sealPurdue News

August 28, 2002

Beef program examines a weighty subject: Light calves

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A heavy calf makes for a happy beef producer. So what good, then, is a lighter animal?

That issue, and others that affect a producer's bottom line, will be addressed during "Economics of Beef Production," 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC). The center is northwest of Patoka Lake off Cuzco Road, in Dubois County.

The program is free and open to the public. It is the fourth in the 2002 SIPAC Twilight Meeting Series.

Three topics are planned, including discussions on feeder cattle value, grazing and shifting cropland to pasture. Speakers include Jim Culp, a Francesville, Ind., cattle feeder; Cliff Schutte, a Breese, Ill., cow-calf producer; and Ed Ballard, University of Illinois Extension animal systems educator.

"We have a custom feeder coming who's going to talk about what gives cattle value besides weight," said Jim Peter, Purdue Extension Dubois County educator and the program coordinator. "He'll answer such questions as: Does the breed really make a difference? Does body type, body condition? Where the rubber meets the road with a feeder is, just what does he consider when he's looking to get a bunch of cattle in to feed?

"We're also going to be talking about using intensive grazing to cut feed costs for our cattle over the winter. That's one of the biggest costs for a cow-calf man. And then we're also having a talk about the economics of converting row crop ground into pasture that would be intensively grazed."

Grazing and marketing animals are issues with which many beef producers struggle, Peter said.

"We've been working in the Dubois County area for a while on feeder cattle marketing," he said. "We've marketed some cattle via satellite video auctions. Also, we've talked to people about changing the breed type of their herd, or changing their management strategy on how big the cattle are when they sell."

For more information on the program or directions to SIPAC, contact Peter at (812) 482-1782, via e-mail at, or contact a county office of Purdue Extension.

CONTACT: Jim Peter, (812) 482-1782,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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