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SDSU Extension Calf Value Discovery Program Registration Open

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Cow/calf producers can gain valuable information to improve their operations by participating in the South Dakota State University Extension’s Calf Value Discovery program, which is now accepting entries for 2023-2024.

Producers consign a minimum of five steer calves weighing between 500 and 800 pounds for $20 per head. Cattle will be fed in an accelerated finishing program at Vander Wal Yards in Bruce, South Dakota. SDSU personnel will weigh the cattle periodically and send performance updates to their owners. Cattle will be sold in truckload lots beginning around May 15, 2024. All cattle are sold on a grid price system.

“The Calf Value Discovery program allows producers to learn how their calves perform in the feedlot and on the rail. The carcass data is especially useful for producers who typically market cattle at the sale barn,” said Julie Walker, professor and SDSU Extension Beef Specialist.

Obtaining post-weaning animal and carcass performance data provides producers with additional information to make the best financial and management decisions.

Calves can be delivered to the Cottonwood Research Station from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 8, or directly to Vander Wal Yards from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 8 or 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 9. Calves delivered to Cottonwood must be brand-inspected before arriving.

Cattle must arrive dehorned, castrated and healed. Calves should arrive at either location with sufficient vaccination against important disease issues, including:

  • Five-way viral (BVD-1, BVD-2, IBR, BRSV, PI3) vaccine
  • At least two doses of a killed 5-way; or
  • At least one dose of an MLV 5-way
  • One dose of a Mannheimia haemolytica vaccine
  • Two doses of a 7-way Clostridial vaccine

Registration closes Oct. 15. For details, visit the SDSU Extension Calf Value Discovery Program website at

For more information or to request a registration form, contact SDSU Extension Beef Specialist Julie Walker at (605) 688-5458 or or SDSU Extension Beef Specialist – Feedlot Management Warren Rusche at (605) 688-5452 or

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