Feedyard Analysis: Winter, drought continue to take toll

Feedyard Analysis: Winter, drought continue to take toll

*Dr. Marcus Hoelsher heads his own consulting firm at 1500 W. Park, Hereford, Texas.

FEEDYARD managers reported that adverse winter feeding conditions continued to affect performance of feedyard cattle.

Compared to the previous month, daily gains were reduced, and feed conversions and costs of gain were higher.

Steers marketed in March were placed on feed at 788 lb., finished at 1,355 lb. and gained 3.57 lb. daily for 159 days. The cost of gain ranged from $126 to $132/cwt. and averaged $129.37/cwt., up $4.32 compared to the previous month.

Heifers were placed at 715 lb., finished at 1,238 lb. and gained 3.21 lb. daily for the 163-day feeding period. The cost of gain ranged from $130 to $136/cwt. and averaged $133.85/cwt., up $4.69 from the previous month.

Ration costs for April should range from $370 to $380 per ton on a dry basis with a ration markup. Costs of most ingredients were either comparable to or lower than the previous month.

With a $128 fed cattle market, cattle feeders reported losses of $120-130 per head. One year ago, they reported a profit of $20-30 per head with a $125 fed cattle market.

Drought persists throughout the Plains area. Livestock producers are reporting that drought conditions are as bad as or worse than last year. Cow herds are being reduced, with cows going to the packer.

Reduced cattle numbers continue to have an effect on the cattle industry and local communities. Packing plants and feedyards continue to close.

Feedyard managers are doing a good job of moving finished cattle from their show lists, most of which are current.

 

Feedyard performance, March 2013

 

-Steers-

-Heifers-

 

March '13

Feb. '13

March '12

March '13

Feb. '13

March '12

Weight in, lb.

788

778

753

715

704

712

Weight out, lb.

1,355

1,351

1,313

1,238

1,223

1,218

Days fed

159

157

156

163

158

155

Daily gain, lb.

3.57

3.65

3.59

3.21

3.28

3.26

Dry conversion, lb.

6.29

6.21

6.16

6.41

6.33

6.40

Death loss, %

1.16

1.13

1.35

1.39

1.29

1.43

Cost of gain, $/cwt.

129.37

125.05

110.47

133.85

129.16

114.39

Data are based on 25 feedlots in a four-state area serviced by several nutritional and veterinarian consulting groups.

 

Volume:85 Issue:15

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