Management Considerations for Crossbred Dairy Cattle: On-farm Considerations

June 3, 2021

In the third session of the Management Considerations for Crossbred Dairy Cattle program hosted by Michigan State University and Ohio State University, Jerad Jaborek (Michigan State University) and Garth Ruff (Ohio State University) share some on-farm considerations for beef on dairy cattle. Jerad begins by reviewing a on-farm survey about current beef on dairy practices on dairy farms in the Midwestern U.S.  Jerad also explains how to interpret beef cattle expected progeny differences (EPD) when selecting a beef sire.  Jerad discusses the importance of proper nutrition, including colostrum, calf starter, and the transition to a feedlot ration. Garth discusses some of the marketing options with beef on dairy calves and techniques or management practices that can be implemented to capture additional value.

Video Transcript

Video. And we'll take at several places for viewing later and probably send that out to the registration list as well. Once we get things uploaded after today's meeting. Other than that, I think we're pretty good shape, now I'm going to turn it over to Jerad. Thanks Garth. So I'm Jerad Jaborek, I'm the feedlot educator with Michigan State University Extension. And today's our last day, or last program for the management considerations of crossbred dairy cattle program that we've been putting on here. And today we're going talk a little bit about on-farm management considerations for these crossbred dairy type cattle. And with that, let's get to it. So just a quick disclaimer of all MSU Extension programming is open to anyone. So just a quick little note there. So if you've been attending our last few sessions, one of the problems that keeps popping up here, sire selection criteria, or a problem with the bulls that have been used to make these crossbred calves. And a few years ago there was a survey done in some of of the upper Midwest states by Halfman and Sterry in a 2019 publication. Looking at what were some of the sire collection, or sire selection criteria that dairy producers were using to make these crossbred calves. And I have them listed here. You can see the top five, 51% of people were saying that semen cost was the most important sire selection criteria that they were using. Most, most likely you're looking for the best deal. The second being conception rate. It's no surprise that, or that one of the common conceptions is that using a beef sire on some of these dairy cows that are considered trouble breeders is thought to improve their conception rate or their chances of becoming bred. Third was calving ease. Dairy producers are looking for calving ease bulls, which is a good point. Forth, looking for a black hided calf. And then fifth, they just let the mating service or the AI technician choose which sire to use on their cows. Some of the other selection criteria that were listed rounding out the top 10. They had marbling EPD, ribeye area EPD, and then looking for sires based on frame score or they are letting the calf buyer And then the 10th being other factors that were not listed in the survey. So let's review some of these selection criteria that we're commonly reported. The first most common, semen cost. And all I can say is you get what you pay for. We talked in the last session with Chip Kemp that what was commonly done is these AI technicians or the mating services had a bunch of cheap Angus semen, beef Angus semen in their tanks and they were offering it to these dairy producers at a cheaper rate. And so you get what you pay for. A second one, conception rate. So like I said, the common idea is that if we can use a beef bull we can improve conception on some of these trouble dairy cows. However, in a recent paper in 2020, by McWhorter and others demonstrated that beef sires did not offer any greater conception rate compared with Holstein sires. So in this study, they looked at a database of dairy matings, dairy cattle matings, and saw that Angus sires accounted for 95% of those matings to beef sires. So in their study they looked at Angus sires and compared them to Holstein sires. And really didn't see all that much of a difference with conception rates for cows right around 34 percent and then for heifers being closer to 54%. But again, just a big disconnect in the thought that beef sires are going to improve conception rate. It's going to depend on sire. But in this study, they showed no difference between the Angus sires used versus the Holstein sires being used. Third, calving ease. Dematewewa and Berger 1997 reported that the average dystocia cost for heifers was $29 for cows was $10. In this study, they looked at a database and they saw that for heifers, dystocia was occurring about 28 percent of the time and then for cows was much lower at 12 percent. And based on these records in their study, they rated dystocia scores or calving difficulty scores from either a one to a five based on no difficulty to extreme difficulty. And for those animals that had scores of five representing extreme calving difficulty. They saw a reduction in milk production from those animals around 1550 pounds of milk, a reduction in fat, protein. These cattle also had increased number of days open at 33 extra days, and they required additional number of breeding services. And it also increase the death rate of those animals giving birth. The fourth criteria here, is that producers, dairy producers are selecting their terminal beef sires to produce a black hided calf. Well, that's great. However, in order to meet the premiums that come with some of these black hided programs, such as the most commonly known one, I would say is Certified Angus