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The correct advice

In regard to veterinarian Dave Sjeklocha's September issue column, “ ‘Optimize’ is the word,” (p. 16) there is no question. This includes optimizing performance levels, which means optimizing genetic size and, therefore, sale weight. What should be maximized is profit, not the inputs to profit.

Profit in the cow/calf business is:

(No. of head sold X average weight X average price) (cost)

Rarely does highest profit result from maximizing any of the first three or minimizing the last.

A great article.
Stephen P. Hammack
Professor and Extension Beef Cattle
Specialist Emeritus
Texas A&M Center at Stephenville

Tapered-cone feeders

September's “Research Roundup” item, “Reduce hay-feeding cost” (p. 82), sparked some reader interest. The lead item detailed how research showed the tapered-cone feeder reduced winter-feeding costs when compared to shredding large bales with a bale processor.

Published both in North Dakota State University's (NDSU) “Beef Cattle & Range Research Report” and the Professional Animal Scientist journal, the researchers examined various bale-feeding methods' effect on economics and animal performance. They found tapered-cone feeders significantly increased cow weight gain, greater positive rib fat gain, reduced hay consumption and hay waste.

Doug Landblom, lead researcher on the project from NDSU's Dickinson Research Extension Center, sent along this photo of the hay feeder, taken during the research study. Landblom informed BEEF that the feeder was from Weldy Manufacturing.

Contact the manufacturer at or 800-628-4728.