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, but thankfully many parts of the state received starting in late spring and continuing through the summer. Pasture conditions are in good shape and we have only seen a handful of days over 100 degrees. At this point many producers are deciding how to market calves this fall. With the record 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 we 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 2012, OQBN participants realized almost $9/cwt premium over cattle that had no weaning or health history. Light weight calves realized a record high premium at over $20/cwt. As cattle prices increase so does risk and buyers are willing to spend 60-70$ more a head to decrease the risk of health problems on those calves.

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.

Location

Contact

Phone Number

Sale Date

Wean Date

Cherokee Livestock

Tim Starks

580-596-3361

October 29, 2014

September 14, 2014

McAlester Stockyards

Lindsey Grant

918-423-2834

November 4, 2014

September 20, 2014

OKC West

Bill Barnhart

800-778-9378

November 5, 2014

September 21, 2014

Elk City Livestock

Brandon Hickey

580-497-6095

November 7, 2014

September 23, 2014

Pawnee Livestock

Calvin Buchanan

918-852-5271

November 15, 2014

October 1, 2014

South Coffeyville

Jim Folk

918-255-6200

November 21, 2014

October 6, 2014

Blackwell Livestock

Gary or Grady Potter

580-363-9941

November 22, 2014

October 7, 2014

Tulsa Stockyards      

Joe Don Eaves

918-760-1300

December 1, 2014

October 17, 2014

OKC West

Bill Barnhart

800-778-9378

December 3, 2014

October 19, 2014

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 gantm@okstate.edu. Additional information may also be found at www.oqbn.okstate.edu