Beef. They actually have ten requirements that those animals have to meet in order to even qualify for Certified Angus Beef. So well, yes, those animals must look like an Angus and be predominantly black hided. That is not the only criteria that those animals have to meet or the requirement that those animals have to meet in order to certify for for that Certified Angus Beef premium. So I have those 10 requirements listed here. You can see that in order to qualify for Certified Angus Beef premium, those cattle have to have at least a modest 0 or greater marbling score, which would, if those are young cattle will classify them for average Choice quality grade. Those cattle also have to have medium to fine texture marbling. Those cattle have to be young, so less than 30 months of age, which will give them A carcass maturity. Ribeye area must be 10 to 16 square inches in size. They also have to have a hot carcass weight less than 1000 pounds. A fat thickness requirement as well, where those cattle have to be under one inch. And these cattle must have moderately thick muscling, no hump height greater than two inches. So that will remove a lot of those Brahman influenced cattle, no capillary ruptures, which would be blood splash in the meat and no dark cutters. So even if that calf's black hided, it has to meet these other requirements in order to qualify for the Certified Angus Beef premium. So just producing a black calf isn't going to cut it. Jerad do you want to address that question in the Q & A. Isn't there a disqualification for dairy type for CAB? One more time. Garth, sorry. Question is, isn't there a disqualification for dairy type, for CAB? So that would fall under their moderately thick muscling requirements. So long as these cattle are of adequate muscle, I would assume that they can still qualify if based on some of the questions and answers that we had with Larry Rose and JT Loewe from JBS's procurement. When those cattle come across, if, across the line, when they're grading them and they appear to have adequate muscle and they don't look like a Holstein, they should be able to be marketed like native beef cattle. That's my understanding. Good question. So moving on through some of these sire selection criteria, at number 5, matings service's choice was the next most common. And last week Chip Kemp talked about having intentionality in your business. So if you intend on making this work, you want this crossbreeding scheme to be profitable in your operation. Take pride in what you're doing, put in the effort. Don't just leave it up to someone else's choice. We've seen that that hasn't necessarily been working for producing these crossbreds. Make some informed decisions when you're selecting these sires. Next at 6, 7, and 8, we had marbling score, ribeye area and frame scores. So these are all traits actually linked to what that sire, what that terminal beef sire has to offer. So we've talked about improving quality if we can capture value through quality grades by selecting for marbling score. Also with these crossbreds, we have to remember that 50 percent of those genetics are coming from the Holstein dam, while only 50 percent are coming from that terminal beef sire, so we need to select for muscling to overcome the influence of that fine muscling coming from the Holstein breed. Again, one of the problems with Holstein cattle when making these crossbreds is their influence of frame size. We have problem with excessive carcass length, possibly being an issue once those cattle reach the packing plant. And then lastly the calf buyer's choice. Again, some of this has to do with intentionality, but that calf buyer also still needs to be selecting these bulls, based on terminal traits as well. Hopefully they have a better understanding of the traits to be looking for. And we kind of covered some of those last week based on calving ease, growth, and then some of your carcass traits and marbling and muscling of those cattle. So hopefully they're informed, but you can't just assume that they may know exactly what they're looking for. So good thing to check with them. So one of the things that's a little different between dairy and beef cattle is how EPDs are reported. So when you're looking at EPDs, they can appear a little different. So if you're not used to looking at beef EPDs, We got a few slides here to kind of walk you through what to look for or how to interpret some of these EPDs as they are different from how the dairy cattle EPDs are reported. So like I said, some of the traits that we're looking for would be calving ease, birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, here across the top. Actually let me get my laser pointer. So some of those traits of importance. This is an example of the Angus breeds EPDs. And for one of those traits that we're interested in, are calving ease, or also producing a lower birth weight for that calf to reduce our calving difficulties. But also looking at growth traits such as weaning weight, yearling weight. And then if you're interested in Holsteins, we also have an EPD for mature height of the animal. And then some of your carcass traits that you may be interested in are marbling and ribeye area. In this case, a greater number for calving ease is more desired. Birth weight, so this is the increase, expressed in pounds, the sire's ability to transmit birth weight to his progeny compared to that of other sires. Likewise, weaning weight and yearling weight are also in pounds compared to the average sire. And then height would be an inches. Marbling is in USDA marbling score, and then ribeye area would be the improvement in square inches for those progeny compared to the average Angus sire's progeny. Here's