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BIF 2017: Factors affecting feedlot profitability

published: June 21st 2017
by: Gary Fike
source: BIF

The Tri County Steer Carcass Futurity Cooperative first helps producers collect growth and carcass data. They help them benchmark their cattle related to the industry. It is hoped that this information will be used to make genetic improvement. The cooperative also works to help encourage and educate about retained ownership in the beef industry.

It all comes down to profit.

From an analysis of 25 states, the most profitable group make $216 per head, the least profitable group lost $120 per head. Out of 6 groups, the 4th and 5th groups basically broke even.

What are the big things that drive whether or not a consignment of cattle was profitable?
The least profitable group came in as the heaviest group. The most profitable cattle cost the least as feeders (bought cheap and sold high). The most profitable group had the fastest growth rates and were heaviest at slaughter. The most profitable cattle gained well during the warm-up period. The most profitable group also had the highest average daily gain over the test period. The most profitable cattle had the least expensive cost of gain, this includes health treatments and yardage.

Older calves are healthier in the feedlot. One of the best ways to do this is to have calves that are more similar in age. [Estrus synchronization!]

Cattle that are treated twice were less likely to grade Choice or qualify for CAB. Cattle that were treated twice lost between $200 to $365 per head. "I don't know if you'll agree with me, but that is a big chunk of money," Fike said.

Meat tenderness was also better for those cattle that were never treated for illness.

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