This past year’s drought dramatically changed the normal feeder cattle run. In the Upper Midwest, feeder cattle were marketed early because of the drought. “A lot of pairs came to town all summer long,” said Billy Bushelle, co-owner and manager, Bagley Livestock. “As we got into the fall feeder cattle market, a lot of the guys that would normally background, wean their calves, precondition them and sell them from now until March-April weren’t able to do that because of the shortage of hay and other resources so they had to market them early.” Bushelle says the drought will leave a mark on the market for a few years. “The calves that were sold still exist, but they were marketed at different times. It’s going to throw a wrinkle in the fed cattle market going forward because these calves have been placed in feedlots during their unnormal times and channels. It’s going to be unpredictable and play a little havoc on the future of the fat cattle market for the 2021 calves.”
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