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Dairy Beef Feeding for Profit


By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Jul 19th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

By Jerrold Tesmer

Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston Counties

Feeding dairy steers has been common on northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota farms, and now others are looking at dairy steers with supplies of feeder cattle being low. Iowa State Extension Beef Program Specialists Russ Euken & Denise Schwab, have scheduled an educational conference on feeding dairy steers August 7 at Cresco, Iowa. I believe a number of producers in Minnesota might find it valuable to drive a few miles across the border for this conference.

Dr. Lee Schultz, ISU Extension Livestock Economist will discuss the current feeder calf availability including both beef and dairy calves, as well as share his outlook on the fed cattle market and profitability in the feedlot industry. Dr. Dan Loy, ISU Beef Specialist, will discuss the use of growth promoting technologies such as implants, ionophores and beta-agonists in dairy beef steers and their impacts on marketing options.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Steven Rust from Michigan State University, speaking on their research and experience in feeding Holstein steers for the beef market. His research includes feeding systems, rations, and housing for Holstein beef steers. Another featured speaker will be Shawn Walter from Professional Cattle Consultants(PCC) at Hydro, Okla. Walter will share some of their closeout and performance data comparing Holstein to beef cattle. PCC has over 35 years of feedlot data with over 120 million head of cattle in their database, and they currently represent over 2.5 million head of feeding capacity from more than 100 feedyards. Dr. Darren Katzung, DVM, with Southwest Vet Services in Wisconsin, specializing in dairy calf health and will share his experiences with calf health and its impact on feedyard performance. A panel on marketing fed dairy beef will discuss the options and preferences of packers.

The program will begin at 9:15 am and conclude at 3 pm. The August 7 session will be at the Howard County Fairgrounds in Cresco. Registration for the event is $20 to cover the lunch and materials. Sponsors helping defer speaker expenses include Merck Animal Health, Big Gain Feed, Iowa Beef Center, Innovative Ag Services, Silver Edge Coop, Cargill Feeds, CUS Bank and Cresco Bank & Trust. To register for the program in Cresco, contact Sue Barnes at the Howard County office 563-547-3001 or skbarnes@iastate.edu. Please call by August 2 to ensure adequate meals.

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