Program Feeding -- More
"I've had some of the largest stocker operations in the
area tell me if they had the guts they'd get rid of every lease they
have and go strictly to program feeding because they can put 300-400
lbs. on the calves at a similar cost to grazing, but with more
predictability," says Dave Jones, general manager of Livestock Nutrition
Center facilities at Chickasha and Fletcher, OK.
Even those more inclined toward tradition are taking a harder look at
program feeding this year given the horrid grazing condition since last
In order to estimate the potential of program feeding, David Lalman,
Oklahoma State University (OSU) Extension beef specialist, says, "The
important factors in developing a ration are to obtain a high value for
net energy for gain per dollar of ration cost, and then to adjust the
protein and mineral content of the ration to the animal's requirements,
determined by the targeted gain, the animal's sex, weight and frame
size. It's simplest to calculate the ration's net energy for maintenance
and growth (NEm and NEg) values on dry matter basis." You can find a
spreadsheet calculator at www.ansi.okstate.edu/software/PROGFED2.xls.
As for the mineral included, Jones believes matching it to the specific
ration and goal is a key. "We're seeing 4-5¢ better cost of gain
with the right vitamin and mineral package," he says.
Lalman also cautions that feeding a single ingredient is an invitation
to problems. He and other OSU researchers have tried in studies feeding
free-choice soybean hulls and the equivalent of 1 lb. of hay/day on a
dry matter basis. "It works for a short period of time, up until about
45 days, and then you start running into bloat problems," Lalman says.
Bottom line, both Jones and Lalman suggest arriving at the performance
goal for program feeding, then work with Extension agents and nutrition
specialists to design a cost-effective program capable of achieving the
Of course, feeding this way isn't for everyone. For one thing, cattle
need to be fed the same amount at the same time every day in a situation
where all calves have a chance to get to the bunk. And you need to
calculate and adjust the ration every couple of weeks as the cattle
"Anyone who has difficulty maintaining a regular time schedule should
think twice about program feeding. You can't be sloppy. You have to feed
them at the same time every day and have the capacity to feed the right
amount of feed. You can't guess at it," Lalman says. "Program feeding is
all about you deciding what you want the cattle to consume and gain.
"You have to go at it with the right mindset and understand the
principle behind it, which is feeding two-thirds to three-quarters of
what the cattle would normally eat. You don't feed them hay, and it
won't work in a pasture situation because you have to control what they
consume," he adds.
Precision also extends to how cattle are sorted and grouped.
"The cattle need to be as uniform as possible in body type, weight,
size, age, disposition and previous background," Lalman says. "The
cattle also need to be healthy at the outset, which means most stockers
will be taking the cattle through a traditional receiving program before
beginning with program feeding."
Likewise, feed selection revolves around more than cost of gain and
convenience. For instance, Lalman stresses, "Pelleted diets won't work
with program feeding unless the pellet also contains cottonseed hulls or
peanut hulls. The usual problem with a complete pelleted feed is it's
not possible to maintain adequate roughage particle size to prevent
rumen disorders and bloat. However, rations can be developed with only
whole corn and specially formulated supplement pellets. With the whole
corn program, the supplement and whole corn will have to be carefully
mixed before they're fed."
The basic necessities of program feeding management include:
Find a detailed fact sheet on program feeding lightweight calves at
- Adequate bunk space so most cattle can eat at one time.
- Pens small enough that cattle can come up to the bunk when fed.
- Scales or other methods of weighing out daily feed.
- Roughage feeds to work the cattle up to a high concentrate
- Skill on the part of the manager.
- Sufficient business management skill to assess the economic
limitations and opportunities of limit feeding cattle.
- A solid plan for use or sale of the cattle following
Seeing is believing.
If you're tired of re-treating cattle for pinkeye, it's time to look for
a treatment with the power to see cattle through recovery.
