4 Tips for Marketing Stocker Cattle

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Pocketing the most profit potential is the goal of producers; but staying profitable can be challenging. Programs exist to give producers the most opportunities to reach the greatest potential. 

John Jeffrey, BioZyme® Inc. Feedlot-Stocker Business Development Manager, and Jason Barber, Superior Livestock Purebred Division Manager, recently discussed some marketing tips on a recent Gain Smart® Money Savings Minute. Read on for the advice they shared. 

Build Relationships 

Having a marketing outlet that you trust is imperative. As Barber points out, Superior Livestock specializes in facilitating commerce between buyers and sellers of load lots, or 50,000 pounds at a time. Superior has 8,500 active buyers across the country looking for cattle to fit their needs.  

Regardless of if you have a load lot to sell on Superior or if you have 10 head to sell at your local auction market, you need to build and cultivate relationships with your marketing outlet and potential buyers. If you don’t have enough cattle to make a load lot, establish a relationship with your local auction market or with a feeder who might want to buy your stockers. Know if the auction market has special sales that might offer premiums for specific genetics or health programs that you are participating in. 

Another option is to build a relationship with a neighbor or relative that might also have a smaller group of cattle. Perhaps together the two of you can put together a load lot to maximize your selling potential. 

Keep the Consumer in Mind 

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how their food is raised and more concerned with where their food comes from, making animal welfare a bigger priority than ever. Barber said that they see more dollars come in for cattle on sale day for calves that have been raised naturally and are not treated with hormones, as the consumers will pay more for marketing labels like “organically raised” and “all-natural.”  

“If you look at the cattle that sell on Superior right now, if they are verified natural beef, NHTC or GAP, they are consistently above the market, regardless of what sale it is. As we’ve seen this year, the market ebbs and flows really well,” Barber said. 

Get on a Program 

With the consumer preferences in mind and the premiums that Barber said they have seen for cattle on a value-added program, it makes sense to get your calves on a program that will pay premiums. A variety of programs are available through Superior, several breed associations and other outlets to help feeders verify genetics, source, age and health and nutrition history. Information is power, and the more information a buyer has for a group of cattle, the more they will typically pay. 

Nutrition Matters 

In response to the premiums generated for value-added programs, BioZyme created the first nutrition programs that Superior Livestock recognized in its long line of value-added programs. The Gain Smart® Verified and VitaFerm® Raised programs are going into their fifth year of identifying calves either backgrounded on the Gain Smart mineral program or weaned from a cow fed VitaFerm, for at least 45 days. Buyers take advantage of those emblems because they know the cattle have been fed a quality nutrition program that includes Amaferm®, and got a strong start on their health while being efficient gainers.  

“Amaferm is a precision prebiotic that impacts intake, feed digestibility and nutrient absorption for optimum gain, and the Amaferm advantage is what sets apart Gain Smart from other nutrition programs. It’s even going to be more important for folks to utilize Gain Smart to help them become more efficient, especially if they are going to be participating in these all-natural or NHTC programs where they are not allowed to use some of the technologies like ionophores and they can’t use implants. If they’re forced to use an antibiotic, then that animal drops out of that program,” Jeffrey said.  

“When it comes to selling cattle on Superior with good genetics and they have good health behind them, we have the buyer base to create the best potential to create a premium on sale day. The more logos (programs) those cattle have on them on sale day, the more money they bring,” Barber said.  

When it comes to marketing your stockers, you need a plan. Get them on a good nutrition program that can get them and keep them in a value-added program. Think about the preferences of the consumers, who ultimately drive the market, and build a relationship with the outlet that can get your cattle sold to the buyers who are willing to pay a premium. 

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