December 2019 Cattle Feeding Projections
December Form-A-Feed feedlot projections continue to show perhaps some early Christmas gifts as once again the numbers look a little uplifting. All except yearling steers show margins in the black with some hefty margins being realized in the Holstein market based on a reduction in the basis contract and a slight softening window in the buying outlook. Holstein contracts seem to be more available in the present than a year ago with less straight Holsteins being sold, seemingly increasing the demand for, and thus the lessoning of the basis, on Holstein steers. Large runs being delivered together may run more for quality type Holsteins, but there is some wiggle room whether feeding on a self-feeder or through a TMR.
Colored steers and heifers have had some great opportunities as lightweight heifers are being bought up, some to go directly to the feed yard and some to go out as grass cattle. The values on these lighter weight calves, when fed efficiently and in good health seem to be your best buys in the conventional market. Yearling heifers are certainly holding their own, however its always worth noting that when purchasing yearling heifers this time of year make sure they are pregnancy checked or talk with your veterinarian about considering injectable prostaglandin as part of your processing program in case a short bred heifer makes it through the ring as an open feeder heifer.
One thing to note with these positive margins is that many of these values hinge on the pending trade agreement with China. This seems to be pushing the live cattle market upwards with speculation of increased exports. This was a much needed change as many ingredients are becoming a little harder to source. Pelleted soyhulls for example have risen in price dramatically and corn stalk bales are extremely hard to come by with many folks not getting their inventories put up with the late fall harvest. Prices on good corn stalk bales as well as good quality grass hay have been creeping higher. You will note these changes on this months projections for both self-feeder type cattle and TMR fed cattle. As always if you are looking for a more yard specific projection, please reach out to your local Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist.
With the Christmas season upon us be certain to take time to enjoy the blessings and lessons this year has given us. Faith in our cattle industry and faith in our Saviors Birth continue to provide hope for the coming year.
Many blessings from the Form-A-Feed Beef Team for a safe and joyous Christmas Season.