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R.O.P Steers and Heifers to Kansas

Livestock Update, January 1997

Bill McKinnon, Animal and Poultry Sciences

On December 3, 1996, two loads of Virginia feeder cattle headed to Hitch II Feeders at Garden City, Kansas, as a part of Virginia's Retained Ownership Program. The shipment included 141 head, 72 steers and 69 heifers from twelve consignors. This shipment marked the first time heifers are being fed as a part of the R.O.P. The consignments included both farm raised calves and purchased feeders. To accommodate the consignors, cattle were loaded at Winchester, Steeles Tavern, Hollins, and Dublin. At the take-up point, the cattle were individually weighed, graded, and hip heights taken. The steers averaged weighing 658 pounds and the heifers weighed 641. The cattle should go to market during May and early June. The Retained Ownership Program is sponsored by the Virginia Cattle Feeders Association as an educational program. The goals of the program are threefold: 1) To help producers gain feedback as to the feedlot and carcass performance of their cattle; 2) To help producers learn more about custom feeding so they might be able to use it as a marketing option; and 3) To provide producers more insight into the feedlot and packing sectors of the beef industry. Currently, 49 steers are also on feed at Somerset Plantation in Orange County as a part of the R.O.P. program. This set of steers was put on feed on September 28 and will go to slaughter later this winter. The pen arrangement at Somerset allowed the steers to be grouped into two pens based upon weight. The cattle placed on feed in September were basically fall born calves. An additional shipment of R.O.P. cattle is planned for late March if sufficient consignments are obtained. The March shipment will facilitate those producers who are backgrounding their cattle through the winter. Consignment forms for the March R.O.P. shipment will be available in the February Virginia Cattleman newspaper. For more information on Virginia's Retained Ownership Program contact Bill McKinnon, (540) 231-9160, or Jim Johnson, (540) 992-1009.

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