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September 2, 2012

Farm briefs: Sept. 2, 2012

(Continued)

Beef producers pool calves for marketing

CANTON — Cornell Cooperative Extension and local beef producers are teaming up to pool beef calves for better marketing.

Small beef producers face a challenge when marketing their calves even though they may be good quality. By grouping calves by size and type and requiring certain health-management practices, the group hopes to provide a uniformly managed group of feeder calves, commingled from several producers, in a truck load lot, which can be marketed at optimum value.

The calves will be housed at a farm in Canton where they will be grouped into heifers and steers, different breed types and statures and fed a controlled ration. The group hopes to demonstrate a feeding and management system that will support an average daily gain of 1.5 to 2 lbs. during the 45-day weaning program. Farmers will probably retain ownership of the calves and pay a daily charge for feeding and any vet bills incurred while the calves are there.

At the end of the time, the calves will be marketed through normal channels but in groups with similar animals. If this is successful, it could become a model for weaning and marketing, which can be implemented throughout New York.

For more information, contact Betsy Hodge at 315-379-9192 or bmf9@cornell.edu.

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