another example of another beef breed, being Simmental or SimAngus. They have EPDs for calving ease, birth weight, yearling weight, weaning weight and yearling weight to give you a representation of the growth of those animals. They also have EPDs for marbling and ribeye area, and this is pretty common across many of the beef breeds. They have some kind of trait for calving ease, growth, and then carcass traits as well. And actually I'm going to take a step back because I forgot to explain some of these indices. So some of these beef breeds have made dollar value indices which would give you a representation of profitability under certain situations. And the Angus Association has created these beef on dairy indices, one for Angus on Holstein and then also an index for Angus on Jerseys. And you can see here it's comprised of several different traits. And some of those traits here being calving ease, growth, feed intake, dressing percentage, yield grade, quality grade, muscling, and height for the Angus cross Holstein index. Likewise, the Simmental Association has done something similar. And Chip talked about this briefly last week. They've created an index called HolSim. Were they select for a few traits and they have a list of bulls that they think would be suitable or most suitable for crossing with Holstein cattle. So these aren't the only breeds that you should be able to consider though for your crossbred matings. The US Meat Animal Research Center puts out or conducts research where they have a genetic base of representing a bunch of different beef breeds. And they raise those cattle up and feed them out. And they're able to collect this data for the birth weight, the growth. And they're able to see how those cattle compare to one another each year. You're able to find this information on the Beef Improvement website. So in this case, you'd be able to see, okay, based on how these cattle compared with one another. Let's say I want the lowest birth weight. We could see, okay, Angus, Red Angus, they have the lowest birth weights compared to all these different beef breeds here. Likewise say we wanted to look at ribeye area as an indicator of muscling ability. We can scroll down through here and see, okay, which, which breeds offer the greatest ribeye area. In this case, looks like Branvieh, Charolais, Limousin, Simmental. Some of our continental breeds. So based off of this data, the US Meat Animal Research Center creates these across breed EPD adjustment factors so that producers can compare bulls, even though the EPDs are not on the same scale across breeds, we can make fair comparisons across breeds by adjusting each bulls EPDs to a fair scale. So in this case, they adjust everything back to the Angus sire. You can see here zeros across the board. So let's go through an example of what that looks like if you wanted to compare bulls from different breeds. So in this example, .we have two bulls, bull one being a Simmental bull and bull two being a Limousin bull. So for our Simmental bull, he's got our ribeye area EPD of 1.12 and then the Limousin bull has a ribeye area of 1.32. We look at our adjustment factors that we can get from that previous table I just showed you. So here if we scroll down, we look for our Limousin. Look for ribeye area, 0.61. Same thing with the Simmental, looking at his ribeye area adjustment factor of 0.5. And that matches up with what we have here. So we'll take that and we'll add that to the EPD from each to those bulls. For bull one or the Simmental bull, we get 1.6. For bull two, the Limousin bull, we get 1.95. Then we can subtract that to figure out what the difference is. So offspring produced by bull number two, that's the Limousin bull, in this example would have 0.33 square inch larger ribeye area compared with bull one which was the Simmental bull in this case. So this would allow for a fair comparison across breeds of different bulls, bulls of different breeds. Next, one of the questions that we need to answer is, which animals in our herd should we be breeding with the beef sire or to beef bulls? So this is largely going to depend on herd culling rate within your operation or the number of replacement heifers that you need to fill the loss of those cows that you're calling. So that's largely going to dictate how many animals you can breed with beef semen. So for your breeding strategy, the most common one that is used in this crossbreeding system is to use female sexed semen to produce your replacement heifers. Or to your genetically superior cattle within the herd or most productive cattle within the herd. This would typically be your heifers that you'd be breeding with this female sexed semen, think about it. They're the youngest animals coming in with the newest genetics, most superior genetics. So then next, we would be breeding beef semen or conventional beef semen to the remainder of our cattle. If we were able to produce enough replacement heifers by breeding our heifers with female sexed semen. So ideally from the beef semen side of things, we'd like to use male sexed semen, however, that's just not common right now in the industry. And the options that are out there, offers a limited number of beef sires to choose from. And those beef sires may not necessarily be suitable for, or most desirable for making these crossbred dairy beef calves. So some of these, some of the animals you may be looking at breeding with the beef semen are typically going to be some of your older animals. And as we're trying to change the genetic turnover by breeding our heifers with our female sexed semen. So our less productive animals are some of our older animals we'd be able to breed with the beef semen. So next, I'd like to