TH / SB&B Feedlot Alliance

Offers off-the-farm pricing of your feeder cattle to ultimately improve your bottom line.

The sale is just the beginning… Purchase a Topp Herefords bull and you become part of the Alliance.  Ask us about the benefits of marketing your feeder cattle direct.

Topp Herefords – SB&B alliance will provide:

  • Off the farm appraisals
  • Forward contracting
  • Deferred payment options
  • Delivery options
  • Carcass data & conversion results
  • Carcass data evaluation & consultation (if desired)

“Our ultimate goal is to improve uniformity, productivity and quality.”

Off Farm Feeder Calf Pricing FAQ

Where will my calves be weighed?

We have a certified scale at our feedlot; however we can weigh anywhere both parties agree on.

How does the slide work?

We set a base weight (estimate of expected average weight), and a base price slide (to adjust for the difference in the actual average weight). Example: 800# base weight and a $.05 slide. So if the cattle end up weighing 790, then the price of the cattle increases by $.05/cwt. (800-790=10# difference x $.50). If the cattle are heavier, then the price would decrease. Most slides only work to the buyers’ advantage; therefore we like to use the slide both ways so each party is treated fairly.

Who pays the trucking?

Trucking is negotiable and should be decided prior to placing a bid. We work with qualified truckers, but realize that some producers do their own hauling or have relationships with other truckers.

Isn’t bidding and competition going to get me more money

If the question is “Aren’t I better off going to a sale barn and getting the best bid for the day?” my answer would be, “At times.”  We’ve purchased and sold cattle in sale barns.  I’ve had good experiences and bad experiences.  The difficult part is in the question, “…..best bid for the day?”  You end up being put in a position that you take what you get, on the day.  I’d personally rather be in a situation where I know what I’m going to get and can adjust my risk management on my time line rather than rolling the dice for that given day.  Obviously, some of the other consideration would be; additional shrink, additional trucking, commission, extra stress, and will you get any additional close-out information or carcass data.

How do sale barn shrink & direct marketing shrink compare?

Every sale barn is different, every day is different.  If there are 250 head being sold vs. 4,000 head being sold, I assume there would be a difference.  Or if it’s raining or 95 degrees and humid. And if the cattle are being sold at 2:00 p.m. or 12 hours later at 2:00 a.m. I’d think every day would be different.  Most of our customers like to have cattle weighed right off of the truck, so that is usually the way we do it.

If I take pay weight at the delivery point, how much shrink is there?

Shrink varies. It can depend upon distance, the condition of the cattle, time of day, and weather conditions.  Each delivery point may be different and each transaction may be different.  Discussing this prior to making a deal would be appropriate.

Will my calves be co-mingled?

This is a difficult question: we don’t like to co-mingle cattle. However, it all depends upon the number of head in a group, how much range in size of the group, and how much feedlot capacity we have.  We like to keep cattle separate as much as we can, so we can do close-outs and determine how valuable each group of cattle are.  But often times, yard capacity does become an issue.

Is it a problem to split my calf check?  With more that 1 owner?

This is not a problem. We’ve had cattle deals that split checks 10 ways.

Can I defer payment into the next year?  (Calves delivered in Dec. with check cut in Jan.)

We do this quite often.

If my cattle convert above average & have high carcass quality, will I be paid more next year?

There are many factors that dictate what we bid for cattle.  Cattle futures price, projected basis, projected cost of gain, interest rates, lot space, and very importantly; proven history.  Obviously the better the proven history, the more valuable your cattle are, the more we are willing to pay.

In the Alliance program, what is really being assessed when you look at my calves?

The market is continuing to ask for quality.  The demand for branded products keeps growing.  We are trying to identify uniformity, predictability and quality.  Consistent genetics will help us get there.  We look for producers whose direction is similar.

Other assessments are proven history (if we have any) along with positive changes.  Those assessments are conversions, average daily gain, death loss %, vaccination history, vet bills, carcass data as a group, and the determining factor as to whether cattle are profitable or not.  As an example, we had a bunch of straight Angus cattle that graded 60% Certified Angus Beef (CAB) you’d think that would be fantastic.  But what if at the time of slaughter, the CAB premium was zero.  Sort of changes the picture.
If we don’t have any proven history, the assessment becomes visual, genetic history, vaccination history, uniformity, and many of the other factors listed above.

It is important to remember what the Alliance is for.  We have tried to help all players improve their operation, from vaccination practices, marketing awareness, risk management, nutrition, culling procedures, and herd quality.  The goal is long-term improvement of everyone’s bottom line.