Shagam Looks At Profit Trends In Cattle Industry

Who’s making money, and who isn’t making money, in the beef cattle business? When starting at the end point and working backwards, margins are quite firm. USDA Livestock Analyst, Shayle Shagam, said as far as cattle feed lots, those margins have been up and down all year. But that was not the case in October.

“Cattle feeding margins were actually positive in October. To some extent that reflects the fact they were selling cattle that had been purchased probably in April and May when we were looking at some of the lowest prices for that month for feeder calves and probably close to ten years. So having gotten those fairly cheap calves  even though prices that they received  for their fed cattle were below a year earlier, there was still some money to be made.”

Shagam added cow/calf operators have been having a little more trouble maintaining positive margins. Feeder prices, are still running generally below what they were a year ago.

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