address some of the marketing options that we have with these crossbred dairy beef calves. And we touched on this a little bit last week with Chip, but I think he flew through it a little bit, probably. Some of the options that we have when, they're probably not much different when you think about how your marketing your Holstein or your dairy steer, or bull calf if they're young enough. So we have the option of selling couple day old calf or maybe a week old calf, typically as bull calves. In this case, if we have crossbreds, you'd be selling, if you use conventional semen, you would have heifers as well as bull calves. But some of the options are you're selling these calves at the auction barn. Another would be that maybe you have you've made a connection with a calf raiser or someone who has a feedlot and they have someone who raises their calves and you can directly market those calves. That's always a great option to build those relationships that may offer more value for those calves, possibly a premium compared to the auction barn. When you send stuff to the auction barn, unless people know exactly where it's coming from and they know the management practices that you're using on your operation. It offers a lot of unknowns with those people buying those calves, want to know that that calf has received adequate colostrum, they've been taken care of, the genetics are there for that calf to ultimately perform once it reaches the feedlot and then grade well, once it's at the packing plant. Another option would be to sell a weaned calf. Typically, those calves are probably weaned by eight weeks old, that will give you about a 200 some pound calf. Another option being, selling a feeder calf. Those calves are usually a little bit older. By the time that they would maybe leave that calf raising operations, they're large enough and they are consuming enough dry feed so that they can make that transition to a feedlot ration. Another option where you can possibly can capitalize on more value is retaining ownership and selling these, feeding these cattle out and sell them as fat cattle. So again, some people are doing that and they're selling them at the auction barn. Others are contracting them or selling them directly to the beef packing plant. And Chip even mentioned last week that there are feedlots that will buy these cattle and create truckloads of these cattle if you're only feeding a handful of these cattle. So some data reported by the Halfman and Sterry survey that looked at how dairy operations were marketing their crossbred calves. They found that 71 percent of those calves were sold at a week or less of age. And then 5% at weaning, 5% as feeders, and then 20 percent of those operations we're retaining ownership of those calves. So of those 71% calves that were sold and a week or less of age, the majority of them, at 54%, were being sold through an auction barn. However, 29% were sold private treaty and then eight percent were already contracted to feedlots. Another important on-farm decision that you need to consider is your colostrum management for these calves. Depending on how you plan on marketing them, and it makes no difference, you need to ensure that this calf is going to receive adequate colostrum. Every calf on the farm deserves adequate high-quality colostrum. We know that if those calves are not receiving it, it's going to increase morbidity. It's getting increased mortality and decrease our average daily gain. So we need to ensure that those calves are receiving adequate colostrum shortly after birth. So just a few quick facts you go through. What does that actually mean? What is high-quality colostrum? High-quality colostrum has an immunoglobulin G concentration greater than 50 milligrams per milliliter. This colostrum quality is greatest immediately after that cow calves. So the longer we wait to milk that cow, we're actually decreasing the quality of that colostrum or the concentration and immunoglobulins is decreasing with added time. So there are also breed effects on colostrum quality or concentration of immunoglobulins. In one paper, they saw that for Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Jerseys, and Holsteins, their immunoglobulin concentration was 80, 66, 63, 90, and 56. So most of you feeding or raising Holsteins out there, 56. You can see that's right around the average cow would be right around that 50 milligrams per milliliter. However, we have to consider that that's the average. So half of those cows are going to be producing colostrum of adequate quality above that, and half of them are going to be below that. So we have to consider that and make sure that calf is getting adequate colostrum. And one of the best ways to do that is to actually ensure that we're feeding that calf compared to actually just along that calf to nurse on its own, that doesn't guarantee that the calf is consuming enough. So we are actually feeding that calf and make sure they're consuming enough colostrum so that they are receiving proper transfer of immunity. So it's reported that calves need a minimum of a 150 grams of these immunoglobulins in their first feeding so that they get adequate passive immunity transfer. So failure of this transfer is considered when serum IgG of that calf is less than 10 milligrams per milliliter. And I'll talk about on the next slide how we can actually measure that in these calves. So when we're feeding these calves we need to aim to feed these calves within an hour or two of birth. So when, shortly after that calf is born is when that calf has the best ability to absorb those immunoglobulins. The longer we wait, that calf's ability to absorb those immunoglobulins decreases rapidly. And by 24 hours, that