Missouri Steer Feedout to help cow-calf producers
Most cow-calf producers feel they are producing a high quality feeder that does not demand the respect they should in the marketing arena. According to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension, there are steps that can help a cow-calf producer earn greater respect.
First, the key words are documentation and reputation.
"If you think your cattle are good then you must prove it with objective data like gain in the feedlot, efficient gains, high quality grades, and minimal discounts to name a few," said Cole.
According to Cole, if your cattle perform well consistently, the good reputation will follow.
"I realize your herd may not be large enough to fill a pot but there are other ways to receive feedlot and carcass data to document your genetics," Cole said.
The Missouri Steer Feedout is one way for small herds to document their merit.
The program works with the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF) in southwest Iowa. TCSCF was established in the early 1980s to help both beef cow herds and the smaller, farmer feeders in Iowa. Missouri joined forces with them in 2001 and now sends steers up each June and November.
The Missouri program is now accepting entries for delivery to Iowa on June 5.
Established pickup points are the Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage and the Paris Veterinary Clinic, Paris. Other pickup points may be added if there is sufficient interest.
Entries are due by May 10. Eligible steers are born after July 1, 2017, and should be weaned 45 days ahead of the June 5 pickup.
Two rounds of Modified Live Vaccines are required. A complete immunization schedule is outlined in the brochure or you may go online at http://extension.missouri.edu/lawrence/livestock.aspx.
"There are numerous programs now available for cattle that are bonafide above average. The trick is to prove they fit the program specifications," Cole said. "Besides actual feedlot and carcass performance, feedout data, DNA testing of heifer herdmates and past sire EPDs can help qualify for many of the programs."
For more information, contact the Barry County Extension Office at 417-847-3161.