2018's Cattle Program
We have tried several cattle programs over the last few years with varying degrees of success, but for most of 2018 we stayed with the same program and have been fairly content with it.
We have been backgrounding cattle and then either hauling to a feedlot to have them finished, or hauling them to a sale barn to resell.
Our focus has been on purchasing 500# polled black steers and then feeding them to the 750# range. We vary the number of head throughout the year according to our available grazing. We feed cubes almost daily, and sometimes provide the cattle with corn feed in a limit feed self-feeder.
If steers are selling at a significant premium, we will sometimes purchase heifers or cutter bulls instead. Purchasing based on appearance has become a greater priority for us this year, and doing so definitely has a positive affect on the bottom line.
We decide whether to resell or feed out based on head number, appearance of group, and current market prices. If we have had eye or leg issues with a group we are more inclined to feed out to avoid the sale barn discount. If we have a group of cattle that has a wide variance in weight, we are more likely to resell to avoid having some cattle become overfed and others not get finished.
So, that is what worked for us in 2018.
Picture is from August.
Edit: Spelling error.
Re: 2018's Cattle Program
We try to put the gain on the cattle in 90-120 days.
We usually buy the cattle at a sale barn. There is plenty of supply in our area, but we have to be careful to not overpay for a group.