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Cattle | Survey Shows the Needs/Wants of Cattlemen

In order to be truly profitable, cattle producers need to be able to raise calves or feeder cattle that meet the expectations of the buyer. However, this is not always as apparent or easy as it would seem. Cattlemen may not be compensated for genetically superior cattle because they are not producing the type of product that the feedlot operators consider economically important.

A survey conducted by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association showed that cattlemen often have very different opinions as to what is important in the three phases of beef production. The respondents to the survey included all segments of the cattle industry. The survey showed that the selling party often had misperceptions of what the buying party was looking for. Understanding these differences can help cattlemen produce a product that better meets the needs of the potential buyer, enabling both sides to improve their profit potential.

The top eight factors considered to be most important to the stocker buying calves are:

Degree of finish

Frame

Sex

Weighing conditions

Breed

Degree of muscling

Purchase weight

Purchase age

The top eight factors considered to be most important to the feeder finishing cattle are:

Degree of finish

Weighing conditions

Breed

Source (state or region)

Historical feeder average daily gain

Historical feeder health

Degree of muscling

Frame

Historical carcass performance

Learning to develop management and feeding programs that are not only profitable at the cow/calf level but are also profitable to backgrounders or feeders as well, enables all aspects of the cattle production chain to earn the premiums they want for their cattle. Purina products and programs are designed to help meet these needs and wants.

Rewritten from an article appearing in Successful Farming, May, 1989.

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