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NDSU Calf Backgrounding Seminars Set

Learn about backgrounding as an alternative to selling calves after weaning.

With changing market prices, uncertainty about what to do with calves after weaning is showing up in cattle pastures.

One option is to add value to the calves by feeding them in North Dakota instead of selling them. To address this issue, the North Dakota State University Extension Service is holding a webinar on the cattle market outlook and a series of local seminars on feeding and budgeting.

“While cattle prices are low, compared with recent years, the price of feed has dropped also,” says Karl Hoppe, area Extension livestock specialist at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center. “Cattle feeding is a margin business. So if the cost of gain is low enough, feeding calves can be worthwhile.”

Tim Petry, Extension livestock marketing economist in NDSU’s Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department, will lead the “North Dakota Feeder Cattle Market Price Outlook” webinar. It will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct.10. Go to to access the webinar from your home computer or smartphone.

“Declining markets are always a challenge to sell calves into,” Petry says. “Increasing poultry, pork and beef supplies are forecast.”

The dates, times and locations for the series of local meetings about backgrounding calves are:

  • Oct. 25 - 1 p.m., Bottineau, Farm Credit Services building
  • Oct. 25 - 7 p.m., Minot, North Central Research Extension Center
  • Oct. 26 - 9 a.m., McClusky, City Hall
  • Oct. 26 - 1:30 p.m., Hazen, City Hall
  • Oct. 27 - 9 a.m., Linton, Courthouse auditorium
  • Oct. 27 - 1 p.m., Ashley, Courthouse
  • Oct. 27 - 7 p.m., Fullerton, Ranch House

Topics for the meetings are:

  • Rations and feed cost of gain - Hoppe
  • Rates of gain, ending weights and budgets - John Dhuyvetter, area Extension livestock specialist, NDSU North Central Research Extension Center
  • Local feed prices and availability - local Extension agent
  • Update on veterinary feed directive - local Extension agent

For more information, contact Dhuyvetter at 701-857-7682 or, Hoppe at 701-652-2951 or, or your local Extension agent.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Oct. 3, 2016

Source:Karl Hoppe, 701-652-2951,
Editor:Ellen Crawford, 701-231-5391,
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