North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
1089 State Avenue, Dickinson, ND 58601-4642 Voice: (701) 483-2348 FAX: (701) 483-2005


-The DATALINE Program-
This Bull Lost Money

Kris Ringwall, Director, Dickinson Research Extension Center
Keith Helmuth, Research Specialist, Dickinson Research Extension Center, Dickinson, ND

Implications

Appropriate genetic and managerial decisions influence beef cattle income potential.

Summary

DATALINE allows every segment of the beef industry chain to source verify the product throughout development. This electronic connection adds accountability to the CHAPS beef cattle network securing needed data for cow-calf producers. This data completes a circle of communication and gives the cow-calf producer the knowledge to make genetic and management changes which affect profitability, improve product quality and insure consumer safety.

Materials & Methods

DATALINE is an outgrowth of the Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (CHAPS) program developed by the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association and North Dakota State University Extension Service. The CHAPS and DATALINE programs have made it possible for cow-calf producers to allow a complete throughput of information from the beginning (conception) to the end (retail harvest). The first set of cattle through the DATALINE program were three loads of cattle from the Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC). On November 11, 1996, 76 steers and on December 3, 1996, 91 steers and 67 heifers were shipped to Decatur County Feed Yard Inc. at Oberlin Kansas.

Results & Discussion

The weaning performance of DREC calves is presented in table 1 by individual Angus sire and group averages (tables 2 and 3 use the same format). The calves sent had acceptable growth rates however are smaller framed cattle (4.7 vs. 5.7) then North Dakota CHAPS cattle. The feedlot performance is shown in table 2, and serves as the initial benchmark values for overall feedlot performance for DREC. Table 3 gives the carcass characteristics of these cattle. Compared to the 1995 beef cattle quality audit, these cattle are slightly smaller and less muscled, but produce a higher quality carcass. Genetic change could be initiated from the initial years data, with caution. The performance of the different Angus sires are similar. Pre-weaning growth rate and frame were similar for all sires with the exception of 336C (table 1). Tables 2 and 3 would indicate the same trend. In general, the performance of 336C was inadequate pre-weaning, in the feedlot and on the rail. This bull lost money. Dollar wise, the question should be asked if more dollars would have been generated selling the cows than maintaining cows conceived to this bull in the herd. Early trends would indicate some differences in feed efficiency and carcass traits resulting in $25 dollar spread in market adjusted net return (table 2 and 3) among the different sires. Additional calves will be produced to build the data set and increase the confidence in the baseline data.

Conclusion

This program demonstrates cattle can be source verified back to the cow/calf operation, resulting in beginning benchmarks for weaning, feedlot, carcass and health traits.

Table 1: Weaning Performance of Angus Sired Steers and Heifers Versus Drec Herd and North Dakota Averages During 1996

Sire

N

Birth Weight Wean Weight Adjusted 205 Days Weight Average Daily Gain Weight per Day of Age Age Frame Score
127

25

86

556

555

2.0

2.4

230

4.5

132

16

76

550

555

2.1

2.4

231

4.4

155

19

79

546

553

2.1

2.4

225

4.4

1445

30

80

557

564

2.1

2.5

224

4.3

336C

11

71

417

502

1.8

2.2

195

3.7

Herd Average

296

88

522

559

2.1

2.6

205

4.7

North Dakota

18415

89

533

576

2.3

2.7

200

5.7

 

Table 2: Feedlot Performance of Angus Sired Steer Calves in 1996 versus Angus and DREC Herd Averages
Sire

N

Receiving Weight

Final Weight

Feedlot Average Daily Gain

Days on Feed

Feed Efficiency

Age at Harvest

Market Adjusted Net Return $a

127

10

700

1126

2.9

147

6.62

417

33

132

8

642

1081

3.1

144

6.01

415

55

155

11

681

1060

2.9

131

6.35

401

48

1445

15

642

1103

3.2

146

5.84

413

58

336C

4

532

984

2.7

174

6.33

421

-21

Angus Averageb

53

650

1078

3.0

143

6.16

408

42

Herd Average

159

623

1110

3.1

158

6.13

405

41

Decatur

10488

641

1137

3.1

160

6.20

na

34

a) The standard values used in the market-adjusted profit calculations per cwt were: Commodity Hot Carcass Average Price - $106, Choice/Select Price Spread - $8, Standard Grade Discount form Select -$4, Prime Grade Premium from Choice -$4, Discount for Heavies and Lights - $10, Discount for Dark Cutters -$15, Premium for Yield Grade 1 -$6, Premium for Yield Grade 2 -$3, Premium/Discount for Yield Grade 3 -$0, Discount for Yield Grade 4 -$15, Discount for Yield Grade 5 -$25, Fixed Price for Utility Grade and Lower -$70.

b) Herd average for Angus sires used at the Dickinson Research Extension Center

 

Table 3: Carcass Characteristics of Angus Sired Steer Calves in 1996 Versus Angus, Drec Herd, NBQA Averages
Sire

N

Hot Carcass Weight

Rib Eye Area

Final Yield Grade

Quality Gradea

Market Adjusted Net Return $b

127

10

712

13.1

2.4

2.4

33

132

8

694

12.1

2.5

2.5

55

155

11

681

12.2

2.6

2.6

48

1445

15

705

12.8

2.3

2.3

58

336C

4

603

11.0

2.3

2.5

-21

Angus Averagec

53

686

12.3

2.4

2.3

42

Herd Average

159

707

12.5

2.3

2.5

41

Decatur

10488

724

na

1.8

2.5

34

NBQAd

na

748

12.8

2.8

3.0

na

a) Quality Grade 1=Prime 2=Choice 3=Select 4=Standard 5=Non-Conformity

b) The standard values used in the market-adjusted profit calculations per cwt were: Commodity Hot Carcass Average Price - $106, Choice/Select Price Spread - $8, Standard Grade Discount form Select -$4, Prime Grade Premium from Choice -$4, Discount for Heavies and Lights - $10, Discount for Dark Cutters -$15, Premium for Yield Grade 1 -$6, Premium for Yield Grade 2 -$3, Premium/Discount for Yield Grade 3 -$0, Discount for Yield Grade 4 -$15, Discount for Yield Grade 5 -$25, Fixed Price for Utility Grade and Lower -$70.

c) Herd average for Angus sires used at the Dickinson Research Extension Center

d) 1995 National Beef Quality Audit


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