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Virginia Retained Ownership Program Update

Livestock Update, October 2002

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

The next shipment of the Virginia Retained Ownership Program is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, December 4, 2002. Consignors can send as few as five head of steers. The late fall shipment has historically included spring-born calves. Cattle should be preweaned, feed bunk and water trough trained and vaccinated with a 7 strain clostridial vaccine, an IBR, BVD, BRSV, & PI3 viral vaccine, as well as a pasteurella and haemophilis somnus vaccine. Additional recommendations on a backgrounding program are available from your local Extension agent.

The Virginia ROP is participating in the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity program for Fall 2002. The TCSCF is a cooperative program that includes several feedyards that custom feed and handle state-sponsored ROP cattle. Oversight of the TCSCF is provided by a board of directors comprised of cow-calf producers, veterinarians, feedyard operators, and extension educators.

The ROP program is designed to provide feedback to progressive cow-calf producers who desire information on the industry suitability and profitability of their cattle post-weaning. As part of the program, profit for each steer will determined by first assigning a opportunity cost for each animal as they leave Virginia based upon current graded feeder cattle sale prices. Feeding costs are assigned on an individual animal basis, and derived from estimates of individual feed efficiency. These costs in addition to the health costs, interest fees, insurance premiums, and a modest data collection fee will be subtracted from the value of each steer as they were marketed on a carcass value grid basis. An advance is available on consignments of ten or more steers.

During the finishing period, cattle are individually weighed at least four times. Each pen of cattle fed will be harvested on at least two different dates five weeks apart. The cattle are sorted for sale at finishing based upon several criteria. Two factors that primarily dictate the date of cattle marketing are fat cover (target .40 inch) and estimated cost of additional gain. The sorting is designed to prevent overfeeding while optimizing total carcass value.

Gaining feedback on the feedlot and carcass performance of cattle is the first step for a beef producer in deciding on the future direction for the herd. Participation in the program allows producers the opportunity to receive individual feedlot performance on their cattle such as average daily gain, finished weight, health performance, etc. Carcass data collected includes carcass weight, fat thickness, ribeye area, and quality grade. Consignors also receive interim reports on the progress of the cattle. For more information on the Virginia ROP contact Scott Greiner, Extension Beef Specialist, Virginia Tech, phone 540-231-9159 or email


December 4, 2002 Shipment

Shipment locations will be designated to match consignments.

Target weight:650 lbs
Accepted weight: 500-900 lbs

Steers Only
My consignment:

__________No. Head
__________Expected Avg. Weight
__________Weight Range

Preferred shipment location:


Name: _________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________

County ___________________________________

Phone: __________________(day)___________________(night)

Email: __________________________________

Return with $10 per head consignment fee payable to the Virginia Cattle Feeder Assoc. by November 15 to:
Scott Greiner
366 Litton Reeves Hall
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540/231-9163
Fax: 540/231-3713

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