As the beef feedlot industry in Iowa continues to grow and improve, some producers are considering their options for expanding or new feedlot facilities. All alternatives have advantages and disadvantages, and making the right choices can favorably help an operation’s bottom line. That’s why Iowa Beef Center (IBC) and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach completely revised the Beef Feedlot Systems Manual.
 
ISU Extension beef program specialist Russ Euken led the revision effort on the manual that describes and compares five types of feedlot facilities: open lots, open lots with shelter, solid floor bedded confinements and slatted floor confinement buildings. He said the manual is designed to help producers make investment decisions based on these types of facilities.
 
“The manual has updated investment and operating costs for all five types of facilities, and includes estimated performance and manure values,” Euken said. “A calculated cost of gain for each facility type is provided, and environmental stewardship and regulations are also discussed in the manual.”
 
The manual is available at no charge as a pdf download on the IBC feedlot Web page under Facilities, then Feedlot Facilities and the Environment. Those who prefer a paper copy can order one for $7 through the same link.
 
Because actual facility costs can vary from those used in the manual, Euken and others also developed a spreadsheet-based calculator that allows users to enter their own costs and performance assumptions for making facility decisions.
 
“In addition to entering their own costs and performance assumptions, users can explore financing alternatives for facilities,” Euken explained. “The calculator will provide a cost of gain calculation for each type of facility entered as well as an income statement and financial efficiency measures.”
 
The calculator is available as a free download from the IBC website. Complete the registration form found on this Web page under Facilities, then Feedlot Facilities and the Environment. Or you can go directly to the registration form.
 
For more information on the revised manual, new calculator or feedlot facilities in general, contact any of the ISU Extension beef program specialists.