1999-2000 IBEEF Summary

"How They Stacked Up"

Kern Hendrix and Byron Fagg

Twenty-two cooperators from 14 counties delivered 248 steers November 20, 1999 for the third Indiana Beef Evaluation and Economics Feeding Program (IBEEF). One hundred sixty-four head were fed at Smoker Feedlots, Wanatah, IN and 84 head were fed at SMB Farms, Macedonia, IA. Representatives from the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, Indiana Beef Evaluation Program, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, and Iowa State University Extension assisted with handling entries, data collection, data processing and working with cooperators.

The steers were sired by Angus, Beefmaster, Charolais, Chiangus, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Limousin, Maine Anjou, and Simmental bulls. Approximately half the steers were either 100% Continental or British breedtypes and half were Continental x British crosses. Forty-nine percent of the steers were sired by IBEP Test Station bulls.

The average weight at delivery was 630 lbs but ranged from 540 to 693 lbs. This narrow range of 150 lbs compares to a range of more than 400 lbs last year. Thus, we had a far more uniform set of calves this year. Each cooperator's calves were assigned a value at delivery based on weight. The average value was $84.24/cwt. and ranged from $81.28 to $88.97. This is roughly $20/cwt higher value than last year's calves.

After delivery to the feedlot, cattle were rested over the weekend prior to being weighed and processed. Average feedlot in-weight was 594 lbs for an average shrink from delivery point weight of 5.54%. However, some cooperator's cattle shrank more than 10%. Shrink, feedlot performance, cost of gain, carcass characteristics and profit were similar between the two feedlots.

Cattle were weighed periodically throughout the feeding period and cooperators were provided information as to the progress of their cattle, as well as to feed and non-feed costs.

Cattle were marketed through IBP plants in Joslin, IL and Denison, IA. Price was based on quality grade, yield grade, and carcass weight. There were six marketing dates starting May 2, 2000 with the last date July 2, 2000. Base price for Choice Yield Grade 3, 550 to 949 lb. carcasses ranged from $108/cwt. to a high of $118/cwt during the marketing period. Premiums were paid for Prime ($10.00/cwt), Certified Angus Beef (CAB, $2.00 - $5.00/cwt), and for Yield Grade 1 and 2 carcasses ($6.50 and $2.50/cwt), respectively. The Select Grade discount ranged from $6.50 to $13.00 cwt. Discounts for Yield Grade 4 carcasses ranged from $10.00 to $15.00 cwt. Further discounts resulted for Standard Grade and for carcasses exceeding 950 lbs. Seventy-eight percent of the cattle graded choice or prime and 69% were Yield Grade 1 and 2, thus, most cooperators received a premium for their cattle. Average carcass price paid was $114/cwt which calculated to roughly $72/cwt on a live weight basis.

Cattle were on feed an average of 194 days and days on feed ranged from 171 to 223 days among the 22 cooperators. Live weight at marketing averaged 1252 lbs and ranged from 1082 to 1353 lbs for cooperators. Overall feedlot gain was 3.42 lbs/day and ranged from 2.66 to 3.96. Total feedlot cost of gain averaged $45.57/cwt and ranged from $42.83 to $50.53/cwt.

Overall, this was an excellent set of cattle, however, there were differences in cattle among the cooperators. Among cooperators, carcass weight ranged from 691 to 895 lbs for an average of 795 lbs. Among cooperators, 72% of the cattle graded choice or prime. However, some cooperators had no cattle that graded whereas others had 100% of their cattle grade choice or higher. Average Yield Grade was 2.6 and ranged from 1.8 to 3.2 among cooperators. Overall, there were 13.5, 55.5, 29.8, and 1.2% Yield Grade 1, 2, 3, and 4 carcasses, respectively.

Based on initial calf value, feeding costs and marketing value, profit was computed. Cattle were grouped according to profit into quartiles. Profit per head was $163.30, $97.11, $47.19, and a loss of $-23.69 respectively for the first through fourth quartiles. Breakeven feeder calf value at delivery, based on actual sales receipts, feeding costs and delivery point weight was: $108, $101, $94, and $82/cwt respectively, for calves in profit groups 1 to 4. Overall average breakeven value was $96/cwt.

We all know some of the major factors that influence profitability. With this group of steers, the following differences were noted between high and low profit groups: Shrink from delivery point to the feedlot, 3.83 vs 6.89%; Daily gain, 3.83 vs 3.13: Cost of gain, $42.66 vs $47.04; Percent choice or higher, 100.0 vs 45.9. Since carcass selling price was based on Quality and Yield Grade, there was a $13/cwt difference ($119 vs $106) between high and low profit cattle which accounted for a significant portion of profitability differences.

Another factor influencing profitability was health. Overall, 15% of the cattle required medication treatment. Noteworthy, is the percent of cattle within each profit group that required treatment. Percentage of cattle treated was 4.9, 6.5, 21.3 and 27.9, respectively for profit groups one through four.

In addition, steers sired by IBEP Test Station Bulls returned an additional $11.79 per head primarily due to enhanced feedlot performance rather than due to enhanced carcass merit. Also, steers with a blend of 25-50% Continental and British breedtypes tended to be more profitable due mainly to better feedlot performance, heavier finish weights and had 85% or more of their carcasses grading choice or higher.

Many of our Indiana producers have outstanding cattle, managed well and are profitable. These cattle have a high health status, good weaning weights, perform well in the feedlot, and finish at moderate weights with a high percentage of cattle grading choice or better with no Yield Grade 4 carcasses. In other cases, some of our producers could enhance the demand for their cattle as well as profitability of their operations by devoting more effort to their breeding and management programs. Participation in programs such as IBEEF, IQ+BEEF, IRM, and IBEP provides the type of information needed for sound decision making.

The 2000-2001 IBEEF program is underway. We have expanded the program to include both steers and heifers, and there are three rather than one delivery date. We are expecting close to 600 head for this year.

For additional information, feel free to contact IBCA, your County Extension Educator or visit our web site at http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/ibeef/

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