Cattle producers are always looking for ways to maximize profitability, and that is especially true during a down market. Producers who have the resources to retain ownership on their calves to heavier weights could see more profitability in the end. And they can reach those higher weights more quickly and efficiently with the Gain Smart® Stocker mineral.
A Kansas State University Steer Price Forecast (see Figure 1) predicts that 700-800 pound feeder cattle will be worth more in July 2017, and therefore, producers with feed and facilities will have the opportunities to add more profits to their 2016 calf crop if they can retain ownership and sell at expected price peaks instead of selling at weaning. And, if calves are fed to the finishing phase, carcass grid premiums could add anywhere from $50 to $120 per head.
Figure 1 – Feeder Steer Price Forecast
Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Specialist Derrell Peel says, “Current feeder cattle prices suggest a strong stocker signal and also a potential retained ownership signal for cow-calf producers, at least through the stocker phase.” This fall, the market saw 400-pound steers selling for the same or lower prices as 700-pound steers. Feedlots would rather feed bigger, heavier, older cattle that are typically healthier and more efficient in their feed conversion.
Producers and stockers who choose to hold their calves to heavier weights can see more efficient gains if they feed the Gain Smart Stocker mineral. Gain Smart Stocker Mineral costs 12₵/head/day. Research and experience show that feeding mineral supplements with Amaferm® typically increase gains by .40 pounds/day compared to no supplement or just plain salt. Therefore, the cost of gain for the Gain Smart Stocker mineral is 12₵ ÷ .40 or 30₵ per pound.
You can use this same cost of gain formula to calculate the cost of Brand X. Brand X offers a stocker mineral that only costs 9₵/head/day, and is advertised to increase gains by 0.25 pounds per day. Brand X cost of gain is 9₵ ÷ .25 or 36₵ per pound. Therefore, Gain Smart Stocker mineral is a better value.
Only you can decide what is best for your operation at any given time. Some simple math like the equations above show that sometimes a little more initial investment will pay dividends more quickly in the end. Be sure to contact your local BioZyme® dealer to learn more about the Gain Smart Stocker mineral, and start putting more profit back into your herd.