With corn and wheat markets up and feeder cattle future markets declining, should producers hold onto calves through this down market? Oklahoma State University Beef Nutrition Specialist Paul Beck says there’s a few things to consider, including size of cattle, available resources, and producer risk tolerance. “As an example, in our area, a lot of producers are depending on a dual purpose or graze-out wheat pasture so they can grow calves weaned in the fall to heavier weights and sell them at a seasonally higher market for feeder steers. Right now, with futures markets going down and we’re in a dry cycle, a lot of these calves are going to be at lighter weights than they normally would be. And there’s potential for cash prices to follow the futures market.” Beck says at least there’s a premium to rely on in late spring. “The one thing going for us is there’s quite a premium for these feeder weight calves later int he spring or early summer compared to current futures. So, the value of gain should be fairly attractive for holding calves.”
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