Last chance to register for Interstate Cattle Feeders Day

Stock photo.

Brookings, S.D. — Changes in feedstuff markets can have an impact on how cattle are fed in the region.

Feeding elevated roughage levels to finishing cattle fed concentrate-based diets can result in poorer economic performance when measured on a feed conversion efficiency basis, according to South Dakota State University Assistant Professor Zachary Smith.

However, when beef production per acre of cropland is increased or not different, energetic efficiency of dietary energy capture is enhanced when greater levels of roughage are fed to finishing cattle.

“Cattle feeders in South Dakota can use this to their advantage, providing both positive outcomes from a systems efficiency standpoint and protection against rising grain prices (if they grow their own silage),” Smith says. “Cattle feeders in the Northern Plains region that are [using] integrated crop and livestock systems should evaluate production efficiencies based upon beef yield per acre and not dry-matter feed conversion per pound of gain.”

Smith is just one of several experts that will present at Interstate Cattle Feeders Day taking place Dec. 7 at the Holiday Inn Express Event Center in Brandon, South Dakota. Sponsored by SDSU Extension and the University of Minnesota Extension, the program highlights several timely topics addressing key feedlot production issues.

Topics and speakers include:

  • “Re-thinking Forage Use in the Feedlot,” Zachary Smith, SDSU assistant professor
  • “COVID, Drought and Black Swans: What’s Next and What Have We Learned?” Warren Rusche, assistant professor and SDSU Extension feedlot specialist
  • “Water Requirements and Water Quality in the Feedlot,” John Wagner, professor, feedlot nutrition and management, Colorado State University
  • “How Little Distillers Do We Actually Need?” Alfredo DiConstanzo, professor and UMN Extension animal scientist

The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. CST and will conclude around 9 p.m. A beef supper is included with the $30 registration.

To pre-register, visit the SDSU Extension Events page at For more information, contact Rusche at or DiConstanzo at