“The real effect of protein supplementation was seen in calves, and that effect began while calves were still unborn.”

Even in cows not supplemented with protein in the third trimester of pregnancy, their body condition score and rebreeding percent were acceptable. “But what have you done to that unborn calf?” asks the University of Nebraska's Rick Funston. In Does Supplementation Pay?, Senior Editor Burt Rutherford reports on the results of a study on protein supplementation and its effect on the unborn calf.

“The map on stocker demographics was the most challenging thus far because USDA doesn't track stockers specifically. So we did quite a bit of estimating.”

Scott Grau, BEEF research manager, prepared the latest in our series of U.S. beef industry demo maps — this one on “Stocker Cattle Sold”. Grau took USDA's 2007 Ag Census figure for total cattle sold and removed all fed cattle sold, 14.3% of the beef cows in inventory and 20% of dairy cows in inventory (the latter two being estimates of total culls based on a seven-year useful life for a beef cow and five years for a dairy cow.) The values in the map are transactions of cattle not calf numbers; thus, the total number of stocker cattle sold likely exceeds the calf crop. Included are calves sold weighing less than 500 lbs., which are considered stockers due to that fact the producer was growing the calves. Therefore, locations with a large number of cows will have a large number of stocker calves sold.