Of all the management practices available to cow-calf producers,implanting calves with growth stimulants offers one of the greatest benefitto cost ratios, according to University of Tennessee Animal ScienceProfessor James B. Neel. “Tennessee cow-calf producers who do not implant their suckling calveswith a growth stimulant pass up the opportunity to improve their returns by$20 or more per feeder calf,” Neel says. “It’s money left in the pasture.”The cost of implants runs from about $1 to $1.50 per calf. With an extra 20pounds to market at $1.25 per pound during fall of 2004, implanting wouldhave produced roughly an extra $25 return and a net of $23.50 to $24, hesays. Results from “on the farm” implant demonstrations conducted acrossTennessee showed that a single implant increased market weight from 4 to 8percent or added 22 to 31 pounds. National surveys conducted in the late90s showed that the practice of implanting declined. In 1992, 18.3 percentof producers implanted their calves, but in 1997, that number had droppedto 13.8 percent. A 2001 survey of more than 350 Tennessee producers conducted during UTExtension producer meetings revealed that 41 percent implanted theircalves. This percentage is representative of the state’s cow-calf industry. “Why do producers not implant feeder calves? Some say that the marketprice has been ‘good’ in the past couple of years, and they are satisfiedwith their income from sale of feeder cattle,” says Neel. “But with recentprices, the ‘pay off’ for improved management, such as implanting, isgreater than ever in history. Take advantage of it,” he says. Some producers believe buyers will pay less for implanted calvesthinking they will gain slower in the feedlot. “This is not the case,” Neelsays. “Some producers say ‘I implanted my calves several years ago and Icouldn’t see any difference,’ but they didn’t have the means of comparingtheir implanted calves with calves that were not implanted,” he says. “Probably the greatest limiting factor to implanting as well as othereconomically advantageous management practicies is the lack of cattlehandling facilities. Farmers should consider the increased returns fromimplanting and how they would go a long way in paying for facilities,” Neelsays.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.
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May 21, 2013 3:16 pm / no comments