The 21st annual Dakota Feeder Calf Show is set for Saturday, Oct. 19, in Turtle Lake, N.D.
Cattle will be accepted at the Turtle Lake weighing station before 10 a.m. on the day of the show and exhibited as groups of three or four head. Producers exhibiting calves at the show then have the option to send their calves to the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center’s feedlot to be fed to market weight.
NDSU Extension is partnering with the Dakota Feeder Calf Show on the feedout project to provide producers with an opportunity to experience retaining ownership of cattle beyond the cow‐calf phase of production.
“While controlling cattle or feed prices is difficult, we can control the type of cattle we raise,” said Karl Hoppe, Extension livestock systems specialist at the Carrington Research Extension Center. “That’s why knowing how well your cattle grow and what type of carcass they produce is important. The Dakota Feeder Calf Show feedout project gives cattle owners information on how their calves perform in the feed yard and on the calves’ carcass value.”
The feedout is an entry‐level way of learning about these options with three or four calves instead of the entire herd. Cattle producers have used the feeding and carcass information to select bulls that will improve the feedlot value of their calves.
Dakota Feeder Calf Show chairman Darwin Chesrown of Turtle Lake has consigned calves to the show and feedout every year.
“I enjoy comparing weaned calves in October and the finished cattle in May,” he said. “There are outstanding differences between herds. Feeding them together makes comparison easy.”
During the 2018‐19 feedout, the calves gained an average of 605 pounds in 212 days, with a total feeding cost (excluding interest) of 74.6 cents per pound of gain. The average sale weight was 1,325 pounds. The calves were fed with a market weight break‐even point of $115.87 per hundredweight.
“It's the variation among cattle that makes this project educational and a real eye‐opener,” Hoppe said.
In the 2018‐19 feedout, the spread in net return per head between the average of the top and bottom five herds was $169.47. The spread is more noticeable between the top and bottom herd - $366.69 per head. Weight gain per day of age was 3.52 pounds for the top‐profiting herd and 3 pounds for the bottom herd.
“Small differences in production have a huge impact on profit,” Hoppe said.
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 and value.
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.
For more information or to preregister calves, contact Hoppe at 701‐652‐2951 or email@example.com, or Chesrown, Turtle Lake Farmers Union Oil, at 701‐448‐2356.
Cattle may be registered the day of the show, but the feedout is limited to 160 head.