Tools to Best Match Cattle and Grid Markets


Dennis L. DeWitt, livestock field specialist

Situation
Iowa beef producers have 50 breeds, 30 implant strategies, many ration combinations of energy and protein, and three or more grid marketing programs available to them. This makes management decisions very difficult. How does a beef producer know which combination of programs will provide the most profit potential for their operation?

Response
Fifty-two producers attended an area-wide program with expert speakers on energy, protein, implant strategies, and grid analysis. The program was partially funded by NEW Cooperative, Ft. Dodge and Iowa Beef Center.

Impact
Thirty-two evaluations were completed following the meeting. Feedlot size ranged from 60 to 8000 head with 22 under 1000 head, six over 1000 head, and four consultants responded. Nineteen out of 31 producers had low to fair knowledge of energy strategies before and 12/31 had good to high knowledge before. After the meeting 23 responded to having fair to quite a lot of benefit gained. Twenty-seven producers had fair to good knowledge and only one had high knowledge about protein strategies before the meeting. Twenty-six producers gained a fair or quite amount of benefit from the program. Twenty producers with little to fair and only two had a high amount of knowledge before about implant strategies. After the meeting, 18 producers had gained quite a lot of benefit about implant strategies. Before the meeting 20 producers had little to fair amount of knowledge about chute side decisions. After the meeting, 24 producers indicated an increase in benefits gained. Twenty-three producers had little to fair amount of knowledge and nine had good to high knowledge about analyzing different beef grids before the meeting. The number doubled to 18 after the meeting on fair to lots of knowledge about grids. Only nine producers had knowledge before and 21 after the meeting about marketing on a boxed beef basis. Twenty-two producers indicated a lot was learned from the general discussion time.

Twenty-six producers gave a positive over-all evaluation. Nineteen out of 31 producers are feeding higher energy levels today than two years ago. Twenty-six out of 30 are implanting at least once. One was using a conservative, nine a moderate, seven an aggressive, and nine were not sure of their implant strategy. Only five were not marketing on a grid program. The 26 producers were marketing 65 percent on a grid. Twenty-four producers are interested in marketing on a boxed beef based grid. The estimated production operational value from this program was $24,800.

Page last updated: July 8, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu