Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity Program Impact of Custom Feeding on SW Iowa Economy

Darrell Busby, Beef Field Specialist, Southwest

Problem Statement:

Custom feeders indicate one of the greatest problems they have is finding new customers.  Cow-calf producers indicate one of the reasons they do not retain ownership in a custom lot is a lack of trust they have for feedlot operators.  The TCSCF cooperative program is governed by a group of beef producers and agribusiness people from SW Iowa.  Out of state cow-calf producers trust their local Extension worker and are willing to participate in a retained ownership program that the Extension Service is involved in. 

Programmatic Response: 

The TCSCF program has developed Extension and producer contacts in Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia and Missouri that assist with recruiting producers and cattle to be fed in SW Iowa.  This past year 238 consignors evaluated 6,972 head of steers and heifers.  Ten custom feedlots were utilized in the TCSCF program.  Additional SW Iowa feedlots are custom feeding cattle for former TCSCF consignors.  They are not only pleased with performance of cattle fed in SW Iowa but more importantly the cost of gain is lower than other regions of the US. 


Businesses directly impacted in SW Iowa by the TCSCF cooperatives program include, feedlots, truckers, feed dealers, corn processors, veterinarians, bankers, beef harvesters, pharmaceutical suppliers, beef processors, fence suppliers, concrete suppliers and travel agents.  Total feed usage for the 7,402 head was 13,253 tons of dry matter feed. Total feed costs $1,884,721.  Trucking to Iowa feedlots totaled $214,502 and trucking to the harvest facility totaled $69,675.  Yardage income to feedlots totaled $376,393.  Vaccines, health treatments, implants and tags totaled $140,236.  Insurance, interest and miscellaneous expenses totaled $74,353.  Data collection fees equaled $65,372. Total dollars spent in SW Iowa was $2,825,253. 

Depending on which multiplier you decide to use, the economic impact of the TCSCF program to SW Iowa may total from 2.5 times the total dollars or $7.1 million or 6 times the total dollars or $17.0 million.  

140 Iowa Beef Center

Page last updated: January 18, 2008
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,