Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:28 pm

insurman wrote:
Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:
City Guy wrote:Fire Sweep Ranch; Did you mean to say you raise them on grass WITHOUT grain?

No, I did not. We raise our steers on grass AND grain; bull ration in fact. This is our 5th year completing this carcass event, each year our steers have graded choice, each year they were raised on pasture with bull ration feed at 2% of their body weight....


Are you reporting the data back to the ASA so that it is reflected into the sire and dams EPD's?


This year I did, after talking with Leoma at the ASA office.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:45 am

Well, another year and another contest. This year, we had 7 steers compete, with the first weigh in on Feb 5th this year. The steers were shown at the county fair 3 weeks ago, and placed accordingly (the judge based it JUST on weight... so we will see how that relates to carcass value later this week). Sunday night (June 25th) the steers were weighed, evaluated live, and the kids had to guess fattest, what grade and yield they thought they would get, and get to see them on the rail in Thursday evening. The placings are the fair placings... we will have "on the rail" placings later this week.

So, here is the first place steer, who was the heaviest.This steer is balancer, brangus and ???. In Feb he was 1010 lbs and weighed 1565 Sunday night:
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Second place steer, angus base (kids called him the fattest... he has big pones). He weighed 765 in Feb and was 1290 Sunday night :
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Third place steer, not sure of pedigree, bought to put on a cow that lost her calf. He weighed 860 in Feb and was 1235 Sunday night:
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Fourth place steer, red angus (3/4) and Gelbvieh (notice his feet?). He weighed 675 in Feb and 1235 Sunday night :
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5th place steer (3/4 simmental, 1/4 angus), ours. He is the youngest steer in the contest, weighed 785 in Feb and was 1275 Sunday night:
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6th place steer, 1/4 shorthorn, 3/4 angus. He weighed 670 in Feb and was 1090 on Sunday:
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7th place steer, Balancer sired and mix cow. He was 765 in Feb and 1400 Sunday:
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Members walking through and evaluating cattle for grade and yield. We were looking at the difference in fat deposit on the knife cut steers compared to the banded steers:
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weighing tonight
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looking over the steers
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The red angus steer appears to have foundered. He walked and stood like the picture above, all the time. The set of three steers (blue roan, black angus and red angus) are fed in a small pen with corn and Amino Gain, with little roughage to help the rumen. Same group of steers each year seem to have really long feet and similar lameness issues. It was noted that all the steers this year seemed to be a bit tender footed at the end. This project is so great for the kids involved, along with us adults! I look forward to seeing them on the rail Thursday evening.
Edited to add weights...
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby kdhansen » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:09 pm

"Members walking through and evaluating cattle for grade and yield. We were looking at the difference in fat deposit on the knife cut steers compared to the banded steers:"

Was it pretty obvious on which were knife cut vs banded? And were they all done at the same age? This has got to be one of the best "programs" around. KUDOS.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:27 pm

kdhansen wrote:"Members walking through and evaluating cattle for grade and yield. We were looking at the difference in fat deposit on the knife cut steers compared to the banded steers:"

Was it pretty obvious on which were knife cut vs banded? And were they all done at the same age? This has got to be one of the best "programs" around. KUDOS.


YES!!! YES YES YES!!! The knife cut calves had good, full cods (almost looked like they had a set of testicles....but it was fat). Of the 7, 4 were knife cut. The banded steers had very little fat to be seen in the cod. I wish I had taken pictures! The big 1500 pound steer, and the yellow, and the big red/white faced steer were all banded, and had no real cod to speak of....
Most knife cut steers are done at weaning, or a little younger. The banded calves are done usually after birth. I am not sure with this group the exact timing, but I can ask on Thursday of the other kids.... ours was knife cut at weaning.

We love this program! And I love the data I get back on my steers!
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby elkwc » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:12 pm

Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:
kdhansen wrote:"Members walking through and evaluating cattle for grade and yield. We were looking at the difference in fat deposit on the knife cut steers compared to the banded steers:"

Was it pretty obvious on which were knife cut vs banded? And were they all done at the same age? This has got to be one of the best "programs" around. KUDOS.


YES!!! YES YES YES!!! The knife cut calves had good, full cods (almost looked like they had a set of testicles....but it was fat). Of the 7, 4 were knife cut. The banded steers had very little fat to be seen in the cod. I wish I had taken pictures! The big 1500 pound steer, and the yellow, and the big red/white faced steer were all banded, and had no real cod to speak of....
Most knife cut steers are done at weaning, or a little younger. The banded calves are done usually after birth. I am not sure with this group the exact timing, but I can ask on Thursday of the other kids.... ours was knife cut at weaning.

We love this program! And I love the data I get back on my steers!


This is very informational and I look forward to your posts every year. Although we don't feed any out anymore I find your observations about the knife cut vs band interesting. We do both. We knife cut anything small. Anything around 300 up we use a Callicrate band on. Being that we leave the bulls in year round ( something I hope to change) we tend to have calves of different sizes. Also I don't knife cut during the summer heat and fly season. I was skeptical of the Callicrate bands but feel they work well for us. We sell most in the 700-900 lb range. And have found most can't tell which I've knife cut and which I've banded. I do tend to cut a little more off the end of the bag than many do.

