2000 Annual Report

Beef Section

Dickinson Research Extension Center
1089 State Avenue
Dickinson, ND 58601

Retained Ownership - Three Years of Experience

Kris A. Ringwall and Keith J. Helmuth
Dickinson Research Extension Center

 

Abstract

Retained ownership of cattle demonstrates that cattle can be source verified back to the cow/calf operation, resulting in benchmarks for weaning, feedlot, carcass and health traits and the subsequent establishment of realistic reachable goals that guide the management of cattle enterprises provided a person is willing to accept the increased risks and associated stress. Ultimately, producers need to start slow, percentage their cattle out at a realistic level that is reflective of their own financial position and their ability to absorb risk. Producers need to understand risk management before they retain ownership of cattle.

Introduction and Justification

In the future, beef producers need to accumulate a data base that adequately describes the producers cattle and then allows that producer to make necessary genetic and management changes within the operation as needed. The genetic and management changes need to be guided by the operationís goals and the industryís goals throughout this process. These goals must be set based on realistic benchmarks attained by data analysis which includes individual operation data. Effective use of source verification and electronic identification should aid considerably in this endeavor.

Material and Methods

The Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC) ranch is located southwest of Manning, North Dakota and pastures cattle in Stark, Dunn and Billings counties and has been in operation since 1905. The current cow herd has approximately a 3/4 Angus X 1/4 Hereford base and currently utilizes Hereford, Angus, Red Angus and Charolais bulls. The cows are utilized for research and managed as three units depending on calving time. Cattle are calved from late February to mid April (spring calving), mid May to mid June (summer calving) and October to early November (fall calving). Cows are allowed to float between calving groups. Spring and summer calves are weaned in late October to mid November, preconditioned for a minimum of 30 days and shipped. Fall calves are weaned in mid April, pastured for the summer and shipped with the spring and summer calves. All calves were marketed through a Kansas feedlot and sold direct to the slaughter house to facilitate the collection of carcass data. The CHAPS and DATALINETM, programs were utilized to establish ongoing benchmarks for weaning, feedlot, carcass and health traits and the subsequent establishment of realistic reachable goals that guide the management of cattle enterprises.

Results and Discussion

Tables 1-4 present the analyzed production data from the Dickinson Research Extension Center beef herd to illustrate and to increase the understanding of a complete non-segmented beef production system. Producers can establish and maintain a similar professional database by becoming involved with CHAPS 2000. This data allows the establishment of new goals and the adjustment of present goals within the cattle industry to allow for long term survival with the appropriate beef cattle system.

 

Table 1. Beef Calf Performance for DREC through the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association
CHAPS Program.

Year

Pregnancy
Percentage

Calving
Percentage

Weaning
Percentage

Death
Loss

Calf
Weaning
Weight

Average
Weaning
Age

Pounds Average Weaned per Cow Exposed

1996

95.3%

92.9%

91.4%

2.5%

522

207

475

1997

95.3%

94.2%

80.7%

12.4%

542

223

447

1998

95.1%

93.2%

89.3%

5.6%

554

209

495

 

Table 2. Receiving Value, Final Value and Net Return for DREC Calves Born in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Year

Sex

N

Receiving
Weight

Receiving
Value/Hd

Final
Weight

Final
Value
per Calf

Hot
Carcass
Price/Cw
ta

Total
Net
Return
per Calfb

1996

Steer

159

642

$415

1110

$767

$107.73

$55

1996

Heifer

66

625

$355

1015

$693

$108.74

$82

1997

Steer

127

671

$543

1144

$758

$105.30

$(66)

1997

Heifer

74

626

$487

1103

$714

$104.13

$(76)

1998

Steer

126

707

$494

1204

$817

$105.85

$79

1998

Heifer

54

669

$427

1145

$755

$102.88

$112

a Includes steers and heifers (8 head) sold as realizers ($51.38/cwt).
b Includes costs of those steers and heifers that died and those sold as realizers.

 

Table 3. Feedlot Performance for DREC Calves Born in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Year

Sex

N

Age at
Arrival

Feedlog
Average
Daily Gain

Days
on
Feed

Feed
Efficiency

Cost of
Gain/Cwt

Trucking
Cost/Hd

1996

Steer

159

246

3.08

158

6.13

$56.01

$16.41

1996

Heifer

66

249

2.94

147

6.24

$58.04

$15.48

1997

Steer

127

277

3.06

154

6.46

$57.67

$19.01

1997

Heifer

74

269

3.03

160

6.29

$57.38

$19.01

1998

Steer

126

270

3.19

157

6.08

$44.16

$20.00

1998

Heifer

54

286

3.10

154

5.83

$42.33

$19.78

 

Table 4. Carcass Characteristics for DREC Calves Born in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Harvest

Hot
Carcass

Rib Eye

Final
Yield

Quality

Percent

Year

Sex

N

Age

Weight

Area

Grade

Grade

Choice

1996

Steer

159

402

707

12.5

2.3

2.45

57

1996

Heifer

66

397

636

11.7

2.1

2.36

64

1997

Steer

127

429

716

11.6

2.8

2.34

65

1997

Heifer

74

428

682

11.7

2.5

2.45

70

1998

Steer

126

429

769

13.5

2.9

2.28

72

1998

Heifer

54

439

714

12.8

2.8

2.37

61

a Quality Grade 1=Prime 2=Choice 3=Select 4=Standard; one dark cutter in 1996, three dark cutters in 1997.