The disruptions in the beef processing sector caused by COVID-19 continue to interfere with the orderly marketing of finished cattle. While we all hope that the situation is resolved quickly, the reality is that because the shipment of so many harvest-ready cattle has been delayed, there will be increased numbers of heavier cattle on feed for the foreseeable future.
A key advantage to using commodities that meet standard specifications and are frequently traded is that it is very easy to establish an economic value that is accepted by most users. The marketplace sets the value of corn, and other feedstuffs on a daily basis, provided those products meet some set of standard specifications.
Custom cattle feeding can be a “win-win” strategy when done correctly. Feeding someone else’s cattle provides a method to market feedstuffs without tying up the capital required to own the livestock.
Creep-feeding should be evaluated on yearly basis to determine if it will provide production and economic benefits to the operation.
Yardage cost is the non-feed cost per head for every day that an animal is fed harvested feed in some form of confinement. Yardage is usually associated with calves and yearlings in the feedlot, but this concept can apply to drylotted or wintering cows as well.
Before pricing forages, producers will want to have a good understanding about the cost of growing a ton of hay, alfalfa or straw.
What is the “best” way to evaluate profitability of an enterprise, more specifically feeding cattle?
Managing feedstuffs efficiently becomes more important during drought conditions or low revenue years.
Successfully managing drought conditions requires balancing the amount of forage demanded by grazing livestock with the amount produced.
There is an excellent reason why ranchers use early weaning as a drought management tool: Weaning calves early reduces the amount of feed required to maintain the cow.