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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Quality Beef Network Preparing for Fall Sales

Tue, 27 Aug 2013 12:20:43 CDT

Oklahoma Quality Beef Network Preparing for Fall Sales
Gant Mourer, Oklahoma State University Beef Value Enhancement Specialist, writes in the latest Cow-Calf newsletter:

With the start of school and football season, many cattle producers are gearing up for weaning of their spring born calves. This time last year many producers already weaned due to drought, but what a difference a year makes. With ample amounts of moisture in eastern Oklahoma and timely rains in western Oklahoma, cattlemen have been able to keep calves on the cow longer. Also, with access to hay and pasture as well as feed prices somewhat lower, producers who were not able to precondition calves prior to sale are finding it easier and cost effective to do it this year.The Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN) is available to aid producers in making preconditioning decisions and capturing value of preconditioned calves when it becomes time to market. The Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN) is a program, which began in 2001, and is a joint effort by Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) and the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association. At its core, OQBN provides improved communication among producers of all segments of the beef industry and allows for increased education while providing tools to improve access to value-added programs. One way in which this is done is through the OQBN Vac-45 health verification program. Cattle meeting the management requirements are verified through OCES and can be marketed as OQBN Vac-45 cattle. Once verified producers have the option but are not obligated to market cattle in a certified OQBN sale.

The program benefits both buyers and sellers in several ways, including reduced shrink, improved immune system, and weight gain during the weaning period increased market demands and feedlot performance. In addition to healthier, heavier calves when sold, sellers may earn higher prices per/cwt. Research has found buyers paid $3-6/cwt more for preconditioned calves in recognition of buying healthier, higher-performing calves for a stocker or feedlot program. In 2012, OQBN participants realized over $9/cwt premium over cattle that had no weaning or health history. Large feedlots have also confirmed the effectiveness of preconditioning prior to entry. The USDA Reports that over 80% of yards find introduction to bunks, vaccinations, weaning at least 4 weeks and castration are extremely or very effective for reducing sickness and death in the feedlot (USDA-APHIS-VS-NAHMS. Feedlot 2011, Part III: Trends in Health and Management Practices on U.S. Feedlots, 1994-2011. July 2013.)

The following is a list of several OQBN sales scheduled this fall across the state. For a producer to take advantage of these value-added opportunities, the cattle must be enrolled in the OQBN Vac-45 program, follow one of three health protocols, weaned by the deadline, and third party verified by extension personnel.

Location                                 Sale Date                           Wean Date
Cherokee Livestock          October 30, 2013            September 15, 2013
Elk City Livestock                November 1, 2013           September 17,2013
Jordan Livestock, Caddo November 5, 2013         September 21, 2013
OKC West                               November 6, 2013         September 22, 2013
McAlester Stockyards       November 19, 2013        October 5, 2013
Blackwell Livestock            November 23, 2013         October 9, 2013
Tulsa Stockyards                  December 2, 2013            October 18, 2013
OKC West                              December 4, 2013            October 20, 2013
Durant Livestock                  December 5, 2013            October 21, 2013
Pawnee Livestock                 December 7, 2013            October 23, 2013

For additional information or questions about the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network, contact your local OSU Extension Office or Gant Mourer, OQBN Coordinator at 405-744-6060 or at gantm@okstate.edu. Additional information may also be found at www.oqbn.okstate.edu .



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