Beef Feedlot Meeting
Denise Schwab, beef and forage field
New technologies are constantly becoming available for beef feedlot operators.
These operators need to understand how each new technology will affect their
A regional meeting was held in Amana on February 4, 2004. This meeting was similar
to the state conference held in Ames in November 2003. DNR, Feeds of Victor,
and Elanco Animal Health agreed to co-sponsor the meeting and provide funds.
Topics included market outlook, current issues (national animal ID, COOL, impact
of BSE), Optaflexx (the new ractopamine product), and matching implant strategies
to nutrition programs. Speakers were Dr. John Lawrence and Dr. Dan Loy, of the
Iowa Beef Center. Byron Leu also presented a brief overview of the BRANDS nutrition
software program, and I presented the benchmarking exercise to collect information
on operator costs and management practices.
Sixty-one producers and industry representatives attended the meeting, including
15 students from the Kirkwood Community College beef program. Forty-two evaluation
forms were returned.
- Thirty-three participants (78.6%) reported the meeting helped them assess
the current market situation.
- Forty-one operators (97.6%) said the meeting helped them understand changes
in the market place and in the industry due to BSE discovery, specifically
that "the market may take longer to recover than I was thinking."
- Thirty-nine participants (92.9%) reported the meeting helped them understand
implant strategies and nutritional interactions. Some participants said they
would "watch implanting closer, revise implant strategies, wean earlier,
use a more aggressive implant strategy on more calves, reappraise the implants
used, and change implants and timing."
- Twenty-seven operators (64.3%) reported the meeting helped them understand
and better utilize new technologies such as Optaflexx. Comments included,
"I need more information to make a decision, and I might try on some
of the hold backs."
- Sixteen participants (38.1%) said the meeting helped them assess the competitiveness
of their operations. Two participants reported they realized they needed a
more aggressive record-keeping system.
- Thirty-four operators (80.1%) said they would make changes in their operations
or suggest changes in their clients' operations based on the program, and
four (9.5%) said they would not.
Participants estimated the average economic impact of the program was $5,500.
Participants marketed an average of 1,300 head per year, with the range being
from 20-10,000 head.
A follow-up evaluation was sent to 46 producers (community college students
excluded), and nine were returned (20% return).
- Three (33%) responded that the program improved their ability to analyze
current markets and sell accordingly. Four (44%) said the program helped them
to keep their marketings current, and three (33%) have used price protections
- Two (22%) have changed their implant strategies as a result of this program.
Some of the changes producers have made include: watching costs closer, reimplanting
when needed (2), and using more aggressive implants (2).
Page last updated:
July 8, 2006
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