By Patrick Wall
The global beef market continues to indicate that consumers are salivating for high quality beef and they’re willing to open their wallets to enjoy the experience. Iowa’s rolling hills and abundant feed resources provide a great competitive advantage for producing high quality beef and being able to grain-finish the end product. Those who want to learn more about how they, too, can benefit are invited to attend “Feeding Higher Quality Cattle” on Thursday, June 7 in Oskaloosa.
“The market presence of the Iowa Premium plant in Tama, plus renewed interest in value-based grid markets by other packers, has feedlot producers in eastern Iowa thinking a bit differently,” said Patrick Wall, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist. “Some cattle feeders want to open up a new marketing avenue or create their own niche market, but they may have to change their breeding program or buying approach in order to do it successfully.”
The event is designed to offer useful information for feedlot producers, whether they retain ownership or purchase calves, and for cow-calf producers who market feeder cattle. This meeting will focus on several avenues to capture Quality Grade premiums while avoiding discounts. The program will start with genetic selection strategies for bulls and females, as well as on-farm data collection that can enhance both heifer retention and success in a grid marketing system.
“We’ll also provide a summary of recent research on nutrition and management, plus offer tips for effective marketing of fed cattle in the upper Midwest,” Wall said. “The meeting will conclude with a presentation by Mike Hora, cattle producer from Washington who consistently sells loads of cattle that grade over 50 percent USDA Prime with few discounts.”