This tool allows cattle feeders to compare the relative costs and returns to feeding cattle in a natural program (without antibiotics and/or growth promotants) compared to a conventional program. The quality of the evaluation depends on the assumptions used to estimate performance and costs between the two systems. Each operation and set of cattle is different; your inputs may be different than what is suggested here.
In order to perform the analysis to determine costs, users will need the following data:
- Initial body weight
- Initial cost per cwt.
- Any premium that needs to be paid to source qualifying (i.e. NHTC) feeders
- Interest rate
- Cost of Ration ($/ton DM, without any medication or growth promotant cost)
- Yardage Cost ($/hd/day)
- Medication Cost ($ per head). This would include any antibiotics given as injections or fed.
- Costs and number of implants used
- Ionophore cost ($/hd/day)
Beta-agonist costs are not specifically listed. If these tools are going to be used, the cost could be included in either the Medication Cost or Ionophore Cost category.
Estimating the performance differences between the two systems is critically important. In order to compare the two systems, we need to estimate the following:
- Average Daily Gain
- Feed:Gain Conversion
- Target Market Weight
The exact response to growth enhancing technologies can vary depending on cattle type, management, environmental conditions and other factors. Table 1 provides estimated ranges in responses to implants, Ionophores, and beta-agonists. Keep in mind these responses are additive, so feeding an ionophore to implanted cattle that are also fed a beta-agonist during the final portion of the feeding period could show an increase in live weigh up to 120 pounds with 25% improved feed efficiency.
Health & Death Losses:
The final two fields relate to any differences in health and death losses. Cattle that require treatment with antibiotics cannot be marketed in a natural program, so there needs to be some estimate of how many cattle are treated to account for performance losses and loss of expected premiums.
- Percent removed from the program.
- Death loss.
Your Output Results will appear after clicking the Calculate button.
- The tool calculates the initial feeder cattle cost and all associated feeding costs for the two alternatives.
- The number of days on feed and the total amount of feed required are derived from the estimates for gain, ending weight, and feed conversion.
- The report includes and total cost per head, total cost of gain, and the breakeven price. This value shows how large the premium for a natural program would need to be to make up any differences in performance and efficiency.
Table 1. Estimated performance response to growth enhancing technologies.
|Implants||10 to 25%||10 to 15%||50 to 100 pounds|
|Ionophores||0 to 5%||3 – 5%|
|Beta-agonists||2 to 5%||2 – 5%||10 to 20 pounds|
|Derived from 2016 Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle|