Maximizing Value of Cull Cows with Derrell Peel

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Derrell Peel about the cull cow market.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is talking with Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Dr. Derrell Peel about the cull cow market and more.

“The cull cow market has moved higher this year just like all the other cattle markets,” Peel said.

A cull cow of average quality, Peel said, is bringing around $1.08 to $1.10 per pound depending on dressing percentage.

“We had record beef production in 2022 that was based on slaughter, which was driven by the drought liquidation that we had, so we were sort of pulling inventories down and pulling cattle forward because we marketed calves early and so on,” Peel said.

Now, Peel said, steer slaughter is down, and heifer slaughter is down as well, but at a slower pace.

“Beef cow slaughter is down significantly this year at about 13 percent,” Peel said. “Dairy cow slaughter is the only class of cattle that is actually up on a year-over-year basis, so you have to look over into the dairy market to explain that.”

Year-to-date, Peel said total cattle slaughter is down about 3.9 percent for the year so far.

When marketing their cull cows, Peel said there are a few things producers should keep in mind.

“To the extent that we are a little bit lower seasonally, if you hang onto them a little bit after culling, feed them, and put some weight back on them, you will sell more pounds for more money typically from about a November low into the first part of the next year,” Peel said. “Depending on how much weight they gain, you might raise them up a grade in terms of their classification, and they will bring even more money.”

There is also a tight bred cow situation, Peel added.

“If you leave a bull with those cows while you are feeding them and putting a little weight on them, some of them very likely will get pregnant…,” Peel said.

If a cow is bred over the winter, Peel said, she will likely be worth even more in the spring.

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

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