April 2020 Cattle Feeding Projections

Posted: April 24, 2020 | Written By: Heidi Doering-Resch, M.S. - Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist

April 2020 Cattle Projections

From the Form-A-Feed Beef Team, we first and foremost want you to know that we back our cattle industry producers in every manner. The current Covid-19 pandemic has many of us facing scenarios we, nor our parents, have ever faced. In adversity, many of you have graciously teamed up to help each other, and have allowed your Form-A-Feed team to find new ways to service you while keeping our families and our communities out of harms way. We want to thank you for that.

Boxed beef skyrocketed, shackle space was reduced, and consumers who are already worried through this pandemic will look at a higher price of beef in the supermarket and potentially make different choices. Additionally our industry struggles amongst price gouging scrutiny, half capacity operations to try to keep plants open and a large disconnect in futures vs cash cattle.

It takes a team to work through these complex issues on a daily basis. Just running feedlot projections based off futures with updated feeder calf numbers and commodity availability is only a third of the story. Keep in constant contact with your Form-A-Feed team. We are here to work you through the logistics of decreased distillers supply, moving to more protein based supplements, utilizing different feedstuffs than you’re used to, and higher corn (and therefore starch) rations. Working as a team, we can help support each other and work through scenarios like best cattle holding strategies or market scenarios to help us through this unnerving time.

Know that we pray for you and all our fellow agriculture stewards to help us through this pandemic. We appreciate your hard work and dedication.

Cattle projections for both Holsteins and colored cattle show a lot of red thanks to the current state of affairs. Working through ethanol plants being shut down or at half capacity have forced many of us to adjust rations to utilization of urea based products. This typically means corn usage also increases bringing back higher starch load to the rumen. Continuing to practice good bunk management skills will be essential as we look at longer days on feed with larger cattle and keeping them healthy. This has forced some of us to step back on finisher rations to help support rumen health and add a little more fiber to the rumen while we wait for shackle space to open up.

This month’s rations are ran with lowered distillers levels with current distillers prices, alongside a urea based supplement. Whilst cost of gain remains in check, the futures market continues to damper any financial gain this may have opened up.

As always, for more exact cattle projections, please contact your local Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist.