Dale Watson
Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist
University of Missouri Extension




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Please send your comments and sund suggestions to Dale Watson, Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, 111 N. Mason, Carrollton, MO 64633, call 660-542-1792, or send messages by e-mail to: watsond@missouri.edu.
For the Week of
August 5, 1999

Reputation Marketing

The feeder calf-marketing season is rapidly approaching. With the onset of this season we see a wide variation between beef producing operations relating to the net dollars received from the annual beef herd coupon. There are several ways to improve on the amount of dollars received.

First we have to adjust our thinking from just selling to merchandising the calf crop. Merchandising a calf crop involves details that must be completed over a period of time. We need to consider the health of the calves prior to marketing. We are seeing a definite trend toward reputation marketing, which requires a few years to develop by each individual producer. Meeting the health immunization requirements and having verification of these immunizations is becoming more prevalent. These may vary depending on the marketing source you utilize in your beef operation. However, timing of the immunizations is critical and must be planned and completed prior to the scheduled marketing date. In addition there are 4 M’s of beef marketing that need consideration.

First we must keep the maternal influence in each herd for future production. This trait has been overlooked through certain genetic selection criteria. Annual culling of the lower 5 to 10 percent of the cow herd and replacing them with quality replacement females is very beneficial. These replacements may either be purchased as safe in calf replacements or retained from the top portion of your heifer crop and developed through a quality development program. Either of these will change the production potential of your cow herd in a short period of time.

Muscle is a very important component of the physiological makeup of the beef animal. There is a large variation in the amount of muscling between individual animals. This genetic trait must be selected for and definitely be a part of your selection priorities. Keeping this trait in mind when we make our selection and using the Expected Progeny Difference information will definitely have a positive influence in future quality of the product you are producing.

Marbling over the years has been considered an important part of the final product. We have seen a move from the presence of fat to the drastic lean belief. Media has done much to contribute to this thinking of consumers. However, taste remains an important part of a meal regardless of the source of the initial food components. A certain amount of fat adds to the taste and assists with having a desirable end product. Preparation of the steak or roast will either have a positive or negative influence on the outcome of the meal regardless of the genetic or nutritional management of the animal prior to processing.

Maturity can be adjusted by the length of the feeding period. The initial start and length of the feeding period relates to the genetic makeup of each individual. The larger framed, rapid growing individuals must be finished at a younger age or they will simply outgrow the desirable marketing weight.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - August 5, 1999
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT080599.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004