Feedout shows average profit of $120 per head

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The results of the 2010-11 Missouri Steer Feedout were revealed during a program held June 23 in Mt. Vernon.

"Participants were pleased because they learned a lot about their cattle's performance and they all made a nice profit," said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The overall profit for the 149 head of early 2010 - born steers averaged $120 per head. That was the third best profit since the feedout program began in 1981.

Cole says that year-in and year-out, the feedlot profits have averaged slightly under $30 per head. Of course, among the 149 steers some individuals were more profitable than others.

"Within a group of steers from one of the 15 consignors, one of his steers showed a feeding profit of $305 per head while the herdmate showed a $72 loss," said Cole. "Each feedout usually sees a spread nearly this large, but it's unusual for the steers to originate on the same farm."

The positive

Several factors made profits possible despite much higher feed costs, according to Cole.

For example, the early November set-in price averaged $113.72 on the 600 pound calves. The cattle market trended upward since then.

"The average carcass price at market time in April and May was $182.03. This reflects the market trend upward, but it had already started down from highs earlier in the spring," said Cole.

Another factor was that feed to gain was very good at 6.08 pounds of feed per pound of gain. There was also zero death loss and only six head were individually treated for sickness.

"Daily gains on the calves were 3.39 pounds, which was slightly better than the average of the 6,700 head of Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity steers during the last year," said Cole.

The negative

There were a few negative factors that tempered the profits according to Cole.

For example, feed costs were considerably higher than projected last fall. At that time, the projected feed cost was $65.31 and the feed cost per ton of dry matter was $199.68. Actual feed cost ended up at $241.89 per ton due to corn going from $5.12 per bushel to $6.58.

A second factor was that quality grades for the Missouri steers did not hit the 70 percent Choice minus or better mark. In fact, only 62 percent made Choice. The Choice-Select price spread averaged $5.72 per cwt at the two market dates.

A third factor was that the average percentage making Yield Grades 1 and 2 was 52 percent with past feedout averages running near or slightly above 70 percent.

In fact, 10 head of steers were Yield Grade 4's, which in the past has been a very minor concern. YG 4's were discounted $12.46 per cwt of carcass.

"Eight of the 10 Y4's were in the second kill group. The program manager said he missed them at the first sort thinking their thickness was muscling when it was fat," said Cole.

Another negative factor was that the age and source premiums averaged $11.78 per head for the two kill dates. In years past, the premiums were in the $25 to $35 range.

More information

Currently, Missouri has a small group of fall-born steers being fed in the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity in southwest Iowa.

The next feedout for this year's late winter-spring born steers will be in early November with an entry deadline of Oct. 10.

More details can be obtained by contacting Cole in Mt. Vernon at 417-466-3102 or looking online at http://www.swmobcia.com/.