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Feeding Out Calves Gives True Carcase Value

15 September 2009

Missouri

US - Beef producers should find the true value of their calves by feeding them out.

By feeding calves out, producers can sell calves to packers based on carcase value, says Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist.

Through evaluating calves, producers are able to see how they perform for the next guy down the value chain and may be able to discover why buyers didn't bid overly high prices. In the Missouri Steer Feedout, producers select a sample of at least five calves to retain ownership through the feedlot phase. The return at the end reflects what they are worth to meat processors.

Beef producers learned how they could select five or more calves for a feedout trial during a beef tour at the annual University of Missouri Southwest Centre field day on 11 September. The best way to change a herd is through changes based on data, said Mr Cole, carcase data from retained ownership can help producers make better breeding decisions.

Mr Cole explained that better genetics from a top sire does more than improve the steers going to the feedlot, replacement heifers going back into the herd have better genetics which over time will improve the beef herd.Feedout data also gives the producer information that they can use in marketing their cattle, helping develop a reputation.

Feedlot buyers want healthy calves that never have to be treated. Keep vaccination current. Mr Cole also said research showed 'rowdy' cattle could cost up to $60 a head more to feed out.

The next University of Missouri beef day will be 22 September 2009.



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