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NDSU Feedout Project Looking for Calves

The 2008-09 Eastern North Dakota Cattle Feedout helps producers understand the value of their herd's genetics in a feedlot situation.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service is looking for cattle producers to participate in the 2008-09 Eastern North Dakota Cattle Feedout.

The feedout project involves cattle being consigned to the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center to be fed until they’re ready for harvest. Center staff will give the producers periodic reports on their calves' feedlot performance. The staff also will provide producers with carcass data after the calves are harvested.

The project helps producers understand the value of their herd's genetics in a feedlot situation, according to Karl Hoppe, NDSU Extension Service livestock specialist at the center.

The program is open to producers from eastern North Dakota and surrounding regions. The deadline to enroll is Nov. 19. Cattle can be delivered to either Lake Region Livestock in Devils Lake on Dec. 4 or Pipestem Feeders in Carrington on Dec 5.

The Dec. 4 delivery coincides with the annual Ranchers Night program at Lake Region Livestock. The program starts at 6 p.m. Several speakers will present innovative ideas and information on cattle production.

Producers can consign one or more groups of six spring-born steer calves to the feedout project. Calves should be vaccinated for BVD, IBR, P13 and BRSV and with a seven-way clostridial two weeks before being delivered. The calves will be revaccinated, dewormed, deliced, weighed and ear tagged on delivery to the feedlot.

Two to three weeks after they reach the feedlot near Carrington, the calves will be placed on a high-grain diet. The target for harvesting the cattle is when they reach 0.5-inch backfat and choice marbling.

Producers retain ownership of the calves during the feeding period and they're responsible for the feeding costs. The costs are deducted from the proceeds of the carcass sales. The rest of the money goes to the producers upon completion of the feedout project.

The previous feedout's harvest was in April and May. The calves, which were on feed for 167 days, averaged 665 pounds at delivery. They gained 3 pounds per day, converted feed at 6.5 pounds of dry matter per pound of live gain, averaged 1,198 pounds at slaughter and had feed plus yardage cost-per-pound gain of 66.8 cents and a breakeven point of $96.63 per hundredweight.

""Feedout projects allow producers to benchmark their herds,"" Hoppe says. ""This allows the owners to compare their cattle's feedlot and carcass performance under similar feed and management conditions. Then they can adjust their breeding decisions accordingly. Also, these projects allow for an introduction to retained-ownership programs."

For more information or to enter the project, contact Hoppe at (701) 652-2951 or karl.hoppe@ndsu.edu; Bill Hodous, Ramsey County Extension office, at (701) 662-7027 or bill.hodous@ndsu.edu; Brad Brummond, Walsh County Extension office, at (701) 284-6248 or bradley.brummond@ndsu.edu; Mark Miller, Rolette County Extension office, at (701) 447-5671 or mark.d.miller@ndsu.edu; and Al Ulmer, LaMoure County Extension office, at (701) 883-5301 or al.ulmer@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Karl Hoppe, (701) 652-2951, karl.hoppe@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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