Results from Steer Feedout Finale Show Losses and Lessons

August 1, 2015 12:24 PM

The Missouri Steer Feedout Finale held on June 25 in Mt. Vernon revealed the results of the 158 head of steers from 2014 that went to Iowa last November. The cattle were owned by 20 different cattlemen from across the state.

Last November feeder cattle prices were near or at record highs with these six weight steers valued at $1515 per head at the start of the finishing phase.

"Consignors knew then several things had to go their way to prevent significant losses in the feedlot," said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. "Well, not everything went the way you'd like."

The feeding period showed a loss of $194.40 per head. Cole said this was similar to other closeouts in the last couple of months. In fact in 2012 and 2013 comparable losses were made in the Missouri Feedouts. Things improved in 2014 with black ink replacing the red.

"The closeout data reveals that of the 20 different groups of steers, only one owner avoided a loss," said Cole.

A longtime participant in the feedout, Kunkel Farms, Neosho posted a per head profit of $60.69. The balance of the feedout entries ranged from a loss of only $18.50 per head for Lakeview Farms, Joplin to a whopping loss of $403.94 per head. The latter entry lost one steer and had heavy treatment charges.

During his presentation, Darrell Busby, manager of the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity said this turned out to be one of the worst winters to feed cattle in southwest Iowa.

"We battled respiratory problems in several of the TCSCF lots. This impacted performance, vet costs, lung adhesions noted when hung on the rail, and, of course, death loss. Actual costs of gain were greater than anticipated by $15.13 per hundred," said Busby.

Of the 158 steers sent to Iowa, six died. Three were sold as feeders or realizers.

There were 149 that completed the program on schedule and from which carcass data was obtained. The performance of those 149 was fairly good except for rate of gain which at 3.22 pounds per day was below the TCSCF previous year's average of 3.50 pounds.

"The Missouri steers feed conversion was 6.49 pounds per pound of gain. This was a slight bit better than the year previous of 6.70," said Cole.

From a carcass perspective the steers had 77 percent low Choice or better and 61 percent were yield grades 1's and 2's. The quality grade percentage was better than seen in nine of the last ten feedouts.

Only 8 percent of the black-hided steers were Certified Angus Beef. The national average for CAB is 24 percent. One Missouri steer did grade Prime minus. He was entered by Norman Garton, Nevada. That grade boosted the steer's carcass value by $19 per hundred over the base. A herd mate came close to that value with a Choice plus grade. The total value of his 947-pound carcass topped the 149 head at $2509.64.

The Kunkel steers were sired by Red Angus bulls and were out of high percentage Red Angus dams. All five of the steers graded low Choice. Four were yield grades 2 and the other one a 3.

"They were fortunate to have stayed healthy, except for one steer's $25 health charge," said Cole.

They achieved the 70 percent - 70 percent - 0 percent goal with a 100-80-0 rating. Oher groups who attained that target included: Jay Kerr, Mexico, Leon James, Hurdland, Russell Marion, Pierce City and Larry Busby, Parnell. The latter group did lose one of their six steers, but the remaining 5 ended up with a 100-100-0 score.

Individually, two steers stood out. An Angus-sired steer from Charles Rosenkrans, Paris was the top-ranking steer for his retail value per day of age score of $5.39.

Russell Marion's, Pierce City number 379 claimed the top retail value per day on feed at $7.84. He was Angus-sired.

"The Steer Feedout gives cow-calf producers a chance to evaluate their feeder calves in the real-world as they perform in the feedlot and on the rail," said Cole.

The program requires a minimum of 5 steers per owner. The next feedout will begin on Nov. 3 for steers born earlier in 2015.

Details on entering as well as a PowerPoint presentation that shows pictures of many steers and their performance data may be viewed online.

Source: University of Missouri Extension

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