calf is not absorbing much at all. So like I said, how much colostrum does that calf actually need to consume at its first feeding? So if we were to assume that we had a high-quality colostrum from that cow, say 50 milligrams per milliliter of IgG, then we would need to feed that calf approximately three liters or three quarts to reach that 150 gram mark. However, a lot of the current recommendations are to feed four quarts, that's to hopefully ensure for some of those cows that are not producing high-quality classroom at 50 milligrams per milliliter. So one of the things that you can do on farm is actually measure the colostrum quality of that milk at first milking. And then you can see exactly where that cow is at, how much that calf needs to consume. Then we can also measure to see if that calf actually received enough colostrum and actually received passive immunity transfer. So there's few tools here. We can use a handheld Brix refractometer to analyze the total serum proteins from that calf by taking a blood sample. And this tool has shown a good correlation with some other laboratory testing methods. So you will be able to use this on-farm and check that calf rapidly. So those calves can be, their serum total proteins can be measured from one to ten days old. After that, it loses its efficacy and doesn't really give a good reading on that as far as an indication of passive immunity transfer between that cow and calf. And then, another quick note is that some of these results can be influenced by dehydration, so if that calf isn't staying hydrated, it isn't getting enough milk, doesn't have access to water or something like that. That can also influence some of these readings a little bit. And it's important to know that while you may be measuring these, if you do see some calves that are not receiving adequate colostrum, whether it's on, this is on a dairy operation. If you are retaining those calves. Those calves may need to be on a different type of health plan or vaccination program. So these calves can have protection as well. Likewise, this can, measuring passive immunity transfer can be done for individuals that may be buying week old calves from the auction barn or something like that. They're raising these calves on their own. This could be a method to check to see that calves have indeed received passive immunity transfer and which ones need to be managed differently because they don't have an immune system at this time. So before I wrap up, I wanted to touch a little bit on some of the nutrition considerations. First, let's talk pre-feedlot, before these calves are weaned, we should be offering starter within a couple of days of birth. We want to encourage these calves to start consuming dry feed as soon as possible. We also need this starter to be nutrient dense meaning that it has to have a high protein value, typically 18% or greater crude protein, also high-energy, with TDN values around 80%. Or if you're using Net Energy for gain, it would would be right around 0.6 Mcal per pound. So an example of what a starter diet may look like. We could have about 50 percent corn. So corn would be providing a lot of the energy to this this feed stuff. We have a protein source. So like I said, these calves are rapidly growing. They're not consuming a lot, so we need to meet those protein requirements so that calf. So providing 20% of a protein source, this could be soybean meal, could be coming from distillers. And then also a fiber source, a little bit of a filler in there. This could be soy hulls for example. Then we may have 5% molasses. This acts as as a binder and also increases palatability of that feed to encourage those calves to consume more of that starter. Then also having our vitamins and minerals is in there as well. So previous research has shown that usually a textured starter is most desirable and it will increase dry matter intake of those calves and result in greater average daily gain compared to meal sources or finely ground or pelleted type sources. So if you can have a textured feed, which would mean that you may have a, some of these other feeds, say a protein and fiber source in a pellet, but you have some, say whole shell corn in there. Or maybe some people even put oats in their starter that could count as some of the fiber within their starter, add some texture that increases that calf's willingness to eat that. We also want to keep our feed fresh and dry. We also want to provide those calves with access to water at all times. So you can see in the picture here, we have, that calf has access to a starter feed, also has access to a water source to stay hydrated. And then as these calves start increasing their intake a little bit or as we start approaching weaning when these calves are going to have to rely less on their milk replacer as a nutrient source. We can start to add about 5% of that diet as chopped hay. Chopped hay will offer a buffer within that diet so that we don't have calves possibly becoming acidotic from consuming high energy, solely this high-energy starter feed. So as these calves get a little older and we think about what we're going to feed them post weaning, we need to maintain these calves on a high-energy diet. We also need to consider that as we're maybe moving these calves from different operations, maybe from the calf raiser or to the feedlot that we need to make diet transitions slowly for these calves, allow them to adapt to the dietary changes. As these calves are also becoming older, or a little larger, they're consuming more feed. We can decrease that crude protein percentage in the diet over time. Also as these cattle are starting to eat other feeds and start transitioning them. We may