LITTLE ROCK — Registration is now open for a program that enables Arkansas’ cow-calf producers to see how their stock fits the needs of the beef industry.
Beef cattle producers who want to enroll calves in the Arkansas Steer Feedout Program for 2013-2014 must return their nomination forms by Oct. 18.
“The information generated by the program can help producers determine if they need to change their herd’s genetics or their management practices to be more competitive in the cattle market,” said Tom Troxel, professor and associate department head of Animal Science. “At a time when the market has been so tough, ranchers should see every advantage they can.”
Enrollment forms are available from your county extension office and should be returned along with payment to Dr. Tom Troxel, Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University, Little Rock, AR 72204. The cost is $30 per head. Please make checks to: Cooperative Extension Service.
New this year is the elimination of limits on the number of calves nominated and the requirement that calves be nominated in lots of five, he said. However, a consignor must nominate at least five calves.
Troxel said the calves should weigh between 500 and 850 pounds when they arrive at the feed yard.
The extension service will coordinate the shipping of the calves or a producer can ship his or her own calves, which will be sent to Wheeler Brothers Feedyard near Watonga, Okla., on Nov. 7. Once calves are nominated, a background information form will be provided and must be completed for each calf. Ear tags will be furnished.
“On arrival at the feed yard, the calves will be identified, weighed and processed,” Troxel said.
“After the feeding phase, the animals will be sold on a carcass basis.”
Participating producers will receive the average daily gain, break-even, net return, dressing percent, carcass weight, ribeye area, fat thickness, USDA yield grade and USDA quality grade for each of their calves.
“The feedout program is not a contest to compare breeds or breeder, and it’s not a retained-ownership promotion program. The feedout program provides producers with information about their calves, and it gives them an understanding of the factors that influence value beyond the weaned-calf phase of beef production,” Troxel said.