Tighter beef supplies could lead to an increase in prices when the overall economy improves. CattleFax Market Analyst Chad Spearman told the 120 in attendance at the KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day held last week near Palco, unfortunately, a turnaround in beef demand still may be at least 6 to 12 months away. The event was hosted by KLA members Ken and Barb Grecian.

Spearman said in the short-term, the market should find support for 550 lb. feeder steer prices at $105.00/cwt. this fall. Producers can expect prices to soften for 750 lb. feeders through mid-September and remain in the mid $90.00/cwt. range through the end of the year. He said this follows the normal seasonal price trend for feeders. According to Spearman, the tightest fed cattle supplies will come in October. With this in mind, he said prices could push back into the upper $80.00/cwt. range on finished cattle, even reaching $90.00/cwt., which would be the high for the year.

K-State Extension Livestock Specialist Sandy Johnson told attendees now is the time to consider winter feeding options. She said prices for distillers’ grains (DGs) currently are at lower levels, selling for $85.00 per ton in some areas. Although storage has proven to be a challenge for wet DGs, Johnson said there are options for longer “shelf-life.” Putting it in large silage bags; mixing it with dry forage, such as corn stalks or straw; or piling and covering it on a concrete pad have proven to be the best options.

This was the final field day in the 2009 series. All three events were sponsored by Bayer Animal Health and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas.

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