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24th Annual Dakota Feeder Calf Show and Feedout set

The calves are exhibited and evaluated and then shipped to the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center feedlot to be fed to finished market weight.

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The Dakota Feeder Calf Show and Feedout helps producers identify superior genetics in their herd by offering growth and carcass data.
Contributed / North Dakota State University
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The 24th Annual Dakota Feeder Calf Show and Feedout is set for Oct. 15 in Turtle Lake, North Dakota.

Interested consignors will deliver 500- to 700-pound steer calves before 10 a.m. CST on the day of the show. Each producer can consign one or two pens containing three or four calves. The calves are exhibited and evaluated that afternoon and then shipped to the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center feedlot to be fed to finished market weight.

“After 23 years of comparing calf performance, North Dakota cattle ranchers are finding superior growth and carcass characteristics,” says Karl Hoppe, Extension livestock specialist at the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center. “Since cow herd genetics can change over time via bull and heifer selection, sending cattle to the Dakota Feeder Calf Show and Feedout gives the rancher information on how their selections are advancing their herd.”

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NDSU Extension and Carrington Research Extension Center partner with the Dakota Feeder Calf Show to provide producers an opportunity to experience retained ownership of calves beyond the cow-calf segment of cattle production.

“There are several ways to collect growth performance carcass data from your calves,” says Hoppe. “The best is to feed out your entire calf crop. That takes considerable time, effort and funds. An alternative is to consign a group of calves to a feedout project. Your risk is less and a feedout project provides a substantial amount of information about the calves.”

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Dakota Feeder Calf Show chair Darwin Chesrown has been consigning calves since the feedout started.

“I still enjoy comparing my weaned calves in October to the finished calves in May,” says Chesrown. “The calves really grow and I do see differences in herd sires.”

During the 2021-22 feedout, the calves gained an average of 710 pounds in 220 days, with a total feeding cost (excluding interest) of $1.22 per pound of gain. The average sale weight was 1,290 pounds. The calves were fed with a market weight break-even point of $142.84 per hundredweight.

"It's the variation among cattle that makes this project educational and a real eye-opener," Hoppe says.

In the 2021-22 feedout, the spread in net return per head between the average of the top and bottom five herds was $179.66. The spread between the top and bottom herd is more noticeable ($255.75 per head). Average daily weight gain in the feedlot was 3.07 pounds for the top-profiting herd and 2.79 pounds for the bottom herd.

"Small differences in production have a huge impact on profit," Hoppe says.

Feedout project staff will gather data on the rate of gain, feeding costs and other characteristics during the trial. After the calves are marketed, the staff will collect and provide information to the entrants on carcass weight, meat quality, feeding expenses and value. Calves should be pre-vaccinated for BVD, PI3, IBR and BRSV, Mannheimia, Clostridials and histophilus somni. Booster vaccinations will be administered upon delivery to the show.

Producers will be assessed an entry fee of $20 per calf. Dakota Feeder Calf Show officials will present awards to producers at the end of the trial.

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For more information or to preregister calves, contact Hoppe at 701-652- 2951 (office), 701-650-8810 (cell) or karl.hoppe@ndsu.edu , or Chesrown, Dakota Feeder Calf Show Committee, at 701-448-9286.

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