be able to actually incorporate wet feedstuffs. So a lot of people here in Michigan are actually feeding high moisture corn or corn silage. So those wet feeds are unfamiliar, those calves are unfamiliar with those, so we need to adjust them to them slowly. Likewise, like I said, we want to keep these cattle on a high-energy diet to maintain that growth rate of those cattle. With Holsteins or just cattle in general, if we feed a lower energy diet, we allow that animal to build up a little bit more frame. We actually extend the growth curve of those cattle. So this figure here actually shows that, shows the difference between a moderate-energy diet or a high-energy diet. Between the dashed lines and the solid lines. And you can see bone growth is pretty constant over time. However, if we're feeding a high-energy diet, we're actually encouraging fat deposition, which means those cattle are going to mature earlier, be finished earlier. We're also increasing, possibly increasing our muscle deposition, which would also help improve that muscle to bone ratio that these cattle may have. So those are some things to consider. We want to keep those cattle on a high-energy diet to keep them growing at a faster rate. So with that, that's going to conclude my section of this talk and I'm going to turn it over to Garth and let him talk about a few points that he's put together. I see your slides right now. Seeing the right screen? Yup, you're not in presenter view yet though. Good ole technology just kicked my screen off. Let's try that again. How bout that? There you go. All right. Certainly appreciate Jerad talking about some of the nutrition and genetics. I'm going to spend a little bit of time on some management considerations and kind of being intentional. One of our previous presenters talked about being intentional as we make these decisions. As it relates to dairy beef calves. So we're going to keep that in mind as we kind of wrap things up here for our program. When we think about producing those less than a week old or even deacon calves, as we talked about value. Lot of those calves are sold private treaty and it's tough to get those values. But we can look at the baby calf markets to get a rough idea. I couple of examples here. We've got the Ohio market where we see those crossbred calves bring anywhere from $30 on the low end to $90 on the high end, over the top Holstein bull calves. And then maybe a little bit more detail out of Pennsylvania on a market report seems to be a pretty strong baby calf market. We can look there, the calves are a similar weight. Those beef cross calves. Plus or minus a $170 over their Holstein counterparts. But I think as we get through this, when you consider the pros and cons of marketing those week old calves. Certainly we know what all the positives are to the dairymen. Certainly favors limitations on time, inputs, and space requirements, as far as space in an actual barn or building. Some of the potential cons depending on the markets, there is potential for a lost revenue. But compared to some of our other marketing options, whether we retain ownership and feed those calves or market those weaned calves as Jerad alluded to. Calf health. If it's good, tends not to be much of an issue. But if calf health is consistently poor when we're selling those deacon calves or week old calves, it's awful tough to establish a positive reputation with a buyer. And kind of the same with calf quality. Our goal should not to be to produce kind of quote unquote black Holstein. So I'm really going to encourage the Dairymen listening in to kind of think like a beef producer. We've intentionally bred that cow to a beef sire. So what can we do to that calf to possibly add some value? We look at producing and marketing weaned calves, weaning those calves and putting them in a group. We're going to show some dollars and cents evidence. You know, the value of castrating those bull calves. Dehorning, vaccinating. There's a link there. There's several vaccination programs available. Do what fits, not only your operation, but the calf buyers, right? Keeping those calves healthy as we transition from the dairy to the cattle feeder is important. When shall we market our calves? If we go down this route? Couple things we need to consider, is the cost of a pound of gain. And what is the carry value of those additional pounds? And often that's going to depend on the price of feed. I've got this morning's corn price on the screen here. Corn futures prices. And we can see that $7.50/bu corn for May, is certainly going to have an impact on what we do with some heavyweight calves here in the up close. And I've got that on the next slide. When we market those weaned calves, do we shoot for kind of that grower stage calf at 350 to 400 pounds? Do we maintain ownership of those calves, marketing them at 650# to 750#? Or do we go ahead and feed those cattle out? Some research from Kenny Burdine at the University of Kentucky. And if you'd get our Ohio beef letter, we certainly use a lot of Kenny's information in there. Shown that corn price has the greatest impact on Holstein calf prices when those calves are lighter weights, from 300 to 400 pounds versus four hundred to five hundred pounds. Now what that study showed is that one positive or increase of a standard deviation in corn price had a negative correlation to Holstein calf prices ranging from $12 to $14 a hundredweight. And we can look here in recent times, in the last few weeks, and really see what corn price has done to some of our heavyweight cattle. So utilizing the futures as a tool, utilizing market reports, can really give us an insight as to what is the best time to market our cattle from a profitability