Home 5 Ag Stories High feed prices challenge cattle producers

High feed prices challenge cattle producers

Source: Wikimedia Commons

There has been profitability in the cattle markets since a recovery following the drought of 2012.

Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed Report confirmed large numbers of cattle in feedlots with marketings down slightly as well as placements being down slightly.

The big question now is the price of corn for the year ahead based on the size and demand for this year’s crop.  It is a given that corn prices will be higher than in recent years with corn hitting a five year high just a week ago.  But what should cow-calf operators do and what about buying and backgrounding cattle this summer and fall to meet a rising market?

Audio: Profit Matters 7-22-19

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.5 million head on July 1, 2019. The inventory was 2 percent above July 1, 2018. This is the highest July 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Dr. Derrell Peel, a livestock Economist from Oklahoma State University, says cow-calf operators need to put a pencil to decisions for the months ahead.

Peel says producers need to decide whether to wean and sell calves early or have retained ownership to capture dollars in the year ahead.