“Are you a cattle producer that has a small number of cattle but wants to experience feeding cattle in the feedyard, evaluate your cattle’s feedyard performance, and determine whether your cattle meet certain targets at slaughter that influence their profitability? Then consider enrolling steers in the Missouri Steer Feedout,” says Patrick Davis, MU Extension Livestock Field Specialist. This program is a cooperation between MU Extension, Southwest Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Department of Agriculture and Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity in Iowa that began in 1981. Over the 40 plus year history this program has enrolled over 7,900 head of steers from over 372 farms.
The Missouri Steer Feedout is an educational program for cattle producers and gives them the opportunity to do four things:
• Evaluate the genetics and management of their calves as they influence feedlot performance and carcass characteristics.
• See if their cattle can hit various market targets at slaughter.
• Gain experience feeding cattle and retaining ownership without investment and risk of feeding an entire pen of cattle.
• Improving the reputation of Missouri cattle while exploring market alternatives.
Entries will be accepted through October 10th for the next Missouri Steer Feedout, with weigh-in projected for November 7th. An entry consists of five or more head of steers born after January 1, 2023. At delivery they should be weaned at least 30 days, weigh over 500 pounds, be dehorned, castrated, and healed, and have had two rounds of modified live vaccines.
“The steers will be collected at Joplin Regional Stockyards near Carthage, MO on November 7th to be weighed,” says Davis. Alternate pickup locations may be made throughout the state based on program interest. Following weigh-in, Missouri Department of Agriculture graders evaluate and price steers. Pricing helps at the end of the feedout in the profitability calculation.
“After the weigh-in, the steers are sent to a feedlot in southwestern Iowa as part of the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF),” says Davis. Complete carcass data is gathered once steers are slaughtered. TCSCF officials combine the set-in price, feedlot performance and carcass value to find out which steers were the most profitable during the finishing phase. “This helps participants make decisions about breeding stock and whether to retain ownership,” says Davis.
“Consignors at Joplin Regional Stockyards also gain valuable insight into what market officials, order buyers and others in the beef industry think of their feeders through a feeder panel grading and audience participation,” says Davis. This educational event is held in conjunction with the Southwest Missouri Cattlemen’s Association monthly educational series.
“The feedout offers consignors other attractive perks,” says Davis. The only upfront money required is a $20 per head entry fee payable by Oct. 10. There are no periodic feed bills, as all expenses are deducted from the final check. Those who send 10 or more steers may ask for a cash advance once the steers arrive in Iowa. The advance cannot exceed 50% of the initial market value of the cattle.
If cattle producers are interested in enrolling steers in the program or want more information, contact Davis at the Cedar County MU Extension Center at (417) 276-3313 or by email at davismp@missouri.edu.