It used to be that for stocker production to work economically, calves had to be purchased at light weights, kept a relatively short period of time, gaining relatively little weight and then marketed to feedlots before getting too heavy. Increased stocker value of gain is changing that equation and offering stocker producers more flexibility in each of those areas, says Derrell Peel, extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University. The higher stocker value of gain opens up more opportunity in terms of the range of beginning weights, length of ownership, range of market weights and stocker programs utilized, Peel says. He emphasizes increased value of gain also places more importance on management in order to maintain animal gain and productivity.
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