Calf Market Craziness

Mar 12, 2024 | Educational Blog

Author: Lauren Kimble, Manager ProfitSOURCE and Low Carbon Technologies Supply Chains, Select Sires

Hang in there! Low inventory of native cattle (driven by drought and high input costs) and high beef demand have calf prices running red-hot right now. Sometimes, local markets can temporarily outcompete supply-chain prices simply based on transport cost. This won’t last forever, so here are some tips for how to sustain prices as long as possible.

Tip No. 1: Forecasts vary regarding on when the beef herd will hit expansion. This may not occur as soon as expected, but when it does, we are commonly hearing a non-program, untraceable beef x dairy (BxD) calf will be the first to receive a price dock.

  • According to various sources, Angus-type program BxD are among the most preferred cattle by feeders in the U.S., alongside native Angus-type cattle. Unknown cattle, which can tend to have more variability within a group, are less preferred.
  • Even if you’re not selling BxD cattle through a defined program, keep using the right kind of genetics – like the ProfitSOURCE lineup – that are desirable to downstream buyers. That way, if you need to pivot quickly, your calves on the ground and pregnancies in utero can be easily shifted through new alignments and start bringing you value right away.

Tip No. 2: ProfitSOURCE programs are flexible. We understand you need to take care of your bottom line first and foremost. ProfitSOURCE-tagged cattle have fans among multiple buyers, growers, and feedyards. You can leverage your program cattle with your existing buyers (we can provide educational material to help you do so) or seek buyers that actively demand ProfitSOURCE with the help of your CentralStar team. This program does NOT restrict or dictate where your cattle may go, but is here to support you in finding the right buying relationship for your operation.

Tip No. 3: Not currently selling to a program, but looking for options close to home? We’ve added new ProfitSOURCE partners in several states, including Wisconsin and Michigan.

Learn more from your CentralStar team.