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With increasing costs of gain and a narrow feed margin, the ability to manage cattle on an individual basis can lead to greater profits. Cattle Performance Enhancement Company (CPEC) has developed a system to obtain maximum profit out of every individual within a feedlot pen. With high production costs, CPEC can assist feedlots in obtaining the maximum potential/profit out of every individual. Feedlot producers can know with great accuracy what a pen of cattle will grade on a VBM grid prior to marketing.

How does CPEC's ultrasound software help manage cattle?

Every feedlot animal has an optimal market date / notice number of outliers

The traditional method of marketing a pen of cattle on the same day results in a large portion of the cattle being more than 25 days off the optimal market date. Outliers are those cattle that are incurring discounts from being on feed too long (over-weight, over-fat, inefficient) or those sold too early and not allowed to reach their potential.

Two sorts increases uniformity of feedlot pens / still room to manage outliers

Increasing the number of sort groups, increases overall uniformity of each sort and reduces outliers.

3 way sort reduces outliers, making more uniform marketing groups

A 3-way sort nearly eliminates outliers and maximizes the potential profits of each animal. Cattle can be sorted into as many outcome groups as management desires using CPEC's management and ultrasound software.

How are cattle sorted?

The CPEC management and ultrasound system was developed by John Brethour at Kansas State University. It is number one in its ability to evaluate cattle carcasses using ultrasound upstream of slaughter and accurately project these attributes into the future. Cattle are evaluated 60 - 90 days prior to slaughter (usually during last implants). CPEC's management and ultrasound software uses body weight, back fat thickness, marbling score, muscle depth, with economic conditions to project days on feed to MAXIMIZE PROFITS.

Ultrasound image using Cattle Performance Enhancement Company software / Notice Backfat, Marbling, and Muscle Depth Measurements

Prior to ultrasounding, the program is set up with specific Marketing Targets (i.e. premiums/discounts), Economic Environment (cost of gain, selling price, etc) and Biological Information (cattle type, performance projections, etc). Cattle are typically ultrasounded at a rate of 60 - 120hd/hr. Upon capturing an ultrasound image, the program evaluates the image and runs it through a stochastic analysis system relative to the program set-up. An optimum slaughter date is determined for each animal and sorted into an outcome group.

Notice optimal market date of individual animal / Most profitable time to sell

A profitability curve is generated for each animal. Notice initial and final carcass measurements in graph above. This particular animal will be most profitable when fed for 91 days and is given an orange tag or sorted into pen 2.

How much PROFIT?

Sorting with CPEC's management and ultrasound software results in $15 - $35/hd increased revenues above the traditional marketing methods.

A large component of profit through sorting with CPEC is by identifying candidates for retained feeding to recover more gain from a pen of cattle and a more desirable distribution of carcass yield and quality grades. This occurs concurrently while avoiding over-fat and over-weight carcasses.

Profits are also attributed to increased performance on the sorted cattle.

The program has the ability to determine whether it is more profitable to feed an animal longer to obtain more carcass gain or to sell early to obtain yield grade premiums. All decisions are made based on the program set-up. Grid pricing, choice-select spread, marginal cost of gain, and cattle type will significantly affect the optimal marketing date of each animal.

With today's high cost of gain, CPEC management and ultrasound software can tell when each animal will make the most profits. Through ultrasound you can know what a pen of cattle will grade prior to marketing. The ability is given to feedlot management to sell and market cattle where and when they will make the most money.

Recent Independent Study Results

Feedlot 1 z
Feedlot 2 z
Not Sorted
CPEC sorted
Not Sorted
CPEC sorted
# Head
Profit ($ hd-1) y

z Control steers in feedlot 1 were sorted by weight into short, medium, long days on feed. Control steers in feedlot 2 were not sorted. CPEC sorted steers into short, medium, long days on feed.

y Profits are net price over and above control group; ultrasound cost ($3.50) has been deducted from reported profits. Profits are attributed to both performance increases and a more desirable distribution on the value-based grid.

Source: Basarab J.A., Brethour J.R., Zobell D.R., and Graham B. 1999. Sorting feeder cattle with a system that integrates ultrasound backfat and marbling estimates with a model that maximizes feedlot profitability in value-based marketing. Canadian Journal of Animal Science.

Contact us for more information on Cattle Performance Enhancement Company's (CPEC's) management and ultrasound software to see how this service can make your operation more profitable.


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