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Alabama Pasture to Rail Program

Wigginton Farm

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, the Wigginton Farm in Somerville, AL was used as the drop off location for Alabama cattle farmers to bring their cattle for shipment to Hy-Plains Feedyard in Montezuma, Kansas. Jim and Kim Jordan of Lineville, AL (30 head) and Heath Lowery of Ashville, AL (11 head), also brought cattle for shipment. By pulling their cattle together for shipment, it cuts down on the costs.

Sheri Chapman, Territory Rep of MULTIMIN® USA and Dr. Dan Tracy, veterinarian, were there to oversee the timed-release injection of each head of cattle with the MULTIMIN® 90.

MULTIMIN® 90 is an injectable, aqueous supplemental source of zinc, copper, selenium, and manganese. It is formulated according to NRC requirements of cattle. Trace minerals are important for reproduction, immunity, and immune response to vaccines. Since stressed animals have decreased appetites, the cattle are injected with MULTIMIN® 90 during transporting and feedlot receiving time.

Alex Tigue, Alabama Pasture to Rail Coordinator from Auburn University Extension Services, was onsite to tag, weigh, and grade the cattle for input into the computer system.

Wigginton Farm cattle were approximately 30-days ahead of schedule this year for heading out west to the Hy-Plains Feedyard in Montezuma, KS. Some of the stocker cattle at 10 months old weighed in at an impressive 1,070lbs.
Pictured from left, Mickey Childers – FSA, Josh Melson – Ag Teacher at Brewer High School, Rance Wigginton, Danny McWilliams – Colbert Co Extension Coordinator, Doug Wigginton, Author Orr – Senator, Alex Tigue – Alabama Pasture to Rail Coordinator, Sheri Chapman – MULTIMIN® USA Territory Rep and Dan Tracy – Veterinarian. Not pictured: Gerry Thompson – Regional Agent Extension Services.

About the Pasture to Rail Program

Alabama Pasture to Rail is  retained ownership program allowing beef producers to collect post-weaning performance data, health data, and carcass data on cattle on cattle from their breeding program. This allows producers to determine whether changes need to be made to the breeding program for post-weaning traits.

Why Participate?

Understanding how calves fit into the entire beef chain is critical for optimal marketing. Obtaining post-weaning and carcass information on calves will allow producers to edit their breeding program and strengthen their position in marketing calves each year.

Southeastern cattle represent 25 percent of the calves being fed in the United States feedlots annually. For most producers, calves are sold a weaning. Because of the U.S. beef industry fragmentation, little to no feedback is provided back to the cow/calf level. However, in the end, a high quality carcass is the most valuable item cow/calf operation producers, but it is the last thing producers are paid for.

As the U.S. beef industry moves forward, the prosperity of the entire industry rests on is customers. IN 2015 beef process were 57 percent higher than pork and 207 percent higher than chicken. The demand for beef has remained strong because customers still want taste. Much of beef’s flavor is enhanced by the amount of marbling in the beef. In early 2015, sales of prime and branded choice beef surpassed sales of select beef for the first time backing up the claim that our customers want taste.

Objectives

The Alabama Pasture to Rail Program is an education program for cattle producers. The purpose is to give cattle producers the following opportunities without the investment required to finish an entire pen of cattle.

  • To obtain individual animal data for post-weaning performance, health performance, and carcass merit that can be used to assist producers with selection decisions pertaining to existing breeding, nutrition, and health programs.
  • To educate cattle producers on recommended health practices and custom feeding programs.

Additional questions may be directed to Alex Tigue (256) 309-9496

This article has been republished with permission from the Morgan County Soil and Water District Newsletter. View the original publication here.