August 2020 Cattle Feeding Projections
August feedlot projections look good as we move into the middle of the month. Positivity in the live cattle contracts are welcomed and help promote optimism on current cattle purchases. Bids on current colored cattle in the feedlot have been over $1.00/lb helping to bolster some spirits and once again open some yard space up for new inventory. Holsteins have seen a basis contract shorten as it seems the need for straight bred Holsteins are in demand as most Holstein packers have caught up in slaughter capacity. Basis running between $8 to 12 have been common.
Crossbred Holsteins still continue to be the head scratcher as we try to find a solid market that will continually work with these types of cattle. The number of crossbred calves hitting the feedlots continue to grow, so it’s a matter of time before their value is truly realized. One precautionary is that while most tend to pay a premium for these calves, it is yet to be consistently seen if the packer agrees with this type of cattle and purchases them at a better basis than straight Holsteins.
Colored cattle continue to see a backlog as carcass weights are still about 25 lbs higher than a year ago in addition to some sporadic disruptions yet from COVID cases at the plants. Carcass quality continues to be positive however, tracking about 83.5% choice prime. As many feedlots sat empty regardless of on feed reports, the fall run is just around the corner and the live cattle futures contracts show some traction. Yearling cattle have about dried up in regards to affordability, as many purchased early to ensure an easy feed-out with the uncertainties in the economy. Certain weight placements warrant a hard look this month if one is looking to buy as many feed ingredients are at their lowest cost, reducing our cost of gains substantially. Fall weather is always conducive to good intakes and therefore performing animals. Its important to understand that these auction cattle bids move quickly, with the volatility of the live cattle board these numbers move daily, so be certain you are having an up to date feedlot projection run before purchase of cattle, as what looks good today, may quickly change tomorrow.
Now is a great time to sit down with your Form-A-Feed representative to figure your feed inventory needs for the year. Silage, Earlage and HMC chopping will be a little earlier this year and should ton up nicely. Make sure you have yourself prepared to put up quality feed for the year ensuring better performance. If you can take part in a burn down days at your local cooperative, these are a great way to understand just how close, or far away you are from needing to have the crew in place to put up optimal feed. Form-A-Feed will also be hosting a webinar next week on best production practices for fall harvest ingredients to help you garner some new ideas and practices to keep your feed at its best.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions regarding projections or Form-A-Feed’s up and coming webinars. Educational opportunities are priceless right now as we try to strive for reduced cost of gains.