Effect of age entering feedlot and implant regimen on finishing system profitability1

P. Beck, B. Barham, J. Apple, W. Whitworth, M. Miller, S. Gadberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalProfessional Animal Scientist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Cattle
  • Economics
  • Finishing system
  • Implant


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