While the cattle industry has made leaps and bounds in terms of cattle health and production in the past 20 years, shared communication along the production chain has stumbled. Cattle information is frequently lost along the line from the cow-calf operation to the feedyard and every point in between. This can lead to a less than ideal situation for optimal cattle performance.
To increase the value of calves entering a feedyard, experts recommend preconditioning — the practice of prepping calves for optimal performance after weaning. Kevin Hill, D.V.M., technical services manager with Merck Animal Health, says choosing a comprehensive preconditioning program can add up to $100 per head, depending on investments.
In the midst of calving season, it’s easy for cattle producers to lose sight of the upcoming breeding season. A successful breeding season is crucial to reproductive efficiency. And if cows are not rebred quickly and efficiently, profits are negatively impacted.
By using proven beef cattle management skills and practical economic principles, producers should develop reproductive management programs to attain the most economically efficient operation possible.
Once the member feedyards of Beef Marketing Group (BMG) had agreed to market their cattle together, the next step was to develop a relationship with one packer, rather than gather bids every week. First that packer was Excel, then IBP (now Tyson). “Bruce Bass [head cattle buyer for IBP] and I put the agreement together in 1993,” says Lee Borck, BMG’s chairman of the board. “I still have the original agreement hanging on my wall.”
Responsible Beef creates responsible products. There is little waste when it comes to raising cattle on the farm. What starts on the farm continues to be used even after harvest. Responsible Beef gives purpose to nearly the entire animal.