Monday, September 12, 2011

Discover feeding, carcass value of your herd’s genetics through Minnesota Carcass Merit Program

Discovering how genetic selection and breeding impact performance and carcass traits is a critical step in preparing for today's value-based beef market.  The Minnesota Carcass Merit Program provides cattle producers an opportunity to observe, understand, and, if necessary, re-direct genetic selection and breeding efforts in their cowherds to produce higher quality calves.

This program is open to cattle producers wishing to test the performance potential and carcass merit of their feeder calves. University of Minnesota Extension Beef Team members provide each participant with detailed information on the live performance and carcass characteristics of each of their calves entered into the program. 

The program is held at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center at UMore Park in Rosemount, Minn. The producer is responsible for transport of cattle to either location. 

Advantages of entering your cattle in the Minnesota Carcass Merit Program:

  • Discovery of the feedlot performance and carcass value of your calves
  • Use of feed intake, weight gain and efficiency, and carcass data to determine effects of genetic selection
  • Test concept of retained ownership to enhance profitability of cowherd
  • Commingling of cattle into larger groups to improve marketability
  • Alternative outlet for your calf crop

Costs to the Producer:

  • $30/head entry fee
  • $0.25/head daily yardage fee
  • Feed at current costs plus adjustment for shrink
  • Any veterinary and medicine cost
  • The feed delivery fee, yardage and veterinary fee are all charged against the final selling price of calves. Therefore, the only out-of-pocket cost for producers is the $30/head entry fee. More detailed requirements for entry into the program are available on the Beef Team website at 
The registration deadline for entry into the program is Oct. 14, 2011. Cattle delivery will occur on Nov. 1-2 at the feedlot in Rosemount.

The Extension Beef Team will also be hosting an informational open house in Rosemount at the UMore Park Administration Building on Thursday, Sept. 29. The open house will begin at 6 p.m. and a meal will be provided for all attendees. There is no registration fee for the open house.

For more information on this program, please contact Grant Crawford at (320) 234-0441 or Grant Crawford, Extension educator/specialist in beef cattle, U of M Extension Regional Office, Hutchinson

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