Matching Cattle to Markets: A Natural Approach

US - The year 2005 was an exciting one for cow-calf producers. No matter where you were and what you were selling, it brought a premium. It is easy to forget about producing quality calves and managing them properly when even under managed cattle sold so well.
calendar icon 11 January 2007
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However, as we progressed through the fall of 2006 the saying "All good things must come to an end" could be heard.

My question for you is, DO THEY? Do we have to be satisfied with commodity prices for our feeder calves this year? The answer is simple, easy to spell, and can be understood in several languages: NO.

Cattle-FAX has published figures that diagram an approach to receiving maximum value for feeder cattle. With dips in feeder calf prices and no short term relief for corn prices in sight, make 2007 the year your cattle are noticed on sale day.

This diagram builds off of a base built on under managed and average cattle. These cattle can be discounted for not being dehorned, uncastrated males, and dirty/unhealthy appearing cattle. Even if these steps have been taken, buyers may still evaluate your cattle as minimally managed, average cattle that someday may move into the discounted category. Garnering a premium will require increased management the market will recognize.

Cattle-FAX has identified performance history (feedlot/carcass), vaccinations, weaning/preconditioning, verifying age and source, and producing for premium programs and natural markets as the stairway to maximum value.

Attaining maximum value requires that you climb each step to the natural markets. However, each step you take is added value. Iowa State university has identified a $6.15/cwt increase in value for feeder cattle that are vaccinated, weaned for at least 30 days, and have a third party verification to prove it (could be pharmaceutical company's program).

Source: Marshall County Journal

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