– Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension
Typically, when feed prices go down, we see feeder calf prices begin to climb as a corresponding move. That is, unless fed cattle prices are unstable or declining. A fire in a Kansas cattle packing plant just before a report detailing that the U.S. might have planted more acres of corn than earlier anticipated caused the perfect storm that allowed pressure on feeder calf prices at the same time as declining feed prices. With the time of year when the vast majority of U.S. feeder calves are weaned and marketed quickly approaching, there’s little time to develop a plan that might preserve or even enhance some of the value and profit in feeder calves that simply may not be in as strong of demand now as they might have been just a few weeks ago.
However, less expensive feed combined with the thought that calf prices can rebound in the coming months once we are past the seasonal tendency for lower prices and the damaged Kansas packing house comes back on-line offer incentive for developing a strategy to hold on to this fall’s feeder calves while also adding value to them.
To recap the path that’s brought us to this point, on Continue reading
– Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist
Backgrounding is the growing of steers and heifers from weaning until they enter the feedlot for finishing. Backgrounding and Stocker cattle are similar although backgrounding is sometimes associated with a drylot, and stockering cattle is thought of as pasture-based system. However any system that takes advantage of economical feed sources can be investigated.
Why might someone consider backgrounding or growing cattle?
- The producer has time and economical feed resources
- The market at weaning is not as favorable and is investigating alternative marketing times
- Some feedyards prefer buying/feeding yearlings. They can expect fewer health problems and can feed two turns of cattle in a year.
- It could be a way of upgrading mismanaged cattle so as to add value.
- Since the cattle can be on feed for several months, they can fit the preference by some feeders for preconditioned cattle
There are many Continue reading
– Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension
Years like 2019 can test farmers and ranchers to the brink of insanity. People in this profession have to be resilient to the unpredictability of the weather, the markets, and the general chaos of life. All year thus far, we have discussed many ways to adapt our animal feeding programs, pasture systems, and hay production to the far from ideal conditions we are facing.
By now, I hope you have read articles, listened to podcasts, watched videos, talked with your neighbors and your local ag educators about what to do next. Crop selection, site management, and soil health have been a huge topics addressed regarding cover crops for prevent plant acres, damaged pastures, weeds, poor quality hay, and feed shortages.
But, I’m going to take this article a different direction . . .
If you have Continue reading
– Jason Jones, Grassland & Grazing Coordinator, Quail Forever
The “Fescue Belt” is land dominated by non-native cool season grasses, primarily tall fescue. Cool season grasses, such as fescue and orchardgrass, thrive in April to early June and October to November. However, they have obvious drawbacks; and operations that rely exclusively on cool-season forages may find it increasingly difficult to stay above the bottom line.
When the summer is at its peak, cool season grasses can be very unproductive. In contrast, native warm season grasses peak during summer months (85 – 95 F). Warm season grasses are Continue reading
– Michelle Arnold, DVM-Ruminant Extension Veterinarian (UKVDL)
Water is the most essential nutrient in the diet of cattle and during hot and dry weather, it is especially important to monitor water quality if using farm ponds for livestock. What is a “harmful algae bloom” or “HAB”?
During periods of hot and dry weather, rapid growth of algae to extreme numbers may result in a “bloom”, which is a build-up of algae that creates a green, blue-green, white, or brown coloring on the surface of the water, like a floating layer of paint (see Figure 1). Blooms are designated “harmful” because some algal species produce toxins (poisons) when stressed or when they die. The majority of HABs are caused by blue-green algae, a type of bacteria called “cyanobacteria” that exist naturally in water and wet environments. These microorganisms prefer warm, stagnant, nutrient-rich water and are found most often in ponds, lakes, and slow moving creeks. Farm ponds contaminated with fertilizer run-off, septic tank overflow or direct manure and urine contamination are prime places for algae to thrive. Although blooms can occur at any time of year, they happen most often in the warmer months between June and September when temperatures reach 75 degrees or higher and ponds begin to stagnate. HABs can reduce water quality and intake, but more importantly, they can be deadly when ingested by livestock. Windy conditions can push algal blooms along water edges, increasing the risk for Continue reading
– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee
FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $3 to $4 higher compared to last week on a live basis. Live prices were mainly $106 to $109 while dressed prices were mainly $175 to $176.
The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $108.81 live, up $3.41 from last week and $175.02 dressed, up $4.56 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $109.08 live and $172.82 dressed.
The finished cattle market experienced a soft rebound this week following last week’s precipitous decline. A few dollars were gained back by cattle feeders, but they are still below where they were prior to the news of the Tyson fire. The story in all of this is what is happening in futures. The August live cattle contract has regained half of its losses but all the deferred con-tracts continue to be bottom feeders. The deferred contracts have failed to Continue reading