What does it mean when the highest total dollar value received per carcass from a set of steers goes to the steer with the least muscle? He wins the class, despite his heavier-conditioned, overly large carcass with poor muscle, but he graded choice.
Paul Revere is well known as one who could spread an alert effectively. Upon receiving word of impending British troop movements, he alerted colonists of the activity. The colonists, in turn, were able to implement a response, and we know the rest of the story.
In any business or life in general, it is key to read the signs that are offered and then respond, just like Paul Revere. Although not always obvious, these signs need to be evaluated, discussed and reacted to appropriately. For the most part, these signs are called data. From the data, various trends can be developed and studied.
The reaction time may not be immediate, but the important point is that an acknowledgement is generated that will create future thinking. Thus the
question: What does it mean when the highest total dollar value received per carcass from a set of steers goes to the steer with the least muscle?
Recently, the Dickinson Research Extension Center started the final phases of harvesting the 2010 steers. These steers were involved in various production scenarios and the carcass data are utilized to evaluate those scenarios.
Although all the data needs to be studied, one steer certainly caught my eye.
The steer was not always a steer. The center purchased the steer as a yearling bull and had intended to use the bull for breeding the conventional cow herd at the center.
The center uses a lot of bulls and, as the bulls are gathered and prepared for the breeding season, all the bulls are re-evaluated prior to bull turnout. Four Angus bulls were purchased, and in late July, they weighed 1,255, 1,405, 1,490 and 1,265 pounds.
The bulls were evaluated for muscle by ultrasound and their rib-eye measurements were 15.12, 12.95, 15.9 and 9.99 square inches. Three of the bulls were deemed ready for breeding, but 33X1 was questionable.
Without going into a lot depth because a lot of information is processed on each bull, in this case, the evaluation in the pen determined that bull 33X1 was not going to the breeding pastures. Instead, the bull was banded and left in the pen. Subsequently, 33X1 was shipped with a load of yearling steers to the feedlot and fed out.
As with many cattle, that would have been the end of the story. A bull was purchased but failed to develop adequately prior to bull turnout. However, the story does not end there because 33X1 was harvested and topped the day's harvest with a value of $1,906.22. Initially, my first conclusion was the carcass weight because 33X1 weighed in at 1,704 pounds and 0.47 inch of back fat in mid- January.