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NDSU to hold calf backgrounding program

By Staff | Oct 4, 2013

Cattle producers will be able to learn about backgrounding calves during a videoconference the North Dakota State University Extension Service is holding from 7 to 9 p.m. (6 to 8 p.m. Mountain time) Oct. 17.

“Backgrounding Cattle 2013″will provide updates on cattle feeding for the fall of 2013.

“With the drop in feed prices, backgrounding may make economic sense,” says Karl Hoppe, area Extension livestock specialist at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center. “However, good calf prices never seem to stay constant and price protection should be considered. Also, keeping newly weaned calves healthy is a challenge and recognizing sick calves early isn’t easy. This program should sharpen your skill for managing these calves.”

The videoconference will be broadcast

at the following


NDSU North Central Research Extension Center near Minot

Carrington Research Extension Center

Dickinson State University, Murphy Hall

NDSU Animal Sciences Department, Hultz Hall, Fargo

NDSU Extension county offices in Ashley, Bottineau, LaMoure, Lisbon, Napoleon, Stanley and Washburn

The topics and

presenters are:

Corn silage: Economics for growing and chopping in 2013 – John Dhuyvetter, area Extension livestock specialist, North Central Research Extension Center

Corn silage: How much can you feed to a calf? – Carl Dahlen, Extension beef cattle specialist, NDSU Animal Sciences Department

Cost of gain with new crop feed prices – Hoppe

Good calf prices: How to protect them and is it worth it? – Tim Petry, Extension livestock economist, NDSU Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department

Which calf needs extra medicine: Updates in identification and treating – Gerry Stokka, veterinarian and Extension livestock stewardship specialist, NDSU Animal Sciences Department

Local conversations: Time to share local concerns – local Extension agents or specialists

The event is free of charge. No registration is required.

For more information, contact Dhuyvetter at (701) 857-7682 or john.dhuyvetter@ndsu.edu, Dahlen at (701) 231-5588 or carl.dahlen@ndsu.edu, Hoppe at (701) 652-2951 or karl.hoppe@ndsu.edu, or your local Extension agent.

Dakota Feeder Calf Show Set for Oct. 19

The 15th annual Dakota Feeder Calf Show is set for Saturday, Oct.19, in Turtle Lake.

Cattle will be accepted at the Turtle Lake weighing station before 11 a.m., then exhibited as groups of three or four head. The spring-born steer calves consigned to the show then will be fed to market weight at the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center’s feedlot.

The NDSU Extension Service is partnering with the Dakota Feeder Calf Show on the show and feedout project to give cattle producers an opportunity to experience retaining ownership of cattle beyond the cow-calf phase of production. Producers who consign their calves to the feedout program will receive performance and carcass data.

“When cattle or feed prices are low or high, it’s important to know how well your cattle perform through the market chain,” says Karl Hoppe, area Extension livestock specialist at the Carrington Research Extension Center. “This cattle feedout project will give producers information on how their calves perform in the feed yard and on the calves’ carcass value.”

The show and feedout are an entry-level way of learning about these options with three or four calves instead of 100. Cattle producers have used the feeding and carcass information to select bulls that will improve the feedlot value of their calves.

During last year’s feedout, the calves gained an average of 587 pounds in 212 days, with a total feeding cost (excluding interest) of $1.08 per pound of gain.

The average sale weight was 1,224 pounds. The calves were fed with a market weight breakeven of $132.89 per hundredweight.

“It’s the variation among cattle that makes this project educational and a real eye opener,” Hoppe says.

In the 2012-13 feedout, the spread in net return per head between the average of the top and bottom five herds was $113.53. The spread becomes more noticeable between the top and bottom herd: The top-profiting herd made $102.49 per head, while the bottom herd lost $105.36 per head. Weight gain per day of age was 3.13 pounds for the top-profiting herd and 2.73 for the bottom herd.

“Small differences in production have a huge impact on profit,” Hoppe says.

Feedout project staff will gather data on rate of gain, feeding costs and other characteristics during the trial. After the calves are marketed, the staff will collect and provide information to the entrants on carcass weight, meat quality and value.

Producers will be assessed an entry fee of $20 per calf. Dakota Feeder Calf Show officials will present awards to producers at the end of the trial.

For more information or to preregister calves, contact Hoppe at (701) 652-2951; Darwin Chesrown, Turtle Lake Farmers Union Oil, at (701) 448-2356; or Irene Graves, McLean County Extension office, at (701) 462-8541, ext. 208.

Cattle may be registered the day of the show, but the feedout is limited to 180 head.

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