TETRADURE 300 (oxytetracycline) Injection provides therapeutic
blood levels for 7 to 8 days.* To see more about TETRADURE 300
(oxytetracycline) Injection, talk to your veterinarian. Or, for
TETRADURE 300 product information, click
* Not for use in lactating dairy animals. Adverse reactions, including
injection site swelling, restlessness, ataxia, inflammation and
respiratory abnormalities, have been reported.
TETRADURE is a trademark of Merial. © 2005 Merial
Limited. All rights reserved.
Weather And Crops
Corn Estimates Grow
Despite raging drought across wide swaths of cattle and
wheat country, corn is defying market expectations, according to last
Friday's much anticipated USDA Crop Production report.
This year's corn crop is now pegged at 10.976 billion bu. Though that's
1% less than last year and 7% shy of the bin-buster in 2004, it would be
the near-record crop needed to keep feed prices from running away.
Soybean production is estimated at 2.93 billion bu., 5% down from last
year; 6% less than 2004. Meanwhile, the 1.8 billion bu. estimated for
all wheat production would make this year's crop 14% less than a year
For the week ending Aug. 5, according to National Agricultural
Statistics Service (NASS).
States with the worst pasture conditions -- at least 40% of the acreage
rated poor or worse -- include: Alabama (77%); Arizona (74%); Arkansas
(57%); California (46%); Colorado (62%); Georgia (67%); Iowa (49%);
Kansas (53%); Louisiana (43%) ; Minnesota (55%); Mississippi (52%);
Missouri (71%); Montana (40%); Nebraska (70%); New Mexico (42%); North Dakota (74%); Oklahoma
(78%); South Dakota (72%); Texas (74%); Wyoming (73%).
- Corn -- 97% is at or beyond the silking
stage, which is the same as last year and 5% ahead
of average. 44% advanced to the Dough Stage, compared to 42% last year and 36% for the five-year
average. 12% has entered the Dent Stage, which is 2% ahead of last year and the average.
57% is rated Good or better,
compared to 52% last year.
- Soybeans --Blooming has begun on 93% of the
acreage, 2% behind last year, but 3% ahead of
normal 72% was setting pods,
1% behind last year but 11% ahead of normal. 53% is
rated Good or better; 51% was at the same time
- Winter Wheat -- Growers have reaped 94% of the
acreage, compared to 93% last year and 91% for
- Spring Wheat -- 49% of the crop is in the
bin, which is 28% ahead of last year and 32% ahead
of the five-year average. 32% is rated Good or
better, compared to 67% last year.
- Barley -- Harvest advanced to 37% complete, compared to 20% at this time last year and 15% for
normal. 50% is rated Good or
better, compared to 71% last year.
- Oats -- 77% of the acreage is harvested, compared to 66% last year and 55% for average.
- Sorghum -- 67% of the acreage is in the heading
stage, which is the same as last year and 5% ahead
of average. 29% was at or beyond turning color, 6% ahead of last year and 4% ahead of normal. 31% is ranked Good or better, compared
to 44% last year.
- Pasture -- 19% is rated Good and 3% is rated
Excellent, compared to 31% and 5%, respectively
last year. 26% is rated Poor and 24% is ranked Very
Poor, compared to 20% and 12% respectively at the
same time last year.
States with the lushest pasture conditions -- at least 40% rated good or
better -- include: Florida (69%); Idaho (60%); Illinois (46%); Indiana
(61%); Kentucky (54%); Maine (91%); Maryland (50%); Michigan (57%); New
York (67%); North Carolina (52%); Ohio (72%); Pennsylvania (51%); Utah
(54%); Washington (51%); West Virginia (62%).
Don't take a chance. Treat all incoming cattle with
IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon)
Liver flukes are spreading and every load of incoming cattle could be
carrying them. The liver fluke problem is hard to diagnose and rarely
shows in clinical signs. Only IVOMEC® Plus
(ivermectin/clorsulon) kills liver flukes and other internal and
external parasites, all in a single dose. Product
®IVOMEC and the CATTLE HEAD LOGO are registered trademarks of
Merial. © 2006 Merial Limited. All rights reserved.
