May Cattle Feeding Projections

Posted: May 22, 2020 | Written By: Heidi Doering-Resch, M.S. - Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist

May 2020 Cattle Projections

It’s nice to see some black ink turning into the holiday weekend. Things can rapidly change in 30 days as the procurement lines start operating again with less fear of having no place to go with fat cattle.  Some nice bids on fats continue to ramp up through the week. Colored cattle are seeing bids dressed between $1.85-1.90 and live at $1.15-1.20 with over 84% going choice/prime with a hot carcass weight that is 40 lbs. higher than a year ago. Holsteins who had a basis contract are moving first with some nice reports on quality grade and yield with cattle going over 90% choice/prime on multiple loads of Holsteins.

There is still areas of uncertainty as many packing plants continue to work at keeping their labor force healthy and the reduction in chain space alongside a slower line will keep cattle backlogged for a bit. However as we continue to move into the days ahead, ways of dealing with a ‘new normal’ with the COVID pandemic will have us all adapting and hopefully finding space for all of us in this market. Don’t forget to look into the USDA Livestock Direct Assistance/ CARES Market Loss Programs that will open for funding requests May 26th. The links here will help explain some of the information as far as what’s covered and where to go to get signed up.

As feedlots start to relax a little bit some calf sales are starting to increase their volume through the sale barns and we are seeing more calves coming back into the feedlot sector. Prices have remained steady to up on replacing cattle in lots but with the upswing in the board and cash price on live cattle there is some optimism moving forward. Calf feds seem to be the buy right now if refilling but yearlings are sticking close to breakeven for many. Feed inventory and work/life balance seem to be the deciding factor if yards will refill or wait till the fall run.

I hope you find time to enjoy your family and a good steak this weekend as we celebrate Memorial Day.

Blessings to you all.