3 Ways of Marketing Cattle

Live auction, an electronic auction and direct buy are the three main marketing options for marketing cattle. When deciding which one would suit your needs best, you must decide what you value in the selling process. Consolidationg is useful to combine your lot with another person’s lot, providing both you and the other seller a premium price for your cattle and providing the buyer exactly what they want.

In this video Brenda Schoepp explains the advantages and disadvantages of the three ways of marketing cattle: direct buy, live auction, and electronic auction.


Selling Through a Direct Sale

When selling in a direct sale manner, be sure you provide accurate descriptions of the cattle you are selling, including their weight, frame shape, and how many there are. Make it clear on the date and times for viewing and when the bidding will close. Discuss with the buyer the pencil shrinkage and the price slides.the price slides.


Selling Through a Live Auction

Before selecting an auction mart to sell your cattle at, you should ask questions about how they run the auction, what the range of buyers are, and if there is feed, water and shelter available for the cattle.


Selling through an Electronic Auction

When selling in a direct sale manner, be sure you provide accurate descriptions of the cattle you are selling, including their weight, frame shape, and how many there are. Make it clear on the date and times for viewing and when the bidding will close. Discuss with the buyer the pencil shrinkage and the price slides.

Also check out this Live Demo of a cattle sale


Dropping the Ball in the Beef Industry

Brenda Schoepp takes a look at where the beef industry has missed opportunities in the market over the years, and how each link in the chain has dropped the ball.

First, Brenda looks at where different sectors in the industry have moved to in the last 30 years and how they got there.

And then she talks about problems in the beef industry and how to solve them.

Cost of Shrinkage in the Beef Industry

Shrinkage is the expression of stress in cattle and can be detrimental to your business. Shrinkage is caused by many things including stress from being transported, having a change in diet or not having adequate amounts of food and water. Brenda Schoepp discusses how best to avoid this stress, cattle should be transported at their own pace and always have acces to food and water.


Beef Marketing Part 1


 What is Pencil Shrinkage 


Why Be Involved in the Sale?

Brenda Schoepp explains the importance of being actively involved in your sales at the auction.

Q&A Why be Involved in the Sale 

The Top 5 Consumer Concerns

Brenda Schoepp explains that the top 5 consumer concerns in the beef business are animal welfare, environment, antibacterial use and resistence, food safety and corporate responsibility.

Taking these concerns into account, you should always act and run your business in a manner that would be pleasing to your customers.



Q&A: The Top 5 Consumer Food Questions 


The Value of Beef Data

Brenda Schoepp explains that the real value in the commodity beefmarket is in the data!



Q&A: Tracking Beef Data 


Moving Up the Value Triangle

The value triangle illustrates cattle management practices that generate various levels of profitability, ranging from low margins and high volume, to higher margins and lower volume.

Brenda Schoepp explains what each stage of the triangle looks like and how you can ascend the value triangle in terms of your cattle practices and your net return in profit.

Q&A Moving up the Value Triangle 

Expected Progeny Differences Explained

This is a guest post written by Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers.
Bull buying season is upon us.  If your house is anything like my family’s, most available surfaces are now piled high with catalogues advertising the next great herdsire. There are many factors that play a role in choosing a new bull for your operation (visual observation, breed, pedigree, actual birth weight, residual feed intake (RFI), weaning weights, breeding soundness evaluation, etc.), but one tool that can aid in herdsire selection has led to a lot of confusion since its first use over 40 years ago. Let’s decipher this valuable tool so you can expertly evaluate potential herdsires as you flip through those sale catalogues.

Expected Progeny Differencess defined

Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are estimates of an animal’s genetic merit as a parent. EPDs are the difference between the predicted average performance of an animal’s future progeny and the average progeny performance of another animal whose EPD is zero, assuming that the bulls are mated to similar cows, or vice versa. For example, if Bull A has a birthweight EPD of +9.0 lbs and Bull B has a birthweight EPD of +3.0 lbs, this means that Bull A’s calves will have birthweights that are 6 lbs heavier than whatever the birthweight of  Bull B’s calves are, on average.

To compensate for differences in environment and management, contemporary groupings are used. Contemporary groups are animals of the same age and sex raised under the same management conditions. Once these factors are accounted for, the genetic component is the part that remains, and that is what EPDs predict. Information used in computing EPDs includes pedigree and performance of the individual animal, all relatives, and progeny. It is often assumed that EPDs are calculated in much the same way as 205 day adjusted weights, but this is not the case. To correctly calculate EPDs, millions of equations must be solved simultaneously.

Many different EPDs exist, from calving ease and weaning weight, to ribeye area and marbling, to cow weight and stayability. EPDs are generally reported in the same units as the traits they measure (pounds for weight traits, square inches for ribeye, etc.).

Continue reading the rest of the article and more about EPD’s at Beef Cattle Research Council

Link Photo courtesy of Chema Concellon

Do you use EPD’s in selecting bulls for your herd? What other information is important to you when selecting your herd sires?

DIY: Mineral Feeder for Cattle

Everyone who owns cattle needs a functional mineral feeder.

This 10-minute video clip shows you how to make a DIY cattle mineral feeder from a barrel and truck tire. It is portable, it keeps the mineral dry, and it is inexpensive to make.

Cattle Need More Water During the Warmer Months


By Dr. Justin Rhinehart

As the days start to get longer and warmer, cattle will need more water

It is easy to forget that something as common as water is a vitally important nutrient for cattle. “We often take it for granted because it is more abundant here in the southeast than it is in some other parts of the country,” says University of Tennessee Extension animal scientist Justin Rhinehart. “But, in recent years, we have seen times when water was in short supply and the water that was available was poor quality.”

Many factors should be considered when calculating how much water your cattle will need per day. According to Rhinehart, the most important of those factors is the temperature. A 1,000-pound beef cow, for example, requires about 11 gallons of water on a 60-degree day. That same cow would require almost 21 gallons of water—almost double—on a 90-degree day.

Lactating and pregnant cows need special consideration when it comes to rising temperatures. Rhinehart suggests that a mature lactating cow consumes approximately 11.5 gallons of water on a 40-degree day. For each 10-degree increase in temperature, that cow would need to consume about 10 percent more water.

It is important to note that not all, or even a majority, of cattle’s water needs to come directly from drinking. When calculating the water needs of your cattle, be sure to consider their diet. “Pasture forages, green chop, and silage generally contain lower amounts of water.” Elaborates Rhinehart, “Lush forage may consist of approximately 75 percent water, while forage in the form of hay may contain closer to 10 percent water.”

Warming weather can also have an impact on many sources of cattle drinking water. Ponds, springs and streams are far more susceptible to chemical runoff, bacterial contamination and algae blooms during warmer weather. Rhinehart warns that these hazards may stunt the growth of the cattle.

“Water is the most important nutrient for cattle,” Rhinehart reiterates. “Providing adequate and high quality water supplies to cattle at all times is essential for beef cattle operations.”

Link photo by Stux, Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication