By USDA-MO Dept of Ag Market News Service, St, Joseph, MO
Compared to last week, feeder cattle and calf markets were not fully tested due to limited marketing during the Thanksgiving Holiday week. However, several major auctions held specials on Monday and Tuesday this week with calf and yearlings selling steady to 5.00 higher on an active limited test.
After multiple weeks above $200 per head, feedlot margins fell last week to $132.28, according to the Sterling Profit Tracker. Last year at this time, feedlot margins were just $45 per head. Cash prices, however, continued climbing and reached $171.39 the week ending November 22, a nearly 25 percent increase from last year at this time.
The strong market in 2014 has proven especially profitable for cow-calf producers. Sterling Marketing, Inc., is projecting cow-calf margins to be $556 per cow in 2014 and $743 per cow in 2015.
By Eldon Cole, Livestock Extension Specialist, University of Missouri Research and Extension
Before his Show-Me-Select replacement heifer sale, Eldon Cole hoped to top $1.5 million for 521 heifers from area cattle producers enrolled in the University of Missouri beef betterment plan. The MU livestock specialist hit it, with dollars to spare.
The Nov. 21 sale brought $1,505,105 to 29 southern Missouri beef herd owners. Average price per heifer was $2,889. It was the 18th year for the MU program and auctions at Joplin Regional Stockyards.
Cole has managed all. He taught better genetics, management and marketing.
Record high cattle prices have led to questions about additional revenue-generating options in the market. This has led some producers to wonder if there is potential for additional revenue. One of the possibilities for creating extra revenue is to buy bred cows this fall and sell both the cow and calf. The main factor for producers to consider when looking at this option is what comparative advantages they have.
Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.6 million head on November 1, 2014. The inventory was slightly above November 1, 2013.
By Ron Plain and Scott Brown University of Missouri
The number of cattle on feed at the start of November is above the year-ago level for the first time since August 2012. Fed cattle prices continue to set new records buoyed by record retail beef prices. The 5 area price for slaughter steers averaged $164.60/cwt in October. That is up $3.10 from the record set in September and up $35.60 from October 2013. The average retail price for all fresh beef set a new record in October at $5.957 per pound.