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Beef Buzz News

Cattle Numbers and Prices to be Impacted by Poor Pasture and Range Conditions

Fri, 03 Jun 2022 10:34:58 CDT

Cattle Numbers and Prices to be Impacted by Poor Pasture and Range Conditions Ron Hays, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster features comments from Katelyn McCullock, Director and Senior Agricultural Economist at the Livestock Marketing Information Center. McCullock talks about what the next year may look like for cattle producers and the cattle market due to poor pasture and range conditions.

Like many individuals in the beef industry, McCullock is watching what is going on with our pasture range conditions across the country, including the Southern Plains. She is concerned with what these poor conditions will mean for our beef cow numbers down the road.

"I can't believe I'm saying this, but this year's U.S. pasture and range conditions are worse than they were last year, which is maybe tough to believe and is disheartening," McCullock said. "But it has moved around a little bit. Much more centered on the Southern Plains, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico."

McCullock said she can see excessive dryness causing an increase in the number of lightweight placements in feedlots. So far, she added, we have only seen the effects on the cow side by the substantial number of cows being liquidated.

Increased volume of beef cow slaughter, McCullock said, has boosted beef production because of the number of cows that are moving through slaughter. Looking ahead to July 1st or January 1st, McCullock added we can expect to see a large decline in calf crop.

"We are saying over two percent," McCullock said. "I don't quite know what that means yet, I keep watching the weekly numbers, but essentially, hay isn't going to get any cheaper and unless you get timely rains, pasture and range conditions are a pretty dire situation already, and it is not even the hottest part of the year."

The La Niña forecast is still at play, McCullock said, and is causing some worry.

In the Southern Plains, McCullock said pasture and range conditions are showing that 60 percent of most pastures are requiring farmers or producers to provide something other than what is growing.

"It is a little bit of a double-edged sword," McCullock said. "I fear cattle prices might be moved lower just because so many of them might have to come to be placed at the same time, because of the drought. But the flip side of that is, that just means you are going to have even tighter supplies than we thought we were going to next year."

LMIC has had to do is adjust the near-term forecast down, McCullock said, while increasing next years. How high it goes next year, McCullock said, might have more to do with the weather, economy, inflation, high wheat prices, corn and more.

From the feeder cattle side, McCullock said many factors are going to raise the price.

McCullock said in the southern plains, LMIC is forecasting five to six weights over the course of 2023 to be about a four percent increase from 2022.

"Four to seven percent isn't out of the question," McCullock said. "Four percent might be on the low end. We have had to mess with this a little bit, given how high corn costs have been."

On the feeder side, McCullock said seven and eight weights we have about a seven percent increase in price in 2023 from 2022.

"It looks like at least, for right now, 2022 is going to be limited in upside potential because that cost of beef is so high," McCullock said.

Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Katelyn McCullock on the forecast for beef cattle numbers and prices to come.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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.



Listen to Katelyn McCullock's Cattle Market and Number Forecast
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