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Agricultural News

Tracking Technology Allows Oregon Cattle Feeder to Pay Top Dollar

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 15:23:06 CST

Tracking Technology Allows Oregon Cattle Feeder to Pay Top Dollar
Technology has changed the way even large cattle feeders do business. Ron Rowan, of Beef Northwest at North Powder, Ore., says good cattle are worth more and technology helps them identify which ones deserve a premium. Rowan said electronic I-D allows them to track cattle through feeding.

"A lot of times we know their history, their genetic history and then we follow those cattle through our system," Rowan said. "We're involved with a system where we know what they're eating, what they're drinking. We can identify sick cattle ahead of time. We take that all the way to the rail, so when the cattle are harvested, we can then determine the quality grade of those cattle and how they did on the rail and then track it all the way back to the ranch."

They've recently developed a program to strengthen the economic signal back to producers, in order to get more of the cattle that 'do it all'. Ranchers Advantage is a three-way partnership among the seedstock producer, the commercial rancher and the feedlot.

"We track their health and we track, track their feeding efficiency and so at the end if the cattle don't fall out of the program, the producer gets a bonus at the end," Rowan said. "If the cattle convert well against their contemporaries, he gets another bonus. And so back to the producer, it can be $1,000 to the ranch just to qualify the cattle no obligation plus another $60 a head potential as an economic incentive to that producer."

Alliances like this have an obvious goal, Rowan says.

"We want those top quality cattle," Rowan said. "We want those cattle that are going to grade. You know a Prime animal is worth $250 a head premium today in the marketplace. That's big dollars. If we can get more of those cattle, we'll pay more money for them if we can get that consistency."

Predictability is worth a lot-.to ranchers and cattle feeders.

This video news was provided by Certified Angus Beef LLC and the American Angus Association.



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