NDSU feedout project seeks calves

Nov 20, 2009
by WLJ
NDSU feedout project seeks calves

The North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service is looking for cattle producers to participate in the 2009-10 Eastern North Dakota Cattle Feedout.

The feedout project involves calves being consigned to the Eastern Dakota Cattle Feedout which the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC) conducts. The calves will be fed until they’re ready for harvest.

Center staff will give the producers periodic reports on their calves’ feedlot performance. The staff also will provide producers with carcass data after harvest.

The project helps producers understand the value of their herd’s genetics in a feedlot situation, according to Karl Hoppe, NDSU Extension livestock specialist at the center.

The program is open to producers from eastern North Dakota and surrounding regions. The deadline to enroll is Nov. 30. Producers should deliver their calves to the Pipestem Feeders feedlot on Dec. 9. The calves will be fed at Pipestem Feed ers, a commercial feedlot near CREC.

Producers can consign one or more groups of six springborn steer calves to the feedout project. Calves should be vaccinated for BVD type I and II, IBR, P13 and BRSV and with a seven-way clostridial two weeks before being delivered. The calves will be revaccinated, dewormed, deliced, weighed and ear tagged on delivery to the feedlot.

Two to three weeks after the calves arrive at the feedlot, they will be placed on a high-grain diet. The target for harvesting the cattle is 0.5-inch backfat and Choice marbling.

Producers retain ownership of the calves during the feeding period and they’re responsible for the feeding costs. The costs are deducted from the proceeds of the carcass sales. The remaining money goes to the producers upon completion.

The previous feedout’s calves were sorted for harvest by ultrasound and sold in May, June and July. The calves, which were on feed for 189 days, averaged 722 pounds at delivery. They gained 3 pounds per day, converted feed at 7.2 pounds of dry matter per pound of live gain, averaged 1,240 pounds at slaughter, and had feed plus yardage costper-pound gain of 82 cents and a breakeven of $93.95 per cwt.

“Feedout projects allow producers to benchmark their herds,” Hoppe says. “This allows the owners to compare their cattle’s feedlot and carcass performance under similar feed and management conditions. Then they can adjust their breeding decisions accordingly.”

For more information or to enter the project, contact Hoppe at 701/652-2951 or karl.hoppe@ndsu.edu; Al Ulmer, LaMoure County Extension office, at 701/883- 5301 or al.ulmer@ndsu.edu; Brad Brummond, Walsh County Extension office, at 701/284-6248 or bradley. brummond@ndsu.edu; Mark Miller, Rolette County Extension office, at 701/447- 5671 or mark.d.miller@ ndsu.edu; or Andy Johnson, Steele County Extension Office at 701/524-2253 or andrew.k.johnson@ndsu. edu. — WLJ