Producers Faced with Many Challenges Caused by Unusual Weather in Oklahoma this Fall Season

Nov 06, 2018

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Mondays, Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, offers his economic analysis of the beef cattle industry. This analysis is a part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner" published electronically by Dr. Peel and Dr. Glenn Selk. Today, Dr. Peel takes a look at the current situation in the Fall cattle and beef markets.
"Unusual weather in Oklahoma this fall has created many challenges for cattle and crop producers but there has been one positive outcome: brilliant fall colors. The exceptional red and yellow leaves this fall are the most impressive I have seen in a number of years. The fall foliage also reminds us that 2018 is winding to a close and we are beginning to see markets take on their final look for the year.
"Boxed beef cutout prices have increased from a recent low near $202/cwt. in mid-October to a high last week over $218/cwt. The beef rally has been led by middle meats, with the strongest increases in rib and loin primals as well as briskets but chuck and round primals have also increased in the last six weeks. 
"Fed cattle prices dropped to an early fall low of about $107/cwt in early September and traded in a narrow range of $110-$111/cwt. for six weeks in September and October before breaking higher the last week of October. Fed prices are currently trading at $113-$114/cwt. on tighter current feedlot supplies.
"Total cattle slaughter for the past six weeks has averaged 1.9 percent higher year over year compared to the same period last year. Cattle slaughter across all cattle classes is beginning to fall into line with expectations. Steer slaughter, which has averaged below year ago levels all year, has been up by 0.5 percent year over year for the past six weeks. Heifer slaughter the past six weeks has averaged 3.0 percent over last year, bringing the year to date total down to a 7.2 percent year to date increase year over year. Beef cow slaughter likewise has moderated, with the last six weeks averaging 4.9 percent higher year over year and bringing the year to date total down to 10.6 percent year over year increase. 
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