Monthly Archives: June 2007

Comparing Value of Byproduct Feeds in Beef Rations

Comparing Value of Byproduct Feeds in Beef Rations

Warren Gill, Professor, Department of Animal Science, University of Tennessee

Byproduct feeds for animals are made from the “leftovers” from the manufacture of other products, such as grain processing and manufacturing of human foods. The use of byproduct feeds is not new, although it is new to many producers. There are often questions about the relative value of byproduct feeds.

The main factor to consider is cost of nutrients. Check with several suppliers to find the best price before purchasing a commodity feed. A few phone calls could save several hundred dollars over the course of the feeding period.

Byproduct feeds may be purchased in large quantities (typically truckload), bagged in small qualities or as part of total mixed feeds. Bagged feeds are more expensive. Feeds bought in truckload quantities are generally less expensive on “per unit” basis.


Value-based Marketing of Cattle: More Than Just Carcass Quality

Value-based Marketing of Cattle: More Than Just Carcass Quality

Ropin’ the Web

An increasing number of beef producers want the price they receive for their cattle to reflect their use of above average genetics in their cowherds. This is more commonplace as producers, feedlot operators and meat processors become more aware of the importance of genetics and good management practices.

Genetics not only relate to fertility and performance, but also to carcass qualities and the ability to meet the high to premium specifications for beef, as set by retailers and consumers.

A Marketing Tool

Value-based marketing (VBM) is a management and marketing tool that rewards or penalizes cattle, based on carcass merits. It provides an opportunity for producers to capture greater economic rewards for using above average genetics. If a producer raises a superior calf that yields a superior carcass, he receives a premium price. Producers who want to capitalize on premium markets need to evaluate the performance of their cattle, both in the feedlot and on the hook. To do this, producers require more information concerning the entire production process, from conception to consumption.

Producers must know their costs of production to be successful using VBM. Many VBM programs involve leaving cattle on feed longer; sometimes to the point where performance and feed efficiency cost more than what is received from carcass premiums.


Weighing In On Early Weaning

Weighing In On Early Weaning

By Clint Peck

Beef Magazine

Early weaning as a herd-management practice continues to be a viable alternative for cattle ranchers across a big chunk of the U.S. Certainly for producers in drought-prone regions of the West and Great Plains, it’s a tool that can be used to avoid culling cows and maintaining high levels of reproductive performance among young cows.

Penton Media – Beef Magazine, Click Here!

Researchers continue to explore the practicalities and economics of various early-weaning systems. Richard Waterman, range nutritionist, and Tom Geary, reproductive physiologist, both working at USDA’s Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, Miles City, MT, have been leading an extensive early-weaning research effort.


Life is our greatest teacher, if you pay attention

Life is our greatest teacher, if you pay attention

By Trent Loos

“This is the way America started out” was a direct quote from Kathy Tucker at the 2nd Annual Houston E. Mull Memorial FFA Scholarship Cattle Drive that took place November 5, 2005 at the Mull farm near Marshall, MO. We had 201 people riding horses and 4 wagons trailing cattle just like your favorite John Wayne movie told you we should. Some very interesting and educational occurrences made this event so much more than simply an annual celebration in memory of a special 15-year-old agriculturalist. It has shown us the perfect venue for telling the story of Rural America.

Nearly 600 people, including those that helped trail the cattle, gathered for an evening celebration of fire-grilled steaks and all the trimmings. They generously supported the benefit auction, which generated just short of $5000 for the FFA Scholarship Fund. As remarkable as all of that was, the presence of one young lady from Florida was the most rewarding. Kelly Tucker is a 27-year-old Cystic Fibrosis survivor and the recipient of  Houston Mull’s lungs following his untimely death. Kelly spent the entire weekend visiting with people and learning more about Houston’s life. She now understands why her preferences in life have changed and she is suddenly craving beef instead of chicken.


Cattle Marketing Symposium – Buying & Selling Value-Added Calves, Wayne Edmondson, El Yeso Ranch

Cattle Marketing Symposium – Buying & Selling Value-Added Calves, Wayne Edmondson, El Yeso Ranch

 “What advice would you give sellers and buyers of value-added calves and how do you market value-added calves?”

To a seller or to a buyer, the answer is the same: Unless you can sell your feeder cattle in a sale that gives all the data that value-added calves have received, and also if you’re a buyer and you can buy out of a sale that gives all of the data for value-added feeder cattle, you’re missing the boat on value-added selling or buying.

That’s why we sell our “Northern” outstanding feeder cattle at auction through Northern Video. Northern Video or Sales of this sort where all value added data is presented and the cattle are sold in load lots is the best way to market value added calves.


Farm Business Management Update, June – July 2007

Farm Business Management Update, June – July 2007

By Gordon Groover (, Extension Economist, Farm Management, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Well, another dry spring for most of the state, not yet a full blown drought. Hopefully, the rain we received from tropical depression Barry will increase soil moisture levels to get crops a good start. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) does not predict drought conditions in VA through August (, yet drought conditions exist just over the line in NC. From my view of the New River Valley, we are behind our normal planting and hay harvest schedules.


Choices and options are focus of classes

Choices and options are focus of classes

 Georgia Faces

Workshops help producers deal with dwendling hay supply.

 Georgia’s extreme drought has devastated pastures, and hay supplies are all but gone. Cattlemen are struggling to feed their herds. University of Georgia experts are working to educate them on how to weather the situation better.