potential standpoint. If we're going to produce these beef on dairy stocker or feeder calves. And both of our previous speakers talked about frame size, carcass weight, carcass length. And like Jerad said, we can utilize a high-energy diet to limit some of that frame growth. However, as we consider marketing these stocker-type calves, any growth that we put on these calves should be lean gain. We see pretty significant discounts for over condition, or sometimes you'll see it in a USDA market report, as fleshy type feeder cattle. And inherently, when we're using beef genetics we expect these calves, if our goal is to produce a high-quality calf and carcass, to be a little bit thicker than our straight Holstein counterparts in terms of muscling, muscle thickness scores. What about adding value to these cattle? I think there's certainly potential and we need to be intentional about it. Age and source verified programs. As a dairy, we know when every calf is born and we do a very good job already of utilizing permanent identification, whether that's RFID or some sort of a tagging system, and that's already in place. So let's go ahead and continue that with our beef on dairy calves and add some value. The non-hormone treated calves, certainly we see some demand for these type of cattle, here in Ohio, from some of our smaller feeders. I'm going to show you a couple of examples that there's a demand for these type of cattle across the country. Now keep in mind that lot size and the number of calves we can get in a given lot are going to impact maybe the rate of return on any value added product. And that's all going to come down on the number of cows. Told you I'd show you some dollars and cents here. Some cattle facts data as to the value of vaccination programs. We can see here that feeder cattle or stocker calves with zero to minimal vaccination do receive a discount somewhere to $5 or to $9 a hundredweight. This was back in 2018. Then the premium programs, it really varies on which program you have utilized, the number those premium value-added cattle available. And then of course, the demand for those cattle at the feedyard. Here in Ohio, I spend a lot of time working with cow calf and stocker backgrounder producers. The value steers and bulls is something we talked about just about in every presentation. We can see here that steer calves are going out sell bull calves every month of the year. So if we can get those bull calves castrated in a beef on dairy system, we can certainly add value. If we're selling those weaned and started cattle. In native cattle, we've seen that too. That price premium to the tune of somewhere on average of $11 a hundredweight for 550 pound steers versus bull calves. Lot size, certainly going to depend on the number of cows we're milking and uniformity in terms of genetics. We know that our dairy populations are relatively uniform with regards to genetics. But what are we utilizing from a beef sire perspective, as Jerad talked about? Are we just using the low man on the totem pole approach? Where we've got a straw of semen in the tank? Or are we intentionally selecting for improved performance in genetics in these crossbred cattle? You know, here in Ohio, our dairy producers already have a partial advantage to the lot size equation over our beef cow producers. We've got an average beef herd size of 17 cows in the state. I don't know exactly what our average dairy herd is, but I know that it's significantly greater than 17 cows. Where the disadvantage here comes into, is you might not have all 17 cows or a large percentage of the herd that calve in a short window. So how can we manage maybe smaller groups of calves throughout the year as a consideration. But even with smaller groups of calves, we know that groups of five to 10 calves through the auction market significantly out sell groups of one to three. And even multiples significantly outsell singles. A lot of times when we talk about beef production, we talked about this magic number being a semi load of 48,000 pounds. But maybe you work with a calf buyer or a local auction market, or somewhere even with small groups of cattle, where they can co-mingle and put together those semi lot loads and add value. You know, I was kind of intrigued. I hadn't looked at some of the prices of these crossbred dairy beef calves. Here recently. And Chip really peaked my interest last week. Now I'm going to give a disclaimer that these are large loads in terms of numbers ahead. And they've really had a kitchen sink thrown at them and they've been vaccinated. They're age and source verified, non-hormone treated cattle. You can see there, some of them are Limflex or Angus sired. But I was really impressed by the value of some of these Western dairy beef cross calves and the value that they have brought. You can see the prices there, $162 a hundred weight or $189. Versus some of their Holstein counterparts that were listed for sale the same week at $125 versus a $117. Similar weights. Lot loads, load lots of cattle. That was pretty intriguing. I thought to see a $40 to $60 a hundred weight premium for started beef on dairy cross calves. Once again, it all comes back to how can we manage those cattle in terms of adding value. And what is it going to cost to keep those cattle for the additional period of time and add that 150 or 200 pounds, post weaning in this case. As we think about hide color, Jerad talked about the Certified Angus Beef and the potential for these crossbred dairy calves to enter that marketplace. I'm looking forward to see what this slide looks like in 2021, quality audit. As we will utilize more beef on dairy genetics. We saw last week the increase in beef semen sales, presumably