Feed Lot

AUG 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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10 FEED•LOT August 2018 residue that can be grazed and dis- tillers grains that are a great supple- ment with corn residue. Distillers grains are relatively inexpensive because we have ethanol plants here," says Klopfenstein. "When backgrounding, you must match the program (type of cattle) to whatever the resources are on a particular farm or ranch and it's more complicated than cow-calf or feedlot operations." Availability and price may vary, even from year to year, on what you can feed calves. In Nebraska, grass rental rates have risen, and grazing might not be the least expensive option. "Some of the best backgrounders are cow-calf people who maintain ownership. Segmentation makes us less competitive as an industry; we are constantly negotiating price between cow-calf and background- er, between backgrounder and feedlot, between feedlot and pack- er. We are always trying to take advantage of someone else in the industry," he explains. "If you background your own cattle or have them custom fed you are doing an integrated industry, Backgrounding can be vastly different from one region or oper- ation to another, depending on cli- mate and what's available as feed, says Terry Klopfenstein, Professor Emeritus, University of Nebraska. "This period in the calf's life is the staging factor for our industry. The feedlot hauls cattle to the slaugh- ter plant every working day, so feedlots need a supply that can be finishing all through the year. The backgrounding phase determines how ready they are and when," Klopfenstein says. "The most important part of this phase is taking advantage of local resources such as by-products. Grazing situations are great, and in certain parts of Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas, grazing wheat pasture is the norm. This is an economical and great way to background cattle, but limits you to a certain time of year," he says. Summer grazing on grass is also limited. "In Nebraska we have two excellent resources—corn STOCKER SPECIAL REGIONAL OPTIONS FOR BACKGROUNDING CALVES BY HEATHER SMITH THOMAS Specializing In: • Turn-Key Feedyard Construction • Hog Site Construction • Complete Dairy Construction • Sprinkler System • C AD Design • GPS S urvey • Slipform Concrete Feedbunks • Dirtwork o f All Ty pes • Laser-Equipped Machinery • All types of Fencing Phone: 800-536-2634 maxjantzexcavating.com

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