance to see if they have the kind of cattle that Missouri's Quality Beef by the numbers is seeking.
   “The feedout is a low-risk program since you don’t commit your entire calf crop. If you’ve never had calves from your herd fed out, consider doing it this year. It will be educational and the way the beef and feed market looks, you just might make a little money,” said Cole.∆
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