Feed Lot

FEB 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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26 FEED•LOT  February 2018 ADVANTAGE ADVERTISING Online Resource to Connect Custom Feeding Partners BJM Sales & Service 3925 US Highway 60 • Hereford, TX 79045-7291 (806) 364-7470 • www.bjmsales.com Sales & Service SINCE 1983 ® Silencer Commercial Pro Model Commercial Series 920-18 ® Custom cattle feeding can be a win-win strategy when done cor- rectly. "Feeding someone else's cat- tle provides a method to market feedstuffs without tying up the cap- ital required to own the livestock," said Warren Rusche, South Dakota State Univeristy Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate. Rusche explained that custom feeding arrangements allow cattle owners access to management ex- pertise and facilities they may not possess, opportunities to capitalize on superior genetics and options in the event of feed shortages. Connecting cattle feeders with interested cattle owners can hap- pen in a number of ways, Rusche went on to say. "Word-of-mouth, allied industry contacts and advertisements are common methods," he said. Currently, SDSU Extension is developing an online resource for cattle feeders who are interested in custom feeding cattle. If you are interested in being listed in that directory, visit www.igrow.org/ livestock/beef/finding-choosing- custom-feeding-partners/. "As with any business arrange- ment, both parties need to do their homework and ask the right ques- tions," Rusche said. "Most deals that end up badly do so because of lack of communication and due diligence at the outset." Are they the right partner? Not all ranches or cattle are alike, so it stands to reason that not every feedlot is suited to every cus- tomer and every type of cattle. "For example, an operation that uses cattle feeding to add value to large amounts of high-moisture corn is not likely to be a great fit for someone needing replacement heifers developed," Rusche said. If a customer has a particular business model in mind (i.e. high- risk calves, carcass data with grid marketing, etc.), they need to make sure that the cattle feeder under- stands how to manage that partic- ular class of cattle. Get it in writing There's an old saying that good fences make good neighbors. "The same could be said about written agreements," Rusche said. "Having a written agreement forces every- one to think about the entire trans- action, what could go wrong, and how those concerns will be ad- dressed." Written contracts help to ensure there are no disagreements about who said what and what was agreed upon. Contracts also estab- lish the framework to resolve con- flicts if any arise. What are the expectations? Any cattle feeder will tell you that not all calves are created equal and that there is considerable vari- ation between sources and man- agement systems. "There should be a frank discus- sion about everyone's goals and ex- pectations are for performance, sickness rates and death losses and

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