Drought and Taxes
If drought has forced your hand in marketing cattle,
make sure you're aware of special federal income tax considerations
potentially available to you, says Tim Petry, North Dakota State
University livestock marketing economist.
For instance, Petry explains, according to Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) guidelines, one provision applying to all types of livestock
allows postponement for reporting income from forced sales for a year.
"The normal business practice for a cattle producer may be to background
calves after fall weaning and market them the next February," Petry
says. "If, due to drought conditions and lack of feed, the calves are
marketed at weaning in October, the income may be postponed until the
next year. Only sales in excess of 'normal' (usually defined as the
number sold in each of the last three years) qualify for the deferral."
Petry points out the drought must have caused an area to be designated
as eligible for assistance by the federal government. However, the
livestock doesn't have to be raised or sold in the exact designated
area, such as a particular county, but only nearby.
The IRS tax code is complex, Petry points out, so livestock producers
considering marketing livestock at abnormal times due to dry conditions
should consult their tax adviser. Other tax-management tools, such as
income averaging, also should be considered, he adds. For more, visit:
Wheatland Stocker Conference
There's still time to sign up for the Wheatland Stocker
Conference, Aug. 18 at the Cherokee Strip Conference Center in Enid, OK.
The 20th annual event features a Who's Who of industry leaders to
discuss everything from the cattle cycle, to no-till and low-till
farming, to the impact of industry transitions on the stocker business.
Speakers and topics include:
- Paul Hitch, Hitch Enterprises, Guymon, OK, Change and the
- Mark Gardiner, Gardiner Angus Ranch, Ashland, KS, Change and the
- Jackie Moore, Joplin Regional Stockyards, Joplin, MO, Change and
the stocker business.
- Rep. Frank Lucas, farm bill legislation.
- Dan Thomson, DVM, Kansas State University, Stocker cattle
- Derrell Peel, OSUy, Cattle cycle and stocker economics.
- Craig Watz, FBI Special Agent, Kansas City, MO, food
- Roger Gribble, Area Agronomist, Enid, OK, No-till, low-till and
maintaining forage quality and quantity.
To register (which is free, including lunch), call 580-237-7677. For
more info, contact Greg Highfill at 580-237-7677 or Greg.Highfill@okstate.edu.
Southwestern Oklahoma Stocker
New cattle-production research and info are available at
the Aug. 24 Southwest Cattle Conference in Lawton, OK, at the Great
Plains Technology Center in the Worley Seminar Room.
Among the presentation topics are: wheat pasture bloat research; current
market situation and outlook, focusing on wheat pasture cattle; how
source and age verification of cattle is becoming a marketing issue and
tool, and how verification affects cattle producers; BVD persistently
infected cattle, and management strategies to deal with the animals; and
receiving health management for wheat-pasture cattle.
For more info, contact Bob LeValley at email@example.com
Other Upcoming Events
Sept. 28 -- Kansas State University (KSU) Beef
Stocker Conference, KSU Beef Stocker Unit, Manhattan, KS. For more info,
An open-and-shut case.
The case for Strategic Parasite Control is stronger than ever.
Especially where liver flukes reduce conception rates, weaning weights
and rate of gain. Reduce the number of open cows. Shut the door on
flukes and other internal and external parasites with
IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon).
®IVOMEC and the CATTLE HEAD LOGO are registered trademarks of
Merial. © 2005 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All right
Fed Market Jumps -- Feeders
You know it's going to be a bullish marketing week when
the fed cattle trade happens on Wednesday rather than the usual rush at
the end of the week. Try this on for size: $5-$6 higher in mostly
midweek trading. Resulting optimism, not to mention hedging
opportunities, fueled the stocker and feeder cattle market, too, pushing
the market $3 higher.
