Current Market Impacts on Future Cow Herds

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

Anyone who follows beef cattle markets closely is well aware of the price volatility that currently is in place. No better example of this is the cash fed cattle market. Current fed cattle prices are just now falling below prices seen two years ago in 2013. During the past two years, the fed cattle market has experienced two of the most extreme moves in the history of the cattle market.

What are the reasons for such extreme moves in the market? In both years, there was a “Perfect Storm” of sorts that created Continue reading

Capturing Value when Preconditioning Calves

– Adam Hady, UW Extension Ag Agent, Richland County, article recently appeared in Wisconsin Agriculturist

As the summer grazing season winds down and time is getting near for cow calf producers to wean calves, they might be asking themselves, with calf prices as good as they are, is it worth it for me to precondition my calves or just sell them right off the cow? For starters, what is preconditioning, and why would we do it? Preconditioning is a practice that gets calves ready for the next phase of production and done with proper management can add a few dollars into the cow/calf producer’s pocket. In general, these are programs that are done for 30-60 days with 45 being the most common. During this time, calves are weaned, vaccinated, bunk broke, and water tank broke.

So how does holding these calves for 45 days actually make the cow/calf guy any money? Continue reading

Dry Conditions Add to Price Decline

– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

After a wet first half of the year dry conditions have returned in much of Texas. The latest drought monitor map indicates almost 2/3rds of the state is back in abnormally dry to extreme drought. The worst hit areas are in central to East Texas. As more calves are brought to market seasonally, the dry conditions are limiting the demand from buyers. Winter wheat and oat pasture establishment has been delayed, further slowing Continue reading