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Beef Feedlot and Backgrounding

All Beef Feedlot and Backgrounding Content

Producer inspecting an inventory of farm-raised, frozen beef in a freezer.

Raising Freezer Beef: Meeting Customer Expectations

A variety of factors may lead consumers to purchase beef directly from a producer. When purchasing freezer beef, most consumers expect an eating experience that would be as good or better than buying beef from retail.

Left: Black cow with the appropriate amount of fat cover, or finish for market. Right: Red steer that needs more time on feed.

Raising Freezer Beef: When Is the Animal Finished?

Many producers have had their own beef processed for years, and some may have been selling animals to their neighbors on occasion. It's another matter entirely when the objective is satisfying customer expectations, especially if finishing cattle hasn't been a normal part of your operation.

Several red angus cattle feeding at a feed bunk.

Raising Freezer Beef: Management Considerations

A trend that has become more prominent in recent years is for ranchers to finish a few animals and sell beef direct to the consumer. Proper feeding and management is key to capturing extra value and in meeting customer expectations.

Black angus cattle eating a corn feed ration from a small feeding bunk.

Raising Freezer Beef: How To Feed Grain-Finished Beef

A trend that has become more prominent in recent years is for ranchers to finish a few animals and sell beef directly to the consumer. This article will address a few options for hand-feeding a small group of cattle to finish.

Red angus cattle gathered in a feedlot in winter.


South Dakota is home to a dynamic livestock industry.

herd of beef cattle grazing in a pasture


Home to more than 1 million head of cattle, South Dakota’s producers can rely on SDSU Extension for research-based information, best management practices and resources to support healthy and profitable herds.

Small herd of cattle waiting for feed at dusk.

Feed at Night, Calve During the Day

As cattle producers begin thinking about calving season and management practices to ease the workload, night feeding is something to consider. Producers have questioned whether or not the time of feeding affects time of calving, and the answer is “Yes.”

Outside of a veterinary clinic.

Veterinary Feed Directive: What You Can’t Do With a VFD

Livestock producers and veterinarians have been adjusting to the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules put into effect on January 1, 2017. With the onset of the rules, producers need to square their previous treatment methods with what a VFD can and can’t do.

Group of mixed feedlot cattle resting in straw bedding during winter weather.

Strategic Feedlot Bedding in the Winter

Feeding cattle in the winter is not for the faint of heart, especially in South Dakota. Providing bedding is one of the time-tested strategies for dealing with winter weather, but how does bedding affect the bottom line?

Group of mixed calves in a feedlot.

Calf Value Discovery Program

The Calf Value Discovery Program enables cow-calf producers to assess the value of their cattle in value-based marketing systems and gain valuable carcass and feedlot performance information to aid in management decisions and improve profitability.