Since 1982, the Sandhills Cattle Association has hosted the EP&C Contest, making this year our 40th year! Thank you for choosing to help us continue this tradition and be a part of the contest this year at Cottonwood Feeders near Stuart, Nebraska. We have a total of 128 calves entered in the competition this year; 82 steers and 46 heifers entered from 23 different owners. We had four owners who have generously donated steers to the Steers for Students program as well. Including Wes Kilmurry of Atkinson Livestock, Matt & Kristin Blackford, Blackford Ranch of Thedford, Greg & Jolee Nielsen, Nielsen ranch of Gordon, and Craig & Katie O'Keif, Walking X Ranch of Wood Lake.
On November 30, 2021, we traveled to Cottonwood Feeders to gather the beginning weights and establish beginning values. We utilize the Nebraska Weekly Summary from the Nebraska USDA to establish beginning values of the calves according to that week's summary. The contest calls for calves to be entered at a base weight of 600 pounds, so we adjust beginning values using 600 pounds as a base weight. We then determine slides based on the values established in this report.
This year, our heifers were base-priced at $157.08 per hundredweight ($/cwt) or $942.48 per head per 600-pound heifer, with a 2¢ slide per hundred pounds over base weight and 12¢ slide per hundred pounds under base weight.
Steers were based at $175.17 per cwt or $1,051.02 per head for a 600-pound steer, with a 3.75¢ slide per hundred pounds over base weight and 16.5¢ slide per hundred pounds under base weight.
Beginning weights gathered on November 30 showed heifers averaging 580 pounds, steers averaging 659 pounds, and the pen averaging 625 pounds. When we look at our five-year historical data, we can see that our entry weights have steadily increased over time (shown by the linear lines).
We are scheduled to process the calves again for a reimplant and weigh sometime around March 10.
Can't wait to see what this year's contest will hold for our producers!