November 2019 Form-A-Feed Cattle Projections
Its nice to look at cattle projections and see most values in the black. After the wet spring, harsh winter and now a wet fall with all the swings in the cattle market, its nice to be able to look at positive numbers during a time frame when many ranchers and feedlot operators are looking to refill.
Feed ingredient prices continue to be an area of change. Hay prices continue to increase as quality of hay is poor to fair in most areas due to harvest conditions. Corn prices have seemingly been up and down, while distillers prices have maintained their price structure. There is certainly a swing in modified prices depending on the region you are located in. If you visit the USDA website https://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/lsdethanol.pdf you can see what the average price of distillers is in your region and if that change is up or down from previous reports. This is especially helpful if you haven’t contracted your distillers.
Large groups of Holstein cattle coming up from the south have a higher asking price than what is listed on the projections. These cattle still garner a profit, but it is always worth noting that the source of your Holsteins makes a large difference on if that group falls into the high efficiency or low efficiency category. There is some rumbling of $-12 basis on Holsteins instead of the standard $-14 or more which makes feeding these a little bit more appreciable.
Looking at the colored side of feeding, heifers seem to still be the buy if you can manage them correctly keeping your COG (cost of gain) low. Another opportunity that isn’t on the projection sheet is feeding out cull cows. Due to the low quality of forage there seems to be more cows continuing to flow to the sale barns. Keep in mind if you feed cull cows that bunk space will need to be increased per head, and you will need to be certain you have proper housing as they can certainly cause wear and tear on facilities. They also consume a lot of dry matter, so be certain you know your cost of production so that you can be as efficient as possible.
Its nice to have positives to talk about in this month’s projections. As always please ask your local Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production specialist about running more specific projections for your operation.
As we start to flow into the holiday season please remember beef is a flavorful meal for family gatherings.