Page 6 - Oct22020
P. 6

The Midwest Cattleman · October 22, 2020 · P6
       Lack of moisture threatens winter grazing

                                         By Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing

                                         proved to 55 by mid-September        Wheat pasture development        es last week (Oklahoma com-
                                         and has increased again to 64  and growth is likely to slow or        bined auctions) showed that
                                         in the latest Drought Monitor.  even reverse if forecast weath-       the  value of  increasing  steer
                                         Nationally, the DSCI has wors- er conditions are realized. This,      weight from 500 to 550 pounds
                                         ened since May and currently  in turn, may reduce stocker             increased animal value by $30/
                                         stands at 148, with the majori- cattle demand in the coming           head or $0.60/lb. value of gain.
                                         ty of drought conditions in the  weeks. On average, Oklaho-           From 550 to 600 pounds, steer
         Most of western Oklahoma  western half of the country.             ma calf prices are at or near      value increased by $29/head or
      has received little or no mois-       La Niña conditions have de- the seasonal low in the late           $0.58/lb. of gain. In contrast,
      ture  in  the  past  two  to  three  veloped this fall in the Pacific  September/early October pe-       steers from 600-650 pounds in-
      weeks     advancing      drought Ocean and are expected to per- riod.  With  larger  fall  runs  of      creased in value by $69/head or
      conditions once again. From  sist  through  the  winter.  The  calves expected in October and            a value of gain of $1.37/lb. The
      the worst levels in early July,  presence of La Niña in the win- November, the lack of wheat             same is true for heavier weight
      drought conditions in Okla- ter typically results in drier  pasture demand may add ad-                   feeder animals. The same pat-
      homa had generally improved  than average conditions across  ditional  seasonal  pressure  to            tern is true for heifers with the
      until mid-September. In the  the southern U.S. As a result,  calf markets this fall. Lack of             price break occurring at about
      past  two  weeks,  the  Drought  the drought outlook for the  wheat pasture or other forages             550 pounds.
      Monitor map for Oklahoma  remainder of the year, provid- may change the timing of calf                     The current feeder price
      shows conditions once again  ed  by  the  Climate  Prediction  and feeder cattle sales this fall.        patterns mean that producers
      deteriorating. The  Drought  Center, indicates persistent               A feeder cattle price pattern    should consider the implica-
      Monitor includes a Drought  drought in current drought  has developed this fall in Okla-                 tions of current animal weight,
      Severity & Coverage Index  areas with drought conditions  homa that is very typical at this              short-term weight gain and
      (DSCI), which provides an indi- expanding eastward into the  time  of  year.  The  price  slides         timing as they evaluate fall
      cation of how severe and wide- central and southern plains,  across steer weights are very               marketing alternatives. In the
      spread drought conditions are  including much of Oklahoma.  different for feeder cattle below            current market for example,
      based on the Drought Monitor  Current  Oklahoma  weather  600 pounds compared to cattle                  the value of 50 to 100 pounds
      categories. The DSCI for Okla- forecasts are consistent with  over 600 pounds. A larger price            of  gain  will  be  significantly
      homa was highest (indicating  these broader indications with  slide for the lightweight cattle           lower for steers less than 600
      worse drought conditions) at  scant precipitation prospects  means that the value of gain is             pounds compared to steers
      143 in early July. The DSCI im- likely for the next two weeks.        lower. For example, steer pric-    over 600 pounds.

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