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Cattlemen learn steer values at start of Missouri Steer Feedout


The Missouri Steer Feedout began in early November when 182 steer calves were assembled in Paris and Carthage along with seven that went directly to the Iowa lot from northwest Missouri.

The group assembled at Joplin Regional Stockyards numbered 123 head from 11 different herds. All participants had entered the feedout program in the past except for one group of 20 steers from Galesburg, Kan.

The cattle assembled at the stockyards were the evening program at a recent meeting of Southwest Missouri Cattlemen's Association according to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

"As each group of cattle came through the ring and the 100 persons in attendance had an opportunity to match wits with the rest of the audience as to the steer's grades, future performance in the feedlot and on-the-rail merit following slaughter next April and May," said Cole.

The evaluation process was made possible by Pfizer representative Dave Officer and his computer program that allowed each person to "vote" on seven questions that pertained to the steers' performance. Following each question the program calculated the audience response.

In addition to the audience evaluation, the official evaluation for the evening was performed by these panel members: Rick Huffman, market reporter for the Missouri Department of Agriculture; Ray McDowell, order buyer from South Greenfield; Justin Sexten, University of Missouri Extension beef cattle nutrition specialist.

During the weigh-in, Huffman placed a grade on each steer along with a market price for the pen. He summarized each pen after the audience had voted with their key pads. McDowell and Sexten then each commented on features they liked or disliked about the cattle.

The 123 head averaged 644 pounds with most of them born in February and March, 2011. The set-in price assigned to them averaged $131.68 per hundred with a range from $126.25 to $139.

The grade breakdown was 52.5 percent Medium frame and 47.5 percent were Larges with one calf a Small frame. The USDA muscle scores had 58.2 percent 2s and 41.8 percent 1s.

The 59 steers at Paris were from five herds and averaged 635 pounds. All owners had participated in the feedouts in the past.

The cattle are being fed at Ken and Kirk Smith's Highland Farms Feedyard near Blockton, Iowa. They are a part of the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity that has been assisting cow-calf owners evaluate their herd's genetics and management post-weaning for 30 years.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, 417-466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at 417-345-7551 or Dona Goede in Cedar County, 417-276-3313.

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