Discovering Value in
The Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout Project
Progress Report Year 2002-2003
NDSU Extension Service –
State Bank of
Determining calf value is a
continuing education for cow calf producers.
At time of bull selection, a producer must estimate the type of animal
desired by buyers 1½- 2 years before sale.
In regards to premium and discounts in
Materials and Methods
Dakota Feeder Calf Show was developed for cattle producers willing to consign
steer calves to a show and feedout contest.
The calves were received in groups of three on
calves were then shipped to the
open house was held on
first market group of cattle (75 head) was harvested on
Ranking in the pen-of-three competitions was based on the best score obtained. Overall score was determined by adding the index score for weight per day of age (20% of score), average daily gain on test (20% of score), marbling score (20% of score), and retail product value divided by weight per day of age (40% of score). The Dakota Feeder Calf Show provided cash awards for the top placing pens of steers.
Results and Discussion
Cattle consigned to the
Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout project averaged 589.0 pounds upon delivery to
the Carrington Research Extension Center Livestock Unit on
Overall feed cost per pound of gain was $0.326. Overall yardage per pound of gain was $0.074. Combined cost per pound of gain including feed, yardage, veterinary, trucking and other expenses except interest was $0.461.
The number of cattle consigned was 150 of which 117 competed in the pen of three contest. Cattle were implanted with Synovex Choice at 87 days on feed.
The carcass characteristics were collected and used in calculating indexes for scoring. The first market group, harvested April 3, 2003, contained USDA Quality Grades at 45.3 percent Choice and 53.3 percent Select and USDA Yield Grades at 1.3 percent YG1, 41.4 percent YG2, 56 percent YG3, and 1.3 percent YG4. The second market group, harvested May 16, 2003, contained USDA Quality Grades at 48 percent Choice, 49.3 percent Select, and 2.7 percent Standard and 9.3 percent YG1, 70.7 percent YG2, and 20 percent YG3.
Carcass value per cwt was
calculated by using the actual base carcass price plus premiums and discounts
Retail product value was calculated as carcass weight, lb. * percent retail product *(((carcass value per cwt /100)/ retail product yield) / retail product markup) where retail product yield = 0.65, and retail product markup = 0.75. Percent retail product value was calculated as 0.825 - (calculated yield grade *0.05).
Results from the calves selected for the pen-of-three competition are listed in Table 1. Overall, the pen-of-three calves averaged 385.8 days of age and averaged 1236.6 pounds per head at harvest. Overall pen-of -three average daily gain was 3.42 lbs while weight per day of age was 3.21 lbs. Overall pen-of-three marbling score was 403.5 or 3.5 percent into low choice/small marbling. Retail product value averaged $1276.63 per head. Retail product value divided by weight per day of age averaged $3.31.
The highest combined index score per pen-of-three was 3.510. The highest overall scoring pen did not place first in weight per day of age, average daily gain or percent retail product value divided by weight per day of age and profit, but did rank first for marbling score Correlation between index score total and profit was high (r = 0.8293). Correlation between marbling score and profit was 0.6622.
Profit or loss was calculated using initial calf price as price per pound, $ = 98.68387 – (0.02565 * initial calf weight). Profit or loss accounted for initial calf price, feed, yardage, veterinary, freight, brand inspection, beef check off, ultrasound and carcass data collection costs. Interest costs on cattle or feeding expenses were not included in calculating profit or loss. Final carcass value was assessed using actual grid pricing for the group.
Overall, cattle feeding provided a $112.27 profit before interest. However, the top profit pen-of-three calves with superior genetics returned $205.05 per head while a lesser pen of three calves returned a $40.03 per head.
Calf value is improved with
superior carcass performance. Feedlot
performance is also important for increased weight gain and heavier carcass
weights. Exceptional average daily gains,
weight per day of age, marbling score and retail product value can be found in
Affiliation of coauthors and non-
Table 1. Feeding performance – 2002-2003 Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout.