February 2021 Cattle Feeding Projections
Hang on as this month’s cattle projections show as much black as they do red. A welcoming sight with all the variability our industry has been facing. Usually we only have to worry about one nutrient causing the headache for increasing our cost of gains (COG), this month however we are looking for alternative ways to feed cheaper protein and energy. A seemingly hard task right now.
Its no secrete that corn price continues to cause many concerns, especially if you are buying and not using what’s in your bins. The increase in corn price alongside energy being diverted south due to this artic blast has left ethanol plants running short or shutting down dryers to reduce energy. The cost of distillers continue to remain steady to higher depending on where you are located in the grain belt. Looking at other protein products doesn’t allow for too many good buys either as both soybean meal and urea tend to climb due to supply and demand. Cost of gains continue to creep, recording some of the highest I have ever seen. While we tend to see only our regional cost of gains, I can tell you the southern belt is feeling the sting with corn prices up over $6.50/bu. This will push lighter cattle to be sold or be pushed north. With winter kill a potential for wheat/grass/grazing cattle down south we may see more cattle coming north to be fed out.
The positive is that as the economy looks to reopen with our health crises more people will hopefully return to restaurants and purchases of beef. Also we may not feel it but spring is around the corner and with that comes back outdoor grilling. Many of us are dreaming of those days after this last artic blast.
Attention to detail continues to pay dividends, feed conversion, dry matter of feed ingredients and their value all weigh on cost of gain. Keeping a close eye on these will help you utilize your feed for both best nutrition, but also best ration cost. Your local Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist can help explain this further as well as run you more exact numbers for your operation.