The five management plans | TSLN.com

The five management plans

Dave Barz, DVM

For the Nov. 21, 2009 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

So far November has been a great month. Most farmers are done with beans and the corn harvest rolls on. It is wet and the fields are soggy, but most are patient and getting the job done. Recently I was working the local auction market and was amazed at the amount of preparedness producers had placed in their calves. It really appeared that the producer with the best planning received the most financial rewards. It appeared there were five basic management plans.

The naturals – “brought um like God made um.” They had horns, maybe some bulls and possible a spring Blackleg vaccination. Of course these were non-implanted and probably antibiotic free. The weights ranged from 250 to 750 pounds, which made lots of sorts. When the lames, bad eyes and dinks were removed, they were a baseline for the sale.

Next came the vaccinators. These calves at least had a round of vaccines this fall before the sale, although some may have been given as they were loaded today. This is a good tactic and added $2-$3/cwt of $12-$15 dollars. This more than paid for the vaccines and assured they had been processed so horns were removed and the bulls castrated. Some of these had documentation of processing and vaccination which were passed onto the buyer. The groups had less sorts leaving larger groups and fewer low value calves.

The implanters were the next stage. These producers had vaccinated their calves this fall and also used a growth promoting implant. This probably gained them no increase in price/cwt, but did help total dollars. If you received $2-$3 premium for non-implants, you gain $15 per calf. When you implant and gain 30 extra pounds at $1/pound you add $30 to your total value. As we move through the groups the calf price gradually increases.

Our next producers are the total heard health group. These producers have wormed and poured the calves when they processed and vaccinated them twice. They realize that deworming will increase weight gains on fall pasture. The deworming also allows the calf to develop better immunity to the vaccines administered. Some of the calves were also weaned. It is true that they may not have brought as much per cwt as the smaller calves in earlier groups, but well eclipsed them in total dollars. These calves easily returned $4-$5 per cwt than their natural counter parts.

The final group is the Age and Source group. These producers have gone the extra mile and added an EID (Electronic Identification) tag to their calves. These calves are verified individually as to their age and the ranch where they were born. The procedures (vaccination, deworming etc.) are also usually verified. This program is supervised by the USDA. In this time of documentation and accountability it will definitely be an important form of marketing for a premium. Cattle-Fax estimates these calves are worth an additional $22 as a 5 weight calves and $35 as fats.

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Hopefully you understand that each of these groups has its place in the marketplace. As you increase in complexity, you also increase your costs. Generally thorough improved care and management practices your returns in both dollars/cwt and pounds will increase. Some producers opt to market their calves themselves while most choose to market through local auction markets. Whichever method you choose you can add dollars to your bottom line by preparing your calves before marketing. Visit with your market representative and veterinarian to design a strategy which will work for you. Careful preparation to ensure your calves look their best on sale day will help you gain dollars for your operation assuring your future in the cattle industry.

So far November has been a great month. Most farmers are done with beans and the corn harvest rolls on. It is wet and the fields are soggy, but most are patient and getting the job done. Recently I was working the local auction market and was amazed at the amount of preparedness producers had placed in their calves. It really appeared that the producer with the best planning received the most financial rewards. It appeared there were five basic management plans.

The naturals – “brought um like God made um.” They had horns, maybe some bulls and possible a spring Blackleg vaccination. Of course these were non-implanted and probably antibiotic free. The weights ranged from 250 to 750 pounds, which made lots of sorts. When the lames, bad eyes and dinks were removed, they were a baseline for the sale.

Next came the vaccinators. These calves at least had a round of vaccines this fall before the sale, although some may have been given as they were loaded today. This is a good tactic and added $2-$3/cwt of $12-$15 dollars. This more than paid for the vaccines and assured they had been processed so horns were removed and the bulls castrated. Some of these had documentation of processing and vaccination which were passed onto the buyer. The groups had less sorts leaving larger groups and fewer low value calves.

The implanters were the next stage. These producers had vaccinated their calves this fall and also used a growth promoting implant. This probably gained them no increase in price/cwt, but did help total dollars. If you received $2-$3 premium for non-implants, you gain $15 per calf. When you implant and gain 30 extra pounds at $1/pound you add $30 to your total value. As we move through the groups the calf price gradually increases.

Our next producers are the total heard health group. These producers have wormed and poured the calves when they processed and vaccinated them twice. They realize that deworming will increase weight gains on fall pasture. The deworming also allows the calf to develop better immunity to the vaccines administered. Some of the calves were also weaned. It is true that they may not have brought as much per cwt as the smaller calves in earlier groups, but well eclipsed them in total dollars. These calves easily returned $4-$5 per cwt than their natural counter parts.

The final group is the Age and Source group. These producers have gone the extra mile and added an EID (Electronic Identification) tag to their calves. These calves are verified individually as to their age and the ranch where they were born. The procedures (vaccination, deworming etc.) are also usually verified. This program is supervised by the USDA. In this time of documentation and accountability it will definitely be an important form of marketing for a premium. Cattle-Fax estimates these calves are worth an additional $22 as a 5 weight calves and $35 as fats.

Hopefully you understand that each of these groups has its place in the marketplace. As you increase in complexity, you also increase your costs. Generally thorough improved care and management practices your returns in both dollars/cwt and pounds will increase. Some producers opt to market their calves themselves while most choose to market through local auction markets. Whichever method you choose you can add dollars to your bottom line by preparing your calves before marketing. Visit with your market representative and veterinarian to design a strategy which will work for you. Careful preparation to ensure your calves look their best on sale day will help you gain dollars for your operation assuring your future in the cattle industry.