During an educational session at the weigh-in for the Missouri Steer Feedout at Joplin Regional Stockyards last November, 13 groups of steers from southwest Missouri were run through the sale ring. The 70-plus attendees then voted on a variety of performance outcomes for each group. Voting was done via remote control on a computerized system provided by Alpharma.
Following the evaluation, the votes were tallied, but the true results on most questions were not known until the feeding period and the carcass evaluation was completed and reported at the "Feedout Finale" in Mt. Vernon on June 23.
"Most of the responders hit the mark on the expected shrink of the steers from weigh-in to the Iowa feedlot arrival weight. The range most voted for was three to five percent," said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension, Mount Vernon.
Average daily gains were better in this year's feedout than in the past, so most responders underestimated that value. Carcass weights also gave them problems according to Cole.
Quality grades were estimated and the audience estimated only five of the 13 groups in the proper range. Yield grade estimates fell within the range on seven of the 13 groups.
Since profits were higher this year than in the past, most of the audience estimates were too conservative with only three groups of calves falling in the proper range. Those three were all lower profit groups.
The one question category that seemed to have the greatest consensus was, "if you were a feed yard order buyer and were asked to purchase top quality feeders, regardless of weight and color, would you bid on these steers?" According to Cole, there were four groups of steers that between 94% and 99% of the audience said "yes" on. They were owned by Norman Garton, Nevada; Goodnight Angus Farm, Carthage; Bart Renkoski, Purdy; and Don Stuckey, Tunas.
"When the net profitability was calculated for the 13 groups of steers the groups owned by Garton, Goodnight, Renkoski and Stuckey were on top. So even though the audience had difficulty pinning down a single performance trait, they did agree on whether they would bid on those steer calves," Cole noted.
For more details and enrollment information on the next Missouri Steer Feedout, contact your area MU Extension livestock specialist.
Source: MU Extension Southwest News Service