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Agricultural News

Selk Offers Cull Cow Marketing Tips

Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:11:30 CDT

Selk Offers Cull Cow Marketing Tips

It's the time of year when a lot of cow-calf operators are looking at their mamma cowherd, seeing some open animals and deciding those animals need to move on down the road. They need to be culled out of their herds. Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Beef Cattle Specialist Dr. Glenn Selk said you need to be pay attention to the condition of those animals because they are worth quite a bit of money these days.

"We're at the time of the year where spring-calving operations will be bringing the cows and calves in to wean the calves and preg-check the cows, then determine which of those cows are going to be marketed as culls this year," Selk said. "We want to remember that cull cows and bulls represent at least 20 percent of the gross income of any cow-calf operation, so getting the most out of the cull cows is very important to our bottomline."

Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Selk on Thursday's Beef Buzz. You can listen to the radio program by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

As you're marketing cull cows, Selk said its important that you understand the pricing structure that cull cows will bring. The US Department of Agriculture Market News Service has four different grades for cull cows He said the grades are based primarily on a cow's body condition.

"As you look at the pricing structure of these four grades of cattle you'll understand the fleshier cows, those that are in the boner to breaker category bring more in terms of price per hundred weight and in the case of about ten days ago they are bringing $126.50 per hundred weight for those two groups of cattle," Selk said. "Then as you get to the leans, even though they are a little bit lighter in terms of their weight, they actually bringing less in terms of dollars per hundredweight at $114."

With beef prices where they are right now, Dr. Selk said it makes sense that heavier cattle are worth more.

"The reason those thinner cattle bring less in terms of price per hundred weight for the cull cow market is that they produce a smaller carcass that has less product and therefore less chance for the processor to get back the dollars that he has spent in the processing cost of those cattle as compared to those that are heavier," Selk said.

Given the current price of feed grains being fairly low, if producers have the time and bunk availability it may be worth the investment of feeding those cull cows in order to improve the body condition score. As producers go through this fall and winter season, Selk wants producers to keep in mind this marketing structure where this cows in better body condition are going weigh more, bring more in terms of price per hundred weight and return more dollars to your cow-calf operation.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Ron Hays features Dr. Glenn Selk
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