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Don’t forget to re-implant!

June 11th, 2010

Implants have been used widely in the cattle feeding industry for a good reason.  Improvements in gain and efficiency have led to increased profitability, even if quality grade is reduced slightly.  But what about those short-fed yearlings?  Should they be implanted twice?

 

A trial was conducted at the Armstrong Research Farm in Lewis to determine the impact of re-implanting cattle fed 118 days on gain and quality and yield grade.  Two hundred eighteen steers were finished in a total confinement deep-bedded system during 2009. All steers were implanted with Synovex-Choice on day 1 and half the steers in each pen were implanted with Synovex-Choice on day 56. All steers were harvested on day 118. The 2nd implant resulted in an immediate and significant improvement in average daily gain. In the 76 day weigh period following reimplantation the group receiving the 2nd implant gained .66 lb/day more than the group not receiving an additional implant. The overall average daily gain of steers implanted once compared to the steers implanted twice was 3.81 vs. 4.10. The 2nd implant group produced significantly heavier carcasses. There were no significant differences in carcass fat cover or ribeye area, however the twice implanted steers had a lower percentage Choice and a greater percentage Select.

 

For the details on this project and more ISU research see the 2010 ISU Animal Industry Report.

Economics & Markets, Feedlot Operations, Livestock Health , , , ,

Monitor the Heat Index

May 24th, 2010

Wow! Where did spring go? All of a sudden we have 90 degree days and 60 degree nights.  Hopefully today was the worst we’ll see this week, but it doesn’t hurt to post something on heat stress  before its a problem.  I can’t help but remember last year’s early June heat episode . So, remember to monitor cattle stress with hot days and nights. Our May 2009 Growing Beef newsletter has a good list of heat stress precautions.

The USDA Ag Research Service has a nice web page that predicts heat stress situations. You might want to save this link in your Favorite web sites.

Environmental Management, Feedlot Operations, Livestock Health, Uncategorized , ,

Livestock Prices, Profitability and Exports

May 12th, 2010

In April, fed cattle prices passed the $100/cwt for the first time since July 2008. Since that time prices have remained in the upper $90’s/cwt. Stronger beef demand and tighter cattle supplies have given cattle feeders their first significant profits in nearly five years. Based on the ISU Estimated Returns March was the first month cattle were sold for a profit ($77/hd) since July of 2009. April profits are estimated to be $159/hd, the first triple digit profits since mid 2004. Profitability continues to look good for May and June. Although fed cattle prices are expected to remain in the mid to upper $90/cwt for the duration of the year, profitability in the feeding sector will be diminished somewhat as the price of feeder cattle has increased along with fed cattle prices.

Read on to find out projections for cattle and hog markets.

Economics & Markets, Feedlot Operations, Uncategorized , , ,