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Virginia ROP Update

Livestock Update, February 2004

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

The next shipment of the Virginia Retained Ownership Program is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, 2004. 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 calf will be 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 cattle.

Virginia ROP cattle are fed in cooperation with the Tri-County Futurity, a cooperative program that includes several feedyards in southwest Iowa 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 program manages the cattle to optimize total carcass value and minimize excessive feeding costs. This is accomplished by taking interim weights during the feeding period and by sorting pens of cattle into multiple harvest groups.

Consignors can send as few as five head of steers (heifers accepted with special arrangement). 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.

For a consignment form or more information on the Virginia ROP contact Scott Greiner, Extension Beef Specialist, Virginia Tech, phone 540-231-9159 or email

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