Beef Feeding Operation

Producer video describing the benefits, challenges, and marketing opportunities of a beef feeding operation.
Beef Feeding Operation - Videos

Instructors

Farm Management Risk Management Production Economics

More by Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D. 

Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

More by Lynn Kime 

John W. Comerford

View Transcript

Okay. Hello, my name is Nelson Beam.

Well, I'm part of a second-generation farm here.

My father bought this in the early fifties and, you know, continued to expand the acreage. We farm about a total of 650 acres.

Our livestock consists of a one-time capacity of 320 to 350 head of cattle finishing a total of around 800 per year.

On the hog side of things, we have about 215 sows farrow to finish.

Marketing about 4500 head of finished hogs per year. In addition to a few feeder pigs. What are the benefits of feeding beef in your operation?

The most valuable aspect of a beef animal is to be able to utilize a variety of potential feed products to turn those products into protein that enables them to use like corn silage and with their room in their digestive system they're able to break down some lower quality grains such as corn and maybe has just a touch of mold on it.

Also able use byproducts that they're pretty high in water such as brewers grain.

Corn silage and some other things so therefore they're able to turn you know some some products that would not be able to be utilized directly into the human food chain directly or indirectly through a monogastric digestive system such as the hogs or chickens. What are some challenges of feeding beef? Always the challenge of any type of thing particularly on the beef side is to be able to maintain a positive margin But the positive margin is a somewhat determined on the the feeder cattle price and also the finish price but probably more important than that is also determined on cost of gain and that cost of gain.

That person really needs to be creative and securing and developing different feed stuffs that that would would be able to be utilized by other animals and therefore able to be bought in relatively cheap and utilized by the cattle. What is your marketing plan for the beef cattle? I tried to, whenever I get an opportunity to lock in a positive margin I try to take advantage of that and really the early options are the only way to do that is through the futures and I use JBS to they they are able to lock in a certain month delivery using the futures and if if I can lock in you know you say a decent prize a margin I take advantage that plus plus you know, like I say, I do when the basis is high I will I will send some to the stockyard or maybe just send them on a cash market basis. I take advantage of those options also. Okay, what other marketing options are available for feeder cattle?

We have finished cattle here.

We sell you know market steers but the other options would be to sell those animals direct or maybe break them down into quarters, halves, et cetera.

I guess a from my perspective, we need to have a certain base, a certain number in order to be able to secure feed stuffs and trailer load lots and that requires, you know, quite a few head.

We do not have the time or energy to put forth in selling halves, quarters, et cetera to individuals, so therefore that's why we market them in trailer load lots in that way.

Thank you. Yep.

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