Phil Durst, MSU Extension -
Now there is a tool that can objectively determine value, not only helping producers understand what buyers are willing to pay for, but also how to improve calf value.
With the new calf crop on the ground, a cow-calf producer often looks over them with pride, thinking about their potential to be great beef animals. Indeed, these new calves are the beginning of the product that the producer will sell and the promise of the profits to come. Pride and hope are mixed in the sight of calves following their mothers across the pasture.
Do feedlot operators share the same level of hope and expectation that the cow-calf farmer has? Each person has a perspective in the business of producing beef at a profit. Can those perspectives be shared?
Indeed, the cow-calf producer who sells feeder cattle must learn more about how buyers evaluate and value calves if calf production is to be profitable according to Michigan State University Extension beef educators. While the price paid on sale day is a report card on calf value, the wisest will seek to understand, long before that day, how their calves rate relative to those of other producers.
A tool available to all calf producers is the Feeder Profit Calculator (FPC) offered by International Genetic Solutions (IGS). This tool, acting as a third-party, unbiased evaluator that is available at no cost, provides a value differential ($/cwt.) for your calves relative to the average Angus calf that will sell. The benefit in having that relative value is not just in seeing how buyers will value your calves compared to others, but in providing you with a benchmark to improve the value of your calves.