The objective of this economic analysis was to determine the effect of lifetime implant regimen of cattle entering the feedlot as calves or yearlings on economic net returns in 2 feed price scenarios (low feed prices during 2005 vs. high feed prices during 2008) and 3 carcass grid-pricing scenarios [wide ($23/45.4 kg of HCW), typical ($8/45.4 kg of HCW), and narrow ($1/45.4 kg of HCW) Choice-Select price spreads]. Cattle in Exp. 1 were primarily Angus in a spring calving season; cattle in Exp. 2 were predominantly Beefmaster in a fall calving season. Fifty percent of the calves were sent to finishing after preconditioning (CLF), and the other 50% were placed on pasture for 133 d before finishing (YRLNG). One-half of each feeding group received an aggressive implant regimen (AGG), whereas implantation of the remaining calves was delayed until the mid-point of the finishing period (DLY). Finishing cattle as YRLNG increased net return compared with CLF in Exp. 1 with narrow and typical grids at low feed prices (P ≤ 0.03) and across grid-price scenarios (P ≤ 0.03) at high feed prices. Net return of AGG was increased (P ≤ 0.02) compared with that of DLY at both the narrow and the typical Choice-Select spreads in Exp. 1. Largely because of the lack of differences in carcass characteristics in Exp. 2, there was no effect (P ≥ 0.16) of finishing age or implant protocol on net return. Regardless of effects on carcass QG, management that increased HCW led to increased net returns at all but the widest Choice-Select spreads.
- Finishing system