The Livestock Today blog is your place to learn the latest production news for the livestock industry.
Back to Production Basics
Sep 07, 2009
By Sara Brown
Tough market conditions mean you have to work smarter to get every bit of value out of your calf crop. To do that, you must have basic production measures in place.
After talking to cattle buyers and livestock market operators for "What Cattle Buyers Want" in the September 2009 issue, it’s clear if you want top dollar for your animals, you need to improve genetics—and then keep improving the herd every breeding season. Genetics are still the No. 1 factor in calf value.
After that, individual production measures are key. Separating bulls and heifers, weaning, proper nutrition, training animals to eat and drink, vaccinations and handling are areas cattle producers need to factor into their marketing plan.
These simple production tools are easy to overlook, but valuable just the same. Justin Rhinehart, beef cattle specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service says recent feeder sales in eastern Oklahoma showed that horned steers bring $3.23/cwt. less than their polled or dehorned counterparts.
That is just one example! Could you factor in an additional $3.23/cwt.? We all could! It’s time to get our ducks in a row…and get balance sheets back to black.
|This column is part of the Beef Today Cattle Drive e-newsletter, which is delivered to subscribers biweekly and includes beef industry analysis, market information as well as the latest beef headline news. Click here to subscribe.