Semester of Graduation

Spring 2020

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Animal Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to estimate the financial costs and returns of selected marketing strategies for cattle producers in the state of Louisiana. Cattle for the project were from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and commercial producers. Cattle were grouped by weight and sex and vaccinated, castrated, and handled using standard best management practices. The standard marketing practice for weaned calves in Louisiana of selling weaned animals at local stockyards was compared against alternative marketing of preconditioned calves through video auctions or after feedlot finishing. Feedlot cattle were sold both on live weight value and carcass weight on grid value. Cattle were graded by a recognized expert cattle grader to set a base value before they were sold or sent to the feedlot. Final value of the animal minus base cost, preconditioning cost, and marketing costs of each strategy was compared to the initial animal value for reference. Data were analyzed to determine if certain weights, sexes, or feeder grades of animals affected returns depending on the marketing method. Five-hundred and sixty-one weaned calves from LSU AgCenter Central Station, Hill Farm Research Station, and Louisiana cattle producers were utilized in various marketing outlets over 3 years. 389 animals sent to feedlots for retained ownership, 234 in 2016 and 155 in 2017. 124 heifers were selected for video auctions with 72 sold in 2017 and 52 in 2018. 42 heifers were sold in traditional auction outlets, with 14 sold as single animals and 28 sold in small groups. Returns based on frame scores were different (P

Committee Chair

Navarre, Christine

Included in

Beef Science Commons

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