August 2018 Cattle Feeding Projections

Posted: August 9, 2018

August 2018 Cattle Feeding Projections

Year-to-date domestic production data through the end of last week as compared to 2017:

  • Federally inspected slaughter +2.9%, 19.184 million head
  • Cow slaughter +6.8%, 9.174 million head
  • Carcass weight +0.4%, 810 pounds
  • Beef production +3.3%, 15.545 billion pounds


Changes month over month on our feeding projections:

  • Softer feeder cattle market (Holsteins -$2.00-3.00/cwt, beef steers -$1.00-6.00/cwt, beef heifers -$3.00-4.00/cwt).
  • Little net change in expected fed beef cattle prices despite significant up and down movement over the previous 30 days.
  • Slight increase in cost of gain (TMR-fed +$0.00-0.50/cwt, self-fed +$2.00-2.75/cwt): corn +$0.18/bushel, corn silage unchanged, corn stalks unchanged, grass hay unchanged, DDGS +$7.50/ton, MDGS -$5.00/ton, and pelleted soy hulls unchanged.
  • Limited, but mostly upward movement in net profits with modest to substantial profitability for six of the eight classes of Holsteins and the remaining two sitting just below breakeven.
  • Overall upward movement in the profitability outlook for beef steers and heifers with over half of the classes now in the black. This is the best cash to cash profit outlook for steer calves in quite some time.


As always, please note the difference in cost of gain ($5-12/cwt) and potential profits ($25-100+/head) between the high and low performance 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 month or more. 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. Remember to keep this as a priority as profits on well managed cattle are hard to come by in today’s market and virtually impossible to find on those which are not managed to their full potential.


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

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