Feed Lot

NOV 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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16 FEED•LOT November 2018 the same week last year, and the statewide average was down the previous week as well. "It's either too wet to gather and send them, or too wet to buy and take them home," he said. Buyers are hesitant to put cattle in pens in the current conditions, he explained. "There's some man- agement challenges with all the mud. However, the market has dropped off a little, and they might can buy a little cheaper right now if they have a place to go with them." Hopefully those who bought cat- tle early can utilize pasture to hang on to calves while things dry up, he said. If cattlemen already have cattle bought, they will be in good shape to turn them out as soon as the ground is dry enough. "In general, we've had a lot of forage to work with of late. I had some concerns with overall hay stocks around the area, but we've overcome part of that with late hay production. There were some army worm problems in Bermuda and wheat fields, but in general, we've got a lot of forage to work with." Peel said cattlemen need to keep in mind a shorter grazing period and adjust their budgets to reflect their particular situation. FL Unprecedented rains across Texas and Oklahoma have delay- ed wheat grazing opportunities, but Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Ex- tension livestock marketing spe- cialist said things still look good for stocker operators. "This is the first time in my ca- reer we've had too much moisture for wheat pasture," he said. "But we will use this moisture at some point and will grow a lot of forage." Many operators put wheat in the ground in September in anticipa- tion of turning out stocker cattle in early November. That would allow for 120 days of winter grazing until early March when cattle can be pulled off to let wheat grow for harvest. Those looking just to har- vest a grain crop often plant a little later in the year. However, the wet weather is dictating planting and grazing schedules. Those who didn't get finished planting can't get in the fields to plant. And that will delay any fall grazing opportunities for those producers. "We are squeezing that time line a little bit and will have delayed turn out," Peel said. "But the wheat in the ground is nearly ready to graze right now. We're not grazing it yet because cattle would either tromp it or pull it up. But once it dries up enough to turn out, it will be full speed ahead." Peel said in Oklahoma there is a lot of wheat in the ground and established. "Those who saw early potential and jumped out there and got planted – it's about ready to go. Assuming it will eventually stop raining, this delay hasn't changed my overall assessment. The num- bers still look attractive." Profitability of wheat pasture cattle depends on several factors, including the length of grazing pe- riod, weight gain, purchase price of the cattle and the cost of wheat. The spring cattle market also is a big factor. But looking at futures prices for March Feeders, breakev- ens still work, says Peel. Typically, prices for stockers decrease through September and October. However prices went up counter-seasonally this fall until recently. Wet weather and mud is helping seasonal pressure kick in, bringing prices down. Runs of stocker cattle have also dropped off. According to Peel, Oklahoma's average volume for mid-October is down around 30% compared to STOCKER SPECIAL WEATHER DELAY Monsoon rains stall stocker cattle turn out on wheat pasture BY JILL J. DUNKEL

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