Russ Euken, livestock field specialist.
Feedlot operators in north central and northeast Iowa have new opportunities as well as challenges. The discovery of a BSE case in the U.S. has caused several of these challenges in terms of new regulations and market changes. Environmental regulations are also a challenge for producers. Some of the opportunities for producers are relatively high prices for beef, and available feedstuffs including corn co products. Many beef cow operators have recognized the need to reduce stored feed cost to be competitive and this year had the extra factor of less hay available at higher prices. Beef cow operations can also utilize available corn co products to meet the beef cows nutritional needs but many have not explored this opportunity.
Two feedlot meetings were held in Grundy Center and Osage in early Jan. shortly after the BSE case was discovered. Topics discussed were market outlook and impact of BSE, environmental issues for feedlots, implant and nutrition strategies, using corn co products, and benchmarking their operations. Thirty-six producers attended these sessions.
Four beef cow meetings were scheduled to address beef cow nutrition and feed
costs. 34 operators attended these sessions.
A survey of those attended the feedlot meetings indicated a value of over $2,500 per person reporting. Some of the practices that producers said they would adopt or change include using settling basins, check prices on co products, use co products, use a different implant strategy, or make changes in their marketing plan.
A survey of the beef cow meetings indicated a value of over $650 per operation on those reporting. Those operators said changes would make included changing feedstuffs, evaluation supplementation programs, weaning calves sooner, and purchasing available software to help manage rations.
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July 8, 2006
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