The key to making any business endeavor successful is to manage as many risks as you can. One of the easier to manage risks when it comes to cattle feeding is grain pricing, thanks to the wonders of forward contracting and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s futures contracts. The tricky part is determining how much corn is needed, and against what months (since even cash corn is priced against the CME board prices).

Date of Arrival
The date the cattle are to arrive at the feedyard.
In Weight of Calf
The average weight of the animals to enter the feed yard.
Finished Weight
The weight the animal is to be finished to.
Number of Head
The number of head in the lot or pen to calculate needs for.
Percentage of Ration as Grain
The percentage of the ration that is either a grain or a grain derived by-product (distiller's grains, for example).