January 2021 Cattle Feeding Projections
Projections for this month certainly show some high cost of gains (COG). Cattle numbers show some profits still realized depending on both marketing month and cattle performance.
We couldn’t get through this month’s projections without talking about the corn price. Looking through average corn cash price bids through fall with high dollar corn shows an average corn price of about $4.83/bu. Again, that’s through fall of 2021. The futures board shows corn sitting over $5.00/bu right now; this certainly is a two sided conversation when looking at feeding cattle out and growing your inputs. Custom lots are certainly feeling the pressure if they don’t grow enough of their own commodities. It certainly was a year to make sure you had all your input inventory goals met and perhaps be able to sell some corn on the side. Or for certain make sure you were locking in commodities and have open and honest communication with your feeders.
Looking to offset use of corn for energy pushes folks to look for either more distillers, (which are not cheap, nor is excess available), or rely on earlage piles and making sure inventory doesn’t run out till new crop is put up. Protein prices continue to be pinched also with distillers prices being high, and usage of urea has increased. With the increased demand and price of distillers, which typically offsets the corn energy price, but not being available for excess purchase, we are forced to utilize more corn. This once again adds a tier of caution with bunk management and being certain you are spot on with bunk calls as well as the extra costs. Thus we are seeing COG over $84.00/cwt and as high as $1.18/cwt this month.
Continue to have discussions with your nutritionist on ways to improve feedlot efficiency. Watching market volatility and protecting oneself has never been more important in the feedlot sector.
Again, for more exact operational projections please contact your Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist.