Grass to Grid Program for Cattle Producers
The Grass to Grid program provides Arkansas adult and youth cattle producers an opportunity to retain ownership of calves through feedlot finishing and marketing. The goal of this program is to provide small to medium size cow/calf operators the opportunity to experience the finishing phase of the cattle industry while gaining herd genetic insights.
In collaboration with the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity and cooperating Iowa feedyards, participants receive individual calf growth and carcass data summaries. Information gained from this program can help direct breeding and marketing.
- Entry Deadline – February 8, 2023
- Last Day for Booster Vaccinations – March 14, 2023
- Delivery Date – March 28, 2023
- Last Day to Wean Calves - September 20, 2023
- Entry Deadline - September 20, 2023
- Last Day for Booster Vaccinations - October 24, 2023
- Delivery Date - November 7, 2023
Coming summer 2022
Grass to Grid Frequently Asked Questions
The goal of the program is to learn about how well your operation produces cattle that meet industry standards while also learning about the cattle industry beyond the cow-calf phase. Since steers and heifers perform differently, the committee set a greater minimum for mixed sex lots. To better reflect herd productivity, more than the minimum should be enrolled such as 20% of the calf crop, however, there is also risk with retained ownership, so the committee set a minimum that would be less than this 20% for most operations.
Calves will be fed in groups. The more cattle enrolled, the better control the feedyard will have over group size. When less cattle are enrolled, there can be more weight variation in the pen. Pen closeout don't occur until the last calf is marketed. The 500 to 800 pound weight range was chosen to hopefully accommodate most situations where producers won't have to wait too long between the first and last animal is marketed.
- Shipping Costs from Arkansas to the feedyard and from the feedyard to the packing plant are pro-rated among cattle based on size.
- Feedyard yardage and veterinary costs are charged to the individual animal.
- Feed costs are determined at closeout (when all cattle have been marketed from a pen). Feed cost is pro-rated to individual animals using a formula that accounts for both animal size and rate of gain.
- Death loss is a loss to the individual owner. The costs associated with death loss will be affected by when the death loss occurred, and any expenses will have to be covered by the remaining cattle in the original owner lot.
- The feedyard will report periodic weight gain performance. Following closeout, a full report of weights, weight gain, days on feed,average daily gain, total cost of gain, feed cost of gain, morbidity, and mortality, total cost including shipping and processing costs will be reported as well as calf value and net return.
- The packing plant report will include hot carcass weight, dressing percentage, quality grade, yield grade, marbling score, ribeye area, backfat, and kph (kidney, pelvic, heart) fat.