to dairy producers. What percentage of those cattle are going to be black in 2021 audit? Black hided versus those calves that are native Holsteins going into the packing plants. So we think about retaining ownership, producing those fed cattle. I certainly encourage you to review sessions 1 and 2 of this series. It's even got quite a few more people on here this afternoon than we've had the last two weeks. So we'll be sure that once we get the links to all the YouTube videos to send that out to our attendee list for the program. But another theme that we've heard the last two weeks is, what about implanting these cattle? You know, how does that work versus non-implanted cattle versus our native colored cattle or straight Holsteins? In doing some research here last couple days, I'll tell you that the results are highly variable. But a consistent theme is that it is a cost effective practice. With a positive return on investment. That return on investment can vary. One white paper I've seen in the last few days suggested 10 to 15 to one return on investment. I've heard the drug companies that sell these products, talk about an 11 or 12 to one return on investment. And in a white paper that I seen here yesterday from out west talks about that return on investment being above the cost of a bushel of corn. So its certainly variable. But most of the research agrees that it is a cost effective practice. Even to the point where it may be one of the highest return practices we can do in the feedlot. Why do we utilize implants? To increase average daily gain, gain to feed efficiency. And if we're concerned about dollars and cents, increase efficiency, hopefully we're able to reduce cost of production if a proper implant strategy is utilized. We talked the first week from the marketing side of the fed cattle. You know, what do our implant strategies look like? Are we looking at one terminal implant at kind of that 700 to 800 pounds? Do we need to implant the highest performing 25 or 50 percent of these crossbred calves? I think it's a valid question. And the data suggests that as we get to some of those three implant programs, whether that's a low dose of Ralgro to those calves, for health reasons. And then a moderate strength implant. But once we get above two, we do see some tenderness issues in terms of that final product. Decreased tenderness and some potential marbling concerns or quality grade concerns, rather. We'll finish up with that. Common strategy is a single dose of what we call a terminal implant. Usually a long acting implant. In that 700 to 800 pound range or a two dose program where we use a medium or low potency implant in that grower phase followed by that terminal implant in the feedlot. Depending on what our days from harvest schedule is. And we need to keep in mind that hopefully if we've been intentional about making genetic selections, we've got these calves on a high-energy diet, we should already have increased performance via genetics versus our straight Holstein calves. And this is actually a question I get pretty frequently from our cattle feeders in the western part of Ohio. You know, what implants are available, what kind of programs are out there? I really like this Iowa Beef Center bulletin. And as we develop that implant strategy, keeping in mind that the most important implant in terms of improving performance and reducing cost, is that last implant used prior to marketing. Think about it. In the feedlot phase, if we're feeding a high-energy, high concentrate diet, certainly our intakes are at the highest point during the production cycle. Where can we get that gain, biggest gain, biggest return for the dollar from a practice? As we kind of wrap up here today, going through things relatively quick for the sake of time, what are the effective implants on quality grade in Holsteins? Looking here the other day, even though mean marbling scores were similar in a study from Apple in 1991, among treatment groups, only 50 percent of the estrogenic implant carcasses graded Low Choice or higher compared to a 100 percent of the control with no implants. And you can see the list there, whether it's trenbolone acetate, zeranol, or estragenic implants or combination. Another study from Scheffler in 2003, where they had no Select carcasses from the non- implanted cattle. And this is where they did a study with one dose, two dose versus three, and the percentage of Select carcasses from the implant cattle ranged anywhere from 10 to 18 percent. So just some things to keep in mind as we consider how to manage these calves. Are we leaving money on the table by selling these week old or deacon type calves? Are ways we can manage them similar to our native beef cattle and capitalize on that return on investment. So with that, we will kind of wrap up here today. Once again, I think I put the link there in the chat box. If you would fill out that programmatic survey, we certainly appreciate it. And appreciate the participation we've had in the last three weeks. If there are any questions, Jerad and I can field those as we conclude for today. Quiet bunch today. I think as Jerad and I go forward in our Extension careers, I don't think this is a topic that's going to go away anytime soon. Probably spend a little more time focusing on the contribution to the beef industry from our dairy producers. Yeah and if you guys can't they think of any questions now or a question pops into your head later, feel free to reach out to Garth or myself. Should be able to send us an email or give us a phone call. We'd happy to talk about this and provide you with more information depending on what you're looking for. So again, like to thank you for taking time out your day.