Select the Right Feedyard
Find a feedyard that knows how to manage and market above-average cattle to get the most out of your herd. Here are five key considerations when selecting the feedyard for you:
- Keep your options open: Producers with above-average cattle can make more money by retaining ownership through the feeding stage. Unknown or below-average performance can cripple profitability, but partnering with the feedyard will reduce that risk until you’re confident in your cattle’s ability to profit in this value-based system.
- Size matters, sometimes: Marketing less than 40-50 cattle to a feedyard may be a challenge. Consider pooling resources with like-minded producers who raise similar cattle to fulfill a truckload shipment. The size of the yard you market to shouldn’t matter, however. Large or small, expect the same level of service.
- Location, location: Base your decision on that yard’s qualifications and ability to serve your needs rather than just proximity. Conduct a telephone and Internet search, then set up a trip to visit the prospects. Phone calls, e-mails and customer recommendations can help you sort through potential feedyards.
- Give it time: Everyone has a “value discovery” year. There’s a chance your cattle won’t do as well as you may have hoped right away, but this type of marketing is for those focused on long-term improvement. Compare calf performance over time. If the partnership continues, it will help improve genetics and management.
- Ask questions: If you’re considering a partnership or retaining ownership, it’s your business to know the feeding business inside out. Never be shy about asking questions – spending time answering them is part of a manager’s job. If he’s not willing to take the time getting to know you, your cattle and your needs, you don’t want to do business there.
When looking for a custom feedyard, it is a good idea to have a predetermined list of needs and questions established before making a visit. CAB has developed this checklist as an adaptable example:
List of feedyards interested in Angus cattle.
Read more about choosing a feedyard
“Ranch Homework for Feedyard Partnerships. ”