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Agricultural News

Peel Says Heifers Remain in High Demand

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:44:57 CDT

Peel Says Heifers Remain in High Demand

Cattle prices are strong across the board, especially females. As females are being sent on through the slaughter chain, the market is getting very close to parity between steer prices and heifer prices. Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Dr. Derrell Peel said heifers are closing the gap on steers.

"We've been anticipating this for a while, heifers obviously are in demand for retention," Peel said. "They also have a lot of demand as feeder cattle because of the overall tight supplies and we're beginning to see some market reports now where heifers that are not necessarily designated as replacement heifers but the percent discount of heifer price to steer price is less than normal this fall. We're seeing right now a little bit more in the northern plains but I think it will happen more generally across the country as we go farther into this calf market this fall."

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Director Ron Hays featured Peel on Tuesday's Beef Buzz. You can listen to the feature by Clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

As cattle prices look to continue upward, Peel said he is optimistic beef prices will also move higher in the final quarter of 2014.

"You know we got record high prices, we're looking at generally higher prices," Peel said.   "Beef production continues very tight. So far this year we got beef production down about six percent, slaughter is down seven percent and on an annual basis we look at 2015 we're talking about still higher prices yet and a continued decrease in beef production."

For producers considering getting into the cattle business, Peel said its not too late.

"If you want to get into the cattle business anytime in the next five or six years, I think you want to get in now, sooner rather than later," Peel said. "It's not too late at this point. There will be a time somewhere down the road where it will be too late but that's probably two or three years out from here."   

If producers are looking it getting into the business or expanding their existing herd, Peel explains get in now gives producers the opportunity to sell calves within the next couple of years.

"These cow prices are high, but they are going to go even higher yet before this is all over with and if you look at the value of these calves right now it still sort of works," Peel said. "It takes about three calves to pay for a cow right now given these calf prices were seeing."

Peel is also watching the weather. Recent rains have put Oklahoma in a position where there should be amble wheat pasture for the available cattle this fall.

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 Beef Buzzes with Dr. Derrell Peel
right-click to download mp3


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