Oklahoma Quality Beef Network Fall Sales SetThu, 16 Jul 2015 11:33:12 CDT
Gant Mourer, Oklahoma Beef Value Enhancement Specialist, writes in the latest Cow/Calf Corner newsletter.
Once again the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN) is preparing for fall sales. Last winter proved to be challenge for many in the state due to lack of rain, and this summer has presented challenges for some producers with too much rain. Pasture conditions are in good shape and we haven't seen any days over 100 yet. At this point many producers are deciding how to market calves this fall. With continuing high cattle prices, the decision to precondition calves prior to shipping will be much harder for some. Many management options exist and even with increased prices, those management options are still valuable to producers and may have more value than many think.
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. 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. In 2014, OQBN participants realized almost $20.00/cwt premium over cattle that had no weaning or health history. The value of gain for those calves continued to be well over a 1$/lbs and cost of gain continued to hover around 0.75$/lbs with death loss less than 0.5% and many producers seeing 0%. Buyers offset purchase prices by very low death loss themselves with many turning cattle out on wheat pasture right when they got home. Those cattle also gained 2-3 lbs from day one.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information may also be found at www.oqbn.okstate.edu
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