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Steer Feedout Finally Shows a Profit

June 2, 2014
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One of the five Garton steers April 2 just ahead of harvest. Final weights of the 5 averaged 1358 lbs.  

The Missouri Steer Feedout finally showed a profit this year according to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The feedout profit appeared on 113 head of steers that were placed on feed last November and then marketed in April and May. When all expenses were tallied, including their beginning value, they showed a $140.84 per head profit.

"The most recent four feedouts showed a net loss ranging from $20 up to $227 per head. Elevated corn and other feed ingredient prices were a major reason these cattle in the past ended up in the loss column," said Cole.

Participants in the feedout program realize there is a risk of losing money or only breaking even. However, most enter steers to learn about the genetics in their herds.

"Breeding, marketing and management decisions are enhanced through the data received on the gains, carcass merit and health of their cattle after they leave their farm," said Cole.

The feedout always has a wide range of performance differences. This year the highest profit, $255.63, of the 13 sets of steers was way ahead of the 13th place cattle that lost an average of $77.90. That's $333.53, difference from top to bottom.

Three groups of steers suffered a total of 4 deaths and one of those lost 2 head, but still made a nice return of $79.85 per head.

There have been 39 steer feedouts and only the feedout in 2004-05 experienced a higher profit average ($171.41) than the feedout just completed.

This year, the top profit entry came from Norman Garton, Nevada. His five purebred Angus all graded Choice minus or higher with 4 making Certified Angus Beef specs. Those steers average daily gain was 3.89 lbs. The daily gain average of all steers was 3.60 lbs.

Just $6 behind in profit was five purebred Charolais entered by Gary Mallett, Baring. Those steers gained 3.62 lbs. per day and 3 of the 5 were low Choice with the other 2 high Select. Their average Yield Grade was 2.51.

Thirteen head of crossbreds entered by Bart Renkoski, Purdy posted the highest rate of gain as a group. Their gain was 4.01 lbs. per day. Two steers in that group made 4.53 lbs. per day gains which were tops in the feedout. This group would have moved up in the profit column had they not had the misfortune of two deaths, one right at the end of the feeding period.

Only one steer of the 109 harvested graded Prime. That was a purebred Angus from Goodnight Angus Farms, Carthage. He received a $19.49 premium per hundred pounds of carcass that earned him an extra $145.78 per head.

Overall, 79 percent of the steers graded low Choice or higher. This was the best in that category since the 2008-09 feedout. Attaining Choice quality grade was worth almost $9 per hundred compared to a Select carcass when those steers were marketed.

Last November, when the steers left Missouri to be fed at Gregory's Feedlot in Tabor, Iowa, they were part of a feeder cattle evaluation at Joplin Regional Stockyards. Cooperating on that evaluation was the Southwest Missouri Cattlemen's Association, University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Department of Agriculture and order buyers, Frank Brazle of Chanute, KS and Scott Kirby of Liberal. Each of the nine groups that left JRS went through the ring and were evaluated for price, expected gain, carcass merit and profitability.

About 50 persons attending the meeting made estimates. Surprisingly, the audience and the two order buyers were very close on most of the evaluations.

"The favorite group for most of the traits was the Garton steers. The only exception was the Renkoski group which was chosen to be the top gainers, and they were," said Cole.

The audience was not as accurate on Yield Grade as the Weaver Forest, Verona entry was tops among the nine. His steers all made 1's and 2's on Yield Grade.

The Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity in southwest Iowa supervises the program while the cattle are being finished and slaughtered. A number of states, especially in the southeast United States, utilize TCSCF services to evaluate cattle after weaning.

The next Missouri Feedout for calves born earlier in 2014 will begin on November 4.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551, Dr. Patrick Davis in Cedar County at (417) 276-3313 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.

Source: University of Missouri Extension

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