Predicting the Value of Feeder Cattle Placed into an Accelerated Finishing Program Under Dynamic Market Conditions

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Professional Animal Scientist



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Data from 769 steer calves that were fed as part of the South Dakota Retained Ownership Demonstration program were used for this study. At feedlot placement, initial weight, hip height, fat thickness, age, sire breed, and dam breed were recorded. Calves that were creep fed, vaccinated, and weaned prior to feedlot arrival were identified. Initial pay weight, initial fat thickness, prefeedlot arrival vaccination, Hereford, Angus, or Simmental sires, and intermediate or high milk dams accounted for only 17.16% of the variation in fall calf value as determined by feedlot gain and carcass merit. When using multiple regression techniques to predict value, including year, average daily gain, dressing percentage, and quality grade improved R2 to .8275. Initial variables accounted for only 8.22% of the variation in gain, 14.28% of the variation in dressing percentage, and 16.36% of the variation in percentage choice. Initial variables evaluated in this study are of limited value in predicting feeder calf value under dynamic market conditions.

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