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Dr. Derrell Peel Sees Cattle Marketplace in 2020 Starting on a Positive Note

Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:29:06 CST

Dr. Derrell Peel Sees Cattle Marketplace in 2020 Starting on a Positive Note

We are halfway through the first month of the new year, and OSU Agricultural Economist, Dr. Derrell Peel says the beef cattle marketplace seems to be starting on a positive note, "I think we're carrying a lot of momentum from the last part of 2019. It's still early; I think to have a sense of kind of where we from a meat standpoint in the post-holiday assessment. The fundamentals are, you know, really in pretty good shape as we go forward, and I think the markets are already reacting to that."

Peel says this time of year he always looks back to assess the challenges producers faced the previous year, "2019 I think was kind of a little bit of something for everyone. We had some struggles, certainly at the cow-calf and the feeder cattle market side. We had some challenges with market volatility. We had a number of things going on, but you know it comes down to, looking back at managing costs, and really taking stock of how we can prepare ourselves to deal with those kinds of challenges in the market when they arise."

Peel says for each cattle producer, you need to take a look at your numbers and step back and really understand how productive your herd was, "You can look at an overall number and say well how many calves did I sell? And of course, the market side of it is what did I get for those calves? But from a production standpoint, do you really know you know where you're at with that calf-crop percentage? What's a good benchmark that you should be using to measure against that? And then go back and dissect that a little bit and think about, you know, did I have problems with calf mortality prior to weaning? Or prior to that, did I not get as many calves born as I would have liked by some reasonable measure? Or go back to the previous year and look at your pregnancy rates and try to figure out, you know reproductive-wise, nutrition-wise, what factors are really limiting production. And is there a reason to make some changes?"

Peel goes onto say that its essential producers evaluate their mama cow herd and the cost of production, "Probably the biggest variable that we see in the cattle industry is the range of cost of production across cow-calf operations. A lot of producers just sort of say well whatever happened, happened, but it really isn't that. That's the one area you really do control, as opposed to markets, and weather, and some other things that impact your business. And so it's worth spending a little, little bit of time to really understand grazing management and maximizing the use of your grazable forages. Using supplemental feed and harvest and forages when you need to. And just think about the cost of those things, and opportunities that you might have, to improve returns by managing cost as opposed to expecting the market to offer you more returns."

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Derrell Peel's comments here in the early days of 2020.


Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with OSU Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel
right-click to download mp3


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