Look forward to the final results. Your daughter has a nice steer.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:15 am

Each year it seems I learn something new with the carcass evaluation program! We had the honor of having Dr. Bryon Wiegand, from Missouri University, and State Meat Specialist, as our grader. He was very informative about the industry; where is was and where it is going. He spent two hours with the juniors and guests educating the group about the market and slaughter houses in general. One thing he said that some on here might not like, and I had him clarify so I can report it correctly to the group; He can point out a Peid carcass on ANY rail at ANY time. The muscle pattern “lays differently”, it is courser fibers and can be picked out easily. He said it makes for pourer eating experience. We talked about shrink, and hauling. A steer loses the most weight in the first 30 minutes, so long hauls to the packer are no worse than a short haul. He also told the juniors that the prime grade is not all it is cracked up to be. To put it shortly, you will spend more money feeding cattle trying to reach prime than you will gain by the few that actually make prime and get the premium. He said the industry loves the Choice quality grade, and there is more money to be made by hitting that window (with less inputs versus prime). We have several juniors that are always trying to get their steers to grade prime (like the fat angus in the pictures, who was in fact, the fattest steer in the contest).
Anyway, on to the cattle on the rail. There is currently a quality discount on today’s market; one is a $16.50/cwt spread for choice (in other words, if you do not grade choice or higher, you get a $16.50/cwt hit). There is also something new, a premium of $13/cwt, if you yield grade in the 2 (so 2.0 to 2.9). He said this means that packers are looking for leaner carcasses. Choice average and above will receive a premium of $16.50/cwt. Discounts are also given for carcasses that are less than 550 pounds, and they are starting to discount carcasses that are above 1000.
Here is Dr. Wiegand talking to the group:
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The carcasses on the rail… the kids were told to try to pick out their steers…
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(from left to right – red balancer, blk balancer, yellow steer, our simm angus, blk angus, red angus, and shorthorn). Also, the three carcasses on the left were banded, the 4 carcasses on the right were knife cut... notice the fat difference in that area?
And each of them were actually RIGHT!
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On a side note, my daughter was able to determine her carcass because she knew he would have yellow fat (all 4 of the carcasses on the left had a yellow fat), but HER carcass had a black tongue! I thought that was cleaver. She figured the other yellow fat, black tongue carcass was the big balancer steer, since the carcass was cut in half because it was so big!
So, today’s price for hot carcass on the rail is $1.98/lb. After figuring out the value, the carcasses were placed accordingly. Here goes:

1st – (Balancer cross) This steer hot carcass weight was 997. Dr Wiegand pointed out it almost made the discount category for weight. He graded choice-, yield grade 3.1, rib eye 16.3, BF .4, KPH3%, and had a value of $1974.06
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2nd- (ours- Simm Angus) – This steer had a hot carcass weight of 780 lbs, graded choice-, YG 2.7 (so premium of $101.40), rib eye 12.9, .35BF, and 2.5%KPH. Dr. Weigand said he would take 100’s of carcasses like this one any day, this is what the industry is striving for. His carcass value was $1645.80
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3rd – (blck angus) – This steer hot carcass weight was 830 lbs, graded choice-, YG 3.9, 12.3 REA, .7 BF, 3% KPH. Dr. Weigand pointed out he almost hit the window for discount for too high of YG (4 or higher gets a big discount). His carcass value was $1643.40. He DID NOT qualify for CAB (none did, in fact, because you need a Choice + grade or higher).
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4th – (Red, Balancer sired) – This steer had a hot carcass weight of 870 lbs, graded Select +, YG 3.11, REA 13.4, .4 BF, and 2%KPH. He took a discount since he graded Select, so his final value was $1579.05
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5th – (red angus)- His carcass weight was 797 lbs, graded Choice-, YG 3.6, 12.0 REA, .5BF, 3%KPH. His carcass valued at $1578.06
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6th – (yellow steer) – This steer had a hot carcass weight of 767 lbs, graded Select+, YG 2.7, 13.0 REA, .35 BF, 2.5%KPH. He took a discount of $16.50 for the select grade, but also received a premium of $13 for being in the 2 YG category. His final carcass value was $1517.16
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7th – (shorthorn x) – This steer had a hot carcass weight of 711 lbs, graded Choice-, 3.7 YG, 11.3 REA, .6 BF, and 3%KPH. He valued $1407.78
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So there you go! Another year of data collected and learning opportunities for all involved. We are sending off a steak to have the shear force data collected on all of them, I will report that when we get it (it takes months sometimes!). Now the kids must go home and figure out how much they have in feed in the projects, and see how much money they would have lost or gained by feeding out their own cattle and selling on the rail.
I hope some of you can learn by the pictures we have collected over the years like we have. We already have our calf picked out for next year’s project!
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:37 pm

BEST POST on the forum Fire Sweep!
It's got it all, kids, cattle, EDUCATIONAL and entertaining.
Thank You for all your work and effort that goes in to doing it and for sharing.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Bright Raven » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:05 pm

Son of Butch wrote:BEST POST on the forum Fire Sweep!
It's got it all, kids, cattle, EDUCATIONAL and entertaining.
Thank You for all your work and effort that goes in to doing it and for sharing.


