The 22th annual Dakota Feeder Calf Show is planned for Saturday, Oct. 17, in Turtle Lake, N.D.

Cattle producers seeking to find out how well their calves grow after weaning can consign calves to the Dakota Feeder Calf Show. In addition to measuring growth performance in the feed yard, carcass quality and value will be determined.

Interested consignors will need to deliver 500- to 700-pound 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 each. The calves are exhibited and evaluated that afternoon and then shipped to the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC) feedlot to be fed to finished market weight.

NDSU Extension partners with the Dakota Feeder Calf Show to provide producers with 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,” said Karl Hoppe, Extension livestock systems specialist at the CREC. “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.”

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

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

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

During the 2019‐20 feedout, the calves gained an average of 714 pounds in 213 days, with a total feeding cost (excluding interest) of 72.8 cents per pound of gain. The average sale weight was 1,344 pounds. The calves were fed with a market weight break‐even point of $106.08 per hundredweight.

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

In the 2019‐20 feedout, the spread in net return per head between the average of the top and bottom five herds was $99.56. The spread between the top and bottom herd is more noticeable ($124.43 per head). Average daily weight gain in the feedlot was 3.67 pounds for the top‐profiting herd and 3.06 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.

Calves should be prevaccinated 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.

For more information or to preregister calves, contact Hoppe at the CREC at 701‐652‐2951, by cell at 701-650-8810 or, or Chesrown, Turtle Lake Farmers Union Oil, at 701‐448‐2356.