Calf Finishing Vs. Background & Yearling Finishing Systems

Calf Finishing Vs. Background & Yearling Finishing Systems

As corn prices have more than doubled in the last two years, cattle producers increasingly look for alternatives to finishing calves exclusively in feedlots on high concentrate rations.  Historically, Nebraska feeders have always placed a high proportion of fall-weaned calves on feed in October and November and sold them as fed cattle in May before the seasonal summer price decline.  However, as feeding cost of gain has increased from about $50/cwt to nearly $100/cwt in the past two years, livestock operators have more incentive to background calves during the winter and following summer on forages and delay placing the cattle on feed until they are long yearlings at the end of the summer grazing season.

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