Beef cow-calf producers are reminded that the signup time for this summer's Missouri Steer Feedout is underway. Entries will be accepted until May 10.
Eligible steers are those born after July 1, 2010 according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension and coordinator of the feedout program. "The opportunity to enter five or more head in the feedout and receive feedlot and complete carcass information on them is worthwhile to serious-minded persons who are looking ahead for ways to improve their herds," Cole says. "Steers who excel in the program can enhance the marketing opportunities for calves produced in the same herd."
Seedstock producers can obtain carcass results from their own calves or those from herds who have used their bulls. The Tri-County program is widely recognized as a place to compare various breeds from various parts of the United States.
The current grain prices and the excellent prices being paid for feeder calves may cause some to question the wisdom of owning the cattle another six months. "Since only five to 15 head are all that are entered compared to an entire calf crop, it is a relatively low-risk situation to find out what the strengths and weaknesses are in your program," Cole notes.
The charge for entering is $20 per head. All charges for feed, yardage, freight, carcass data gathering and medications are deducted from the final payment. If 10 head or more are entered, an advance payment of $300 per head can be obtained.
The actual delivery of the steers to the feedyard in the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity in southwest Iowa will be on June 7. The cattle pickup point in southwest Missouri will be at Joplin Regional Stockyards. In north Missouri, pickups will be made at Savannah and at the Paris Veterinary Clinic, Paris.
Steers should weigh 550 pounds or more upon delivery. They should be weaned 45 days previously and given their immunizations at least 28 days before shipment. They must be bunk broke, dehorned, castrated and healed. It is preferred they not be implanted at weaning.
On the June 7 weigh-in, the calves will be graded and have a market value placed on them by a Missouri Market News reporter, which helps establish their value for feedlot profitability.
"The complete feedout effort is designed with education in mind. There are no designated winners and no big prizes given, just information that hopefully helps the participant," Cole says.
Profits are not guaranteed, but since the feedout program began in 1981, there have been average profits for the Missouri cattle 70 percent of the time. "Admittedly, some years the profits were very small, but almost every year a few of the herds in the program show feeding profits even when the overall average showed a loss," Cole says.
For more information, contact your area MU Extension livestock specialist, or go online to www.tcscf.com.
Source: MU Extension Southwest News Service