Cattle Projections 

Form-A-Feed provides monthly cattle feeding projections for various weights and types of cattle.  These projections provide a good estimate of the current cattle feeding climate.  Contact a Form-A-Feed representative for projections specifically tailored to your operation.

Click on the link below to see current projections:

June 2017 FAF Projections.pdf

Commentary Regarding Current Projections by Simon Kern, M.S.:

Feedlot placements were up 8% over last year, but this trend is expected to taper off in the coming months as the trickle down of larger calf crops in 2015 and 2016 near their end. Cattle feeders have managed to keep their marketings very current and the trend of lighter carcass weights has persisted (-26 pounds year over year). Total US cattle slaughter is up +4.7% with fed cattle slaughter up a more modest 3.6%. Increased total cattle slaughter has outpaced lighter carcass weights resulting in an increase of 1.7% in total US beef production. However, fed beef production has held flat as the more modest increase in numbers has been completely offset by lighter carcass weights. The Choice Cutout underwent a historic counter-seasonal post-Memorial Day rally and jumped $24/cwt over the same period in 2016. This is an indicator of strong demand going into the last major grilling event (Independence Day). Nearly halfway into 2017, beef exports have continued to hold strong and post double digit gains over 2016 (+15.7%). Asian markets have been the largest drivers of this with exports to Hong Kong leading the charge (+69%). The Hong Kong market is a very strong indicator of the Chinese market. With protocols released last Monday for U.S. beef exports to China indicating continued progress in opening this market, the export market looks to continue, and possibly improve upon, a very promising year.


Changes month over month:

  • Expected fed beef cattle prices have experienced a slight loss -$0.00-2.00/cwt. An increasing number of Holstein steer classes will now market post-April 2018 which prices them at a steep discount (-$7.00-10.00/cwt).
  • Strong cash prices for fed cattle have pulled beef feeder cattle prices along for the ride +$5.00-6.00/cwt for steers and +$8.00-11.00 for heifers. Holstein feeder prices have held relatively steady due to the marketing timeline and continued uncertainty in regard to basis.
  • Slight increase in cost of gain (+$0.00-0.40/cwt): grass hay +$10/ton, DDGS +$1.50/ton, MDGS +$3/ton, pelleted soy hulls -$10/ton; corn, corn silage, and corn stalks all unchanged.
  • Higher feeder purchase prices with little movement in feed cost or sale price has created significant downward pressure on profitability outlook in fed beef cattle (-$50.00/head), pushing most classes into the red.
  • Holstein feeder margins remain extremely mixed (range from -$130/head to +$100/head). Ensuring any feeders placed in June are able to market before April 2018 should offer a much greater likelihood of margins in the black.


As always, please note the difference in cost of gain ($6-11/cwt) and potential profits ($50-100+/head) between the high and low efficiency projections. Ensuring proper management and animal husbandry can make the world of difference in this regard. Summer heat and the risk of heat stress and impaired performance is here to stay for the next couple months. It is imperative to be proactive and work with your Form-A-Feed representative to devise a management and feeding plan which best mitigates the effects of heat stress. 

For more specific projections, please contact your Form-A-Feed representative.