To ensure the optimal weight and carcass attribute response, it is important that producers implement the best Optaflexx program available. Optimizing product dose will maximize return on investment.
Elanco is focused on helping producers get the most out of market fluctuations when using the feed additive Optaflexx®.
Timing — and dosage — are everything
Optaflexx is approved to be fed the last 28 to 42 days before harvest. Typically, at the end of the feeding period, lean tissue growth decreases while fat deposition increases. Feeding Optaflexx repartitions energy to lean tissue deposition during this period by stimulating protein synthesis, leading to increased hot carcass weight (HCW) and ribeye area and improved yield grade.
Feed the market
When deciding upon the optimum dose of Optaflexx, producers need to consider how they will market their cattle.
“When selling on a grid basis, we need to balance the individual carcass attributes to optimize the return,” says Lee-Anne Walter, Ph.D., Elanco technical consultant. “We want to maximize HCW and concurrently minimize quality grade discounts. Because protein synthesis is increased when feeding Optaflexx, both ribeye area and HCW are increased. Based on results of Elanco’s trials, it is recommended to feed 300 mg/hd/d Optaflexx approximately 28-35 days – depending on cattle sex and method of selling cattle to capture the most return.”1
Mind the spread
Typically, the markets experience an annual cycle with peak carcass values in the late spring and early summer steak season. During that time, carcass prices are higher, with a wider basis in the market and a wider Choice/Select spread.
During other times of the year, the Choice/Select spread is very narrow and pounds of HCW are paramount. HCW remains the primary driver when the Choice/Select spread is wide but quality grade becomes a larger piece of the return.
The industry trend, to extend the number of days on feed (DOF) in recent years has resulted in increased HCW, improved quality grades and higher yield grades. Utilizing Optaflexx in conjunction with extended DOF gives producers the opportunity to capitalize on these benefits.
“We need to be cognizant of the market basis as well as the Choice/Select spread,” says Walter. “In the spring when the basis and Choice/Select spread are wide, we often see DOF shortened to capitalize on the market. It is important to understand how cattle will grade over different DOF and — different degrees of empty body fat — so we can estimate if our Choice grade will decrease 3 percent or 5 percent depending on whether cattle would normally grade 85 percent or 55 percent Choice, respectively.”
Making winning decisions
Producers need to keep in mind that Optaflexx is only one tool in a producer’s toolbox for maximizing ROI.
“It all comes down to understanding what growth technologies like Optaflexx really accomplish so we can capitalize on growth technology all year round,” says Walters.
Providing feedyard professionals with product expertise while keeping ever-changing market conditions in mind is a privilege and a challenge for the Elanco team — no matter the time of year or what’s currently on the grill.
Contact your Elanco representative to design the optimal dose and duration program to optimize Optaflexx in your operation.
The label contains complete use information, including cautions and warnings. Always read, understand and follow the label and use directions.
Caution: Not for animals intended for breeding.
Optaflexx: Complete feed
For increased rate of weight gain and improved feed efficiency in cattle fed in confinement for slaughter: Feed 8.2 to 24.6 g/ton of ractopamine hydrochloride (90% DM basis) continuously in a complete feed to provide 70 to 430 mg/hd/d for the last 28 to 42 days on feed.
For increased rate of weight gain, improved feed efficiency and increased carcass leanness in cattle fed in confinement for slaughter: Feed 9.8 to 24.6 g/ton of ractopamine hydrochloride (90% DM basis) continuously in a complete feed to provide 90 to 430 mg/hd/d for the last 28 to 42 days on feed.
Optaflexx: Top dress
For increased rate of weight gain and improved feed efficiency in cattle fed in confinement for slaughter: Feed 70 to 400 mg/hd/d of ractopamine hydrochloride (90% DM basis) continuously in a minimum of 1.0 lb/hd/d top dress Type C medicated feed (maximum 800 g/ton ractopamine hydrochloride) during the last 28 to 42 days on feed.
1Elanco Animal Health. Data on file.
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