January 2023 Cattle Projections
It’s January already, and while I say already, many of us have felt like this winter is dragging along with all of the weather events we have been dealing with.
It’s not going to be a surprise that cost of gains continue to climb as distillers costs increase, corn prices remain high and winter weather takes its hold stealing some of our performance as we do our best to deal with the wet, cold and snowy days. Keeping on top of pen maintenance, fresh feed in the bunk, water tanks open and cattle as dry as you can keep them will all provide dividends during these stressful winter storms. Consistency is key for dealing with the weather events; not getting too far ahead of them and if its too hard to keep up to them, never underestimate the value of dry hay on top of their TMR to slow down their increase in feed calls if its over what they should be consuming or you may sail over top of them.
Some larger runs have been hitting the sale barns with some record-high calf prices being garnered. Strong futures keep buyers interested, even with higher cost of gains. On average the whole country is seeing some of the highest ration cost per ton on a dry matter basis than we have ever seen. As we look to the next few months, the ability to use ones own feeds without buying extra and keeping a strong hold on your cattle’s performance will either see you making money or struggling to keep up. Using technologies such as tracking programs, having a tight relationship with your veterinarian and your nutritionist and keeping on top of things as they come up will keep your costs in check compared to those who get caught sleeping. Pull early, don’t overshoot cattle at the bunk with feed calls, and keep your feed fresh. This may mean feeding up to 3x a day instead of once or twice. No one said feeding cattle in winter months was easy, and the law of average sure has caught up to us this winter.
Sometimes the reality check is needed, and while it seems harsh, these types of winter months really find you spending more time where your heart certainly leads you when you sign up to raise livestock.
May we have some decent days ahead and please be sure to reach out with any questions you may have.