With record low cattle numbers and feed costs, many producers are excited for fall runs to begin. Many are questioning whether they should wean their calves and background as they always have in the past. However several factors should be considered before making that call. Weaning and backgrounding to add additional high value weight gain should potentially increase operational money if high quality feed is available, but to determine the most profitable strategy for your operation, you must weigh out the options.
First, feed prices are greatly reduced from the past few years, but there are now alternatives worth considering. Producers have worked tirelessly to reduce feed costs and remove grain from their feeding programs, but the times have changed. While protein remains pricey, grain has become inexpensive and quality feed is abundant. DDGS and corn gluten continue to provide a less expensive protein source, but we are seeing an increase in the use of corn silage due to the lower prices available. Check out our Regional Feed Barometer to see which feeds are a good buy relative to their energy and protein value.
Second, there is a great opportunity to increase profit by adding additional gain due to high cattle prices and low feed costs. A higher energy diet will allow calves to reach their genetic potential. As a service to our customers, VitaFerm will assist you with feed sample testing, ration formulation and profit projections to determine the most profitability plan. Remember to factor in implants and days on feed when developing your calves’ profitable plan. Discounts should be minimal with the limited calf supply. Therefore, if you typically shoot for 2 lbs of gain, consider 3 lbs to potentially double the return on your investment in today’s market. Contact your dealer or Area Sales Manager for any assistance you may need.
Finally, if there has ever been a time where health matters, it is now. The VitaFerm Sure Start Program is the most comprehensive starting program on the market. It starts with Vita Charge Drench or Paste administered at weaning or receiving. We then recommend placing one Vita Charge Stress Tub in the pen per 5-15 head. The Stress Tub should be consumed over the first 7-14 days while calves are adapting to the ration, bunks and watering system. A well-balanced ration using the VitaFerm Sure Start Pak pellet in combination with VitaFerm Feedlot Medicated ensures optimal animal performance and health.
Bottom line…you CAN maximize your customers’ profit margins with our help. By addressing optimal target gain and utilizing the most economical feedstuffs it can add up to an additional $40-$60 in profit. Give your Area Sales Manager
a call today and capitalize on this opportunity.