Lee Schulz, ISU Extension Livestock Economist, on the November Livestock Outlook.
Harvest is wrapping up and producers are considering cattle feeding opportunities and cow herd operators are evaluating whether to sell their calves or retain ownership this year. Information from the feeder cattle futures market combined with basis forecasts can be utilized to garner value of gain projections to help guide these decisions. Currently, there are historically high values of gain and this is expected to continue. In fact, over the last few weeks the value of adding additional weight to calves has been increasing as there continues to be a desire for feedlots to put less weight on using corn. Of course these projections do not take into consideration costs of adding additional weight and producers will need to compare that to the values of gain. One factor potentially favoring adding weight to calves this fall is the higher than normal amount of drought damaged corn that was chopped for silage and may be available to feed calves.
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