One-And-Done Approach to Implanting Pays Off

Feeding cattle is anything but easy.

That’s why Midcon Feeders of Sioux Center, Iowa, partners with farmer-feeders with a goal of giving them the “easy button” through a streamlined cattle feeding experience.

“Our success is built on finding producers who are extremely good at taking care of cattle,” says Jay Dekkers, co-owner, of the nearly 18-year-old company. “We aim to provide a simplified cattle feeding experience for the farmer-feeders we work with. This means marketing programs, nutritional programs and animal health protocols that simplify their workload and increase cattle efficiency and profitability,” he says.

A man stands in front of cattle in a pen.

Midcon Feeders feeds approximately 50,000 cattle a year. They buy steers weighing 900 pounds, transport them to partnering farms, and provide nutrition and health protocols. The farmer-feeders raise the cattle to 1,600 pounds and then Midcon Feeders takes care of marketing the animals.

The use of an implant is an important part of their protocol. “To be competitive in the marketplace you have to use an implant,” Dekkers says. “I consider the money saved in efficiency with dry matter conversion to gain and the overall cost of gain makes it a ‘no brainer.’”

Today, REVALOR®-XS (trenbolone acetate and estradiol extended-release implants) is Dekkers’s implant of choice. With its one-of-a-kind extended-release technology, it delivers two distinct doses in a single implant. Each implant contains 10 pellets. Four uncoated pellets go to work immediately, while six X7™ polymer-coated pellets go to work 70-80 days later and work like a re-implant.

That means that giving one REVALOR-XS at the feedlot is all that’s needed to maximize performance. There’s no need to put the cattle — and people — through the added stress of reimplanting.

Cattle get the right dose when they need it without the potential associated reduced feed intake and weight loss that often comes from putting an animal through the chute for a second time. Studies show that reprocessing cattle can result in a feed intake decrease that can take 38 days to return to pre-reprocessing levels.1

Dekkers explains that they have used a two-implant system in their yards before and found putting 1,300-pound steers through a chute for a second implant wasn’t advantageous. He explains that the stress involved caused cattle to go off feed and it was hard to get them back to their pre-rework performance level.

“In some ways using REVALOR-XS as a single implant almost seems too easy,” he says, “But we trust the science and believe that dry matter intake (DMI) drives daily gain and daily gain drives profitability. With REVALOR-XS, we are gaining performance because our DMI is higher the last 80-90 days because we’re not stressing the cattle, and they are staying on feed,” he says.

Dekkers tracks cattle performance to know the system is working. He says that records show steers are fed 170-180 days and are averaging 3.75-4.00 pounds of gain a day. The feed conversion is 6.5-7.25 with the variance due to genetics, cattle quality, weather, etc.

What do the farmer-feeders he works with think of this one-and-done approach to implanting? “They love it,” Dekkers explains. “They don’t have to run a 1,300-pound steer through a chute on a hot summer day. They know it works and know reimplanting costs them time and money.”

While the “easy button” isn’t often synonymous with cattle management, the use of a single implant that will remain effective throughout the time cattle are at the feedyard is one impactful, easy tool to maximize performance and profitability.

Learn more about industry-leading implants from Merck Animal Health here.


Not approved for repeated implantation (re-implantation) with this or any other cattle ear implant in growing beef steers fed in confinement for slaughter. Safety and effectiveness following reimplantation have not been evaluated. Do not use in beef calves less than 2 months of age, dairy calves, and veal calves. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in pre-ruminating calves. Do not use in dairy cows or in animals intended for subsequent breeding. Use in these cattle may cause drug residues in milk and/or in calves born to these cows. Implant pellets subcutaneously in ear only. Any other location is a violation of Federal law. Do not attempt salvage of implanted site for human or animal food. Not for use in humans. Keep out of reach of children. For complete safety information, refer to the product label.


  1. Study Number HR-2S: Evaluation of Implants Containing Reduced-Dose Combinations of Trenbolone Acetate and Estradiol on Performance and Carcass Merit of Finishing Steers.

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