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Calf Value Discovery Program Registration Due Oct. 20
South Dakota Ag Connection - 10/15/2020

SDSU Extension has opened registration for the 2020-2021 Calf Value Discovery Program. The program provides cow/calf producers with the value of their cattle through value-based marketing systems, along with carcass and feedlot performance data that will aid in management decisions that impact the financial bottom line.

Post-weaning performance influences the price received when calves are marketed at or near weaning. Obtaining post-weaning animal and carcass performance data provides producers with additional information to make the best financial and management decisions for their operations.

The program allows producers to consign a minimum of five steer calves weighing between 500 and 800 pounds. Cattle will be fed in an accelerated finishing program at Vander Wal Yards located near Bruce, South Dakota, where SDSU personnel will weigh cattle periodically and send performance updates to their owners. Feed, yardage and veterinary bills will be financed, and any death loss will be shared with participants. Interested participants in the western region of the state are welcome to drop off cattle at the Cottonwood Research Station located near Philip, South Dakota, for cattle to delivered to Vander Wal Yards. More information on drop-off dates can be found below.

Cattle will be sold in truckload lots beginning on or around May 15, 2021. All cattle will be sold on a grid price system.

It is encouraged that calves arrive at the facility with sufficient vaccination against important disease issues. The timing and success of vaccinating calves at arrival is less than optimal. Sufficient vaccination is considered as:

- 5-way viral (BVD-1, BVD-2, IBR, BRSV, PI3) vaccine

- At least 2 doses of a killed 5-way; or

- At least 1 dose of a MLV 5-way

- Mannheimia haemolytica vaccine: 1 dose

- 7-way Clostridial vaccine: 2 doses

Cattle must also arrive dehorned, castrated and healed.

Registration for the program closes Oct. 20. Calves can be delivered to the Cottonwood Research Station on Nov. 3 8 a.m.-12 p.m. or directly to Vander Wal Yards on either Nov. 4 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. or Nov. 5 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Calves delivered to the Cottonwood drop-off location must be brand inspected prior to arriving, as there will not be a brand inspector present at that location.

For more information, go to If you have any additional questions or would like to register, please contact SDSU Extension Beef Specialist Julie Walker at 605-688-5458, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate Warren Rusche at 605.688.5452 or SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist Kiernan Brandt at 605-882-5140.

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