I hesitate to patronize anyone. She is a rock star! Glad you recognized her efforts.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby DLD » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:43 pm

Thanks for sharing this Fire Sweep - good information for everyone, and it's good to see the kids taking advantage of the opportunity.

We used to have a very similar contest in our county, used to have 20-25 steers each year, but they eventually decided to take out the show portion because a lot of folks didn't want to be bothered with halter breaking the calves. Despite the best efforts of the extension personnel and the county cattleman's association to keep the kids involved, it's gotten to where most of the kids have very little to do with the project, and there aren't many entries anymore. They have a formula that involves both carcass data and rate of gain ( the on hoof/show ring counted for a small portion too, before they took it out) to determine the winners here. Ours runs late October to early March - it's timed to coincide with our spring county show so that these calves could compete for the premium sale as well. There have been show steers that did well in the performance contest, despite some folks thoughts that could never happen.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:57 pm

DLD wrote:Thanks for sharing this Fire Sweep - good information for everyone, and it's good to see the kids taking advantage of the opportunity.

We used to have a very similar contest in our county, used to have 20-25 steers each year, but they eventually decided to take out the show portion because a lot of folks didn't want to be bothered with halter breaking the calves. Despite the best efforts of the extension personnel and the county cattleman's association to keep the kids involved, it's gotten to where most of the kids have very little to do with the project, and there aren't many entries anymore. They have a formula that involves both carcass data and rate of gain ( the on hoof/show ring counted for a small portion too, before they took it out) to determine the winners here. Ours runs late October to early March - it's timed to coincide with our spring county show so that these calves could compete for the premium sale as well. There have been show steers that did well in the performance contest, despite some folks thoughts that could never happen.


Nearly all of the counties in this part of our state have similar programs as well. The only major difference, is that here you must show the animal on the hoof as well.

DLD, I think it shocks some people that a club steer could win on the rail as well as the hoof, but I know better. We have shown steers that were everything from high end club calves from the big names, to Limousin, Lim-Flex, Angus, Simms and Char X's that we bred. Nearly every year, we won on both the rail and hoof because among other things, we knew how to select and feed them! It was always interesting to watch the carcass judge pick out our steers on the rail and comment how they came from the same feeding program when the genetics couldn't have been farther from similar!

Firesweep, did your carcass judge say anything about those REAs? Aside from 1st place, they seem pretty small....
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Draper » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:01 pm

Fire Sweep Ranch wrote: He also told the juniors that the prime grade is not all it is cracked up to be. To put it shortly, you will spend more money feeding cattle trying to reach prime than you will gain by the few that actually make prime and get the premium. He said the industry loves the Choice quality grade, and there is more money to be made by hitting that window (with less inputs versus prime).


IF the genetics were there, each steer pictured is fat enough to have graded prime. I would agree with him that if the genetics are not there, attempting to reach a prime grade is a losing proposition financially.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:27 pm

Actually, the rib eyes are right where the industry wants them. IIRC, anything over 16 inches and they can not qualify for CAB (10 - 16 range). I myself like a large rib eye, ours was just under 13, small for our typical Simmis. But Dr Wiegand said all the rib eyes were acceptable.
He did mention the club calves... I guess he butchers the Missouri State Fair grand champion and reserve champion steers every year. Most years they grade just as good as a commercial steer. Once the hide is off of them, no difference in them.
Last edited by Fire Sweep Ranch on Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby DLD » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:57 pm

Yes Boot Jack, our experience was much the same. We always did well in ours no matter whether we entered a clubbie bred one or a commercial type one. Sad to say politics in this contest were worse than at the county stock show, and we decided to stick with just the show.
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:40 pm

Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:Actually, the rib eyes are right where the industry wants them. IIRC, anything over 12 inches and they can not qualify for CAB. I myself like a large rib eye, ours was just under 13, small for our typical Simmis. But Dr Wiegand said all the rib eyes were acceptable.
He did mention the club calves... I guess he butchers the Missouri State Fair grand champion and reserve champion steers every year. Most years they grade just as good as a commercial steer. Once the hide is off of them, no difference in them.

This is interesting. Every carcass judge I have heard speak says to shoot for a REA of about 15. On the Limis, we usually are at about a 16 and would consider anything under 15 very poor. I will admit that different breeds will have different ranges of what is acceptable. I do know that a carcass with as small of a REA as those posted would likely not make the top five in a lot of the county contests in northern WI where we usually have 20+ in the contest each year....
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Re: Steer Carcass Contest data collection begins

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:17 pm

DLD wrote: There have been show steers that did well in the performance contest, despite some folks thought that could never happen.

Show Steers should pound the he// out of carcass contests.
That's the whole purpose of the show ring.... to show off how well an animal can perform!

IF the show ring no longer cares about performance... then it appears this generation of snowflake cattleman only
want to show off how fluffy they can make 'em.
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