Production costs, timing and method of marketing, and animal performance dictate profit or loss for all segments of the cattle industry. The small producer has few marketing options due to his limited annual production. Small part-time producers are responsible for much of the beef production in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas.
The Noble Research Institute Agriculture Division has initiated a pilot program this fall to offer retained ownership to some of our small producers. Each consultation team has selected various cooperators to furnish between 5 and 25 head of fall weaned calves to be part of this pilot program. If this program is successful and of value to our cooperators, there is a possibility that it will be expanded next year.
The program will involve:
- Preconditioning and vaccination programs
- Winter pasture stocker programs
- Feedlot finishing
- Carcass evaluation
With this pilot program, the Noble Research Institute is providing all management and data collection during the term of the program. Records of input costs from weaning, through the pasture and feedlot phase will be kept. Risk management is to be initiated when needed. We will provide participants with data on their calves from weaning, through the stocker/feedlot phase to the packer. Reports will include summaries of calf performance, costs, and returns.
The program will be reported to you through the NF Ag News and Views. This will give you an opportunity to use these cattle cost/performance numbers and apply the numbers to calves you sold at weaning this year. If you see a possibility to increase your economic position, you may need to look at options available to you with next year's calf crop. A lot can be learned by following these calves next year it could be a way of doing something different to better the bottom line.