"Trends were bullish on all classes of cattle, following the prior
week's multiple fed cattle trading sessions that grew progressively
higher. Packers were even more aggressive last week and feedlots were
shrewd sellers with the backing of the spot August CME Live Cattle
Futures which have been trading at a significant premium to cash," say
USDA Ag Marketing Service (AMS) analysts.
The analysts also said: "Demand was also noticeably improved for
lightweight calves (under 500 lbs.), which have been lackluster for the
last several weeks and appear to be a bargain next to yearlings and
heavy calves with the condition to go right on feed. Most grazing areas
are very low on forage but commodity feed continues to cheapen as
Friday's USDA crop production report estimated this year's corn crop at
10.976 billion bu. That's well above the average trade estimate and sent
a bearish signal; September CBOT Corn futures were down over 14¢ on
Friday. The cattle horizon is beginning to look much brighter with
Choice boxed beef cut-out values gaining over $7 this past week and
Select over $9."
The summary below reflects the week ended Aug. 11 for Medium and Large 1
-- 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb., and 700- to 750-lb. feeder heifers
and steers (unless otherwise noted). The list is arranged in descending
order by auction volume and represents sales reported in the weekly USDA
National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary:
| State|| Volume ||Steers || Heifers
| Calf Weight|| 500-550 lbs. || 600-650 lbs.
|| 700-750 lbs.
|| 500-550 lbs.
|| 600-650 lbs. ||
700-750 lbs. |
| OK ||
39,300 || $123.96 ||$119.71 || $115.85 || $115.72 || $113.22 || $109.28 |
| TX ||30,300 || $118.23 || $115.53
|| $114.65 || $112.04 || $109.74 || $100.15
| MO || 21,300 || $131.39 || $124.72 || $116.80 || $116.78 || $112.64 || $104.80 |
| Dakotas ||16,900 |
| KY* ||15,200 || $116-126 ||
$108-118 || $104-1145 || $107-117 || $100-1103 || $94-1045 |
| AL ||123,700
|| $108-114 ||
|| $100-106 || $98-1034 |
| NE ||12,000 || ** ||
** || $122.40 || $121.022 || $116.034 || $115.63 |
| KS ||10,400 || $133.77 || $126.17 || $120.03 || $124.36 ||$115.51 || $113.65 |
| AR ||9,800
|| $112.25 || $108.26 || $108.60 ||
105.36 || $99.14 |
| TN* ||9,600 || $116.76 ||$110.67 || $104.93 || $108.06 ||$102.18 || $96.40 |
| IA ||9,200
|| $130.66 || $122.61 || $125.45 ||
120.19 || $114.76 |
| GA* ||8,700 || $104-128 ||
$96-115 || $93-109 || $100-113 || $92-105 || $100-1014
| FL* ||7,500 || $100-118
|| $99-109 ||
$91-1034 || $97-116 || $95-106 || $89-954
| FL* ||7,500 || $100-118 ||
$99-109 || $91-103 || $97-116 || $95-106 || $89-95
| MS* ||7,500 || $110-1201 || $100-1103 || ** ||
| VA ||6,400
||$118.53 || $112.98 || $111.11 ||$107.68 || $97.08 |
||5,900 || $100-121.50 ||
$95-1183 || $89-109.505 || $94-114 || $87-1103 || $84-99.505 |
| LA* ||4,400 || $108-120 ||
** || $100-1171 || $97-1073 || ** |
| CO ||2,600
|| ** || ** || **
|| ** || ** |
| WY* ||2,000 || ** ||$115.702 || $106.98 || ** ||$112.442 || $100.24 |
| WA* ||2,000 || ** ||$115.702 || $106.98 || ** ||$112.442 || $100.24 |
| NM* ||1,200 || ** || **
|| ** || ** ||
** || ** |
* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
Questions & Comments
Please send questions to:
Wes Ishmael, Contributing Editor, BEEF Stocker Trends, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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