Lamb Feedlot Meeting

Beth Ellen Doran, Field Specialist-Beef, Northwest Area


Northwest Iowa has six dry milling plants that currently produce three co-product feeds dried distillers grains, wet distillers grains and condensed corn distillers solubles.  These feedstuffs provide an abundant, reasonably price, high-energy feed for area livestock producers.  But, these feedstuffs are not without challenges elevated phosphorous levels, high sulfur content and limited storage.  Producers need information about how to use these products in lamb feedlot rations.
Marketing is a major challenge for the lamb industry.  Variation in carcass weights and yield grades creates inconsistencies.  The industry deals with these by increasing retail meat case prices and lowering prices for fed lambs.  Producers need help in understanding how providing a quality product to the packer can be a win situation for the lamb industry.    
Response: A

 Lamb Feedlot Meeting was held at Ireton, IA on November 30, 2006 at the Community Center.  The meeting was sponsored by Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Lamb and Wool Promotion Board, Iowa Sheep Industry Association and the Northwest Iowa Sheep Producers Association.
The meeting focused upon three topics ethanol co-products for lamb feedlot rations; how to take a good feed sample; and the lamb meat market and the price of fed lambs.  A lamb product, Mediterranean grill cubes from Iowa Lamb Corporation, was grilled and served to meeting participants.  Fifty-three people from 11 Iowa counties and two from Minnesota attended.  Three packets of information were purchased post meeting.  Post-meeting coverage included the Iowa Sheep Industry Association newsletter, Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman and the Northwest Iowa Farmer.

With the corn market rising, there was a lot of interest in ethanol co-products.  Over 90% of the participants indicated that the meeting increased their knowledge about the various co-products, and 72% had a better understanding of the differences between co-products.  While most producers had not fed co-products, 45% indicated that they intended to feed more co-products in the future.  If a co-product was included in the lamb ration, the most common adjustments were to increase the calcium in the ration and reduce additional protein sources.  No problems in feeding co-products were cited.  Most producers did not sample and test their feed for nutrient analysis.

Producers indicated that the majority of their feedlot lambs previously, and in the future, will be marketed on a live weight basis.  Changes in market weights, yield grades and lamb muscling were limited.  One producer cited that grid markets are not as available, and this may explain why producers are reluctant to change.
When asked if they had purchased any lamb meat products post-meeting, 36% indicated yes.  The most common response for not purchasing lamb was they produced their own lamb meat.
Over 36% of the meeting participants indicated that the economic impact of this meeting to them ranged from $100 to $1000.  Future research needs centered on health and nutrition.  Topics suggested for future lamb meetings included marketing and basic management in feedlot lamb production.

June 21, 2007
140 Iowa Beef Center

Page last updated: June 21, 2007
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