Missouri Steer Feedout now accepting entries

Sep. 3—STOCKTON, Mo. — Producers with a small number of cattle who want to experience and evaluate their cattle in the feed yard or gauge their profitability are being encouraged to enroll their steers in the Missouri Steer Feedout this fall.

The Missouri Steer Feedout gives cattle producers an opportunity to:

—Evaluate the genetics and management of their calves as they influence feedlot performance and carcass characteristics.

—See if their cattle can hit various market targets at slaughter.

—Gain experience feeding cattle and retaining ownership without investment and risk of feeding an entire pen of cattle.

—Improve the reputation of Missouri cattle while exploring market alternatives.

Entries will be accepted through Oct. 10, with weigh-in projected for Nov. 7 at the Joplin Regional Stockyards. An entry consists of five or more steers born after Jan. 1. At delivery, they should be weaned at least 30 days; weigh over 500 pounds; be dehorned, castrated and healed; and have had two rounds of modified live vaccines.

After the weigh-in, Missouri Department of Agriculture graders evaluate and price steers. The steers are then sent to a feedlot in southwestern Iowa. Complete carcass data is gathered once steers are slaughtered, and officials combine the set-in price, feedlot performance and carcass value to find out which steers were the most profitable during the finishing phase.

"This helps participants make decisions about breeding stock and whether to retain ownership," said Patrick Davis, MU Extension livestock field specialist, in a statement. "Consignors at Joplin Regional Stockyards also gain valuable insight into what market officials, order buyers and others in the beef industry think of their feeders through a feeder panel grading and audience participation."

A $20 per head entry fee is required, payable by Oct. 10.

The program is a cooperation of MU Extension, Southwest Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri Department of Agriculture and Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity in Iowa. Since its inception in 1981, the program has enrolled more than 7,900 steers from more than 372 farms.

For details, call 417-276-3313 or email davismp@missouri.edu.