Post Weaning Value Added Program new offering from UK and Kentucky Beef Network

By Stacy White

Extension Notes

Demand for weaned calves is growing and the cattle market is placing more emphasis on calves with a known management history. The overwhelming majority of Kentucky calves are weaned on the trailer on the way to the local sale barn. But research tells us that preconditioning calves can help reduce sickness and death loss by 74 percent, making them more valuable.

To help Kentucky cow-calf producers make important decisions, we are starting a new program for producers who have never marketed weaned calves or who have never retained ownership in the feedlot. It’s called the Post Weaning Value Added Program or PVAP for short. Progressive producers may be able to capture more added value and a greater return on investment by owning their own cattle through the feedlot phase.

Our goal for this program is to encourage producers to retain ownership and capture added value from their investment in beef cattle genetics, facilities and improved management through diversified marketing strategies. We will offer two options: Precondition-PVAP, which is an on-farm preconditioning program that prepares calves for the feedlot and Feedlot-PVAP, which allows producers to send cattle to the feedlot to evaluate performance and carcass merit.

A generous grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund will enable UK specialists to provide two on-site visits to each cooperator. They will assist in designing a feeding program, summarize closeouts and report to KADF, provide technical support to UK agriculture and natural resources agents, KBN facilitators and speakers, and to develop educational materials based on program results.

Extension agents and KBN facilitators will identify cooperators, provide technical support on initial site visits and subsequent cattle working events, secure portable scales for on-farm weights or access to nearby truck scales for group weights, and assist cooperators with records and paperwork during the program.

Producer cooperators will commit to following recommendations for feeding and management, maintain accurate records on costs and sales receipts, and complete KBN’s Beef Quality and Care Assurance program.

If you are interested in participating in this program, contact the Bell County Cooperative Extension Service. Funding is limited, so apply as soon as possible to be included.

Stacy White is the Bell County extension agent for agriculture and natural resources. Educational programs of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin. Sources: Kevin Laurent, UK extension associate