Dismal Wheat Pasture Prospects Weighing on the Feeder Cattle Market
"“We’re at kind of a critical stage right now" said Peel. "The door is closing pretty rapidly on winter wheat pasture here. We’ve got a quite a bit of wheat that’s in, a lot of it’s up, and actually, some of it still looks okay, but it’s beginning to go backwards pretty quickly. So, if we don’t get some significant moisture in just the next few days, then we’re really going to lose possibilities for decent winter forage.”
He says this time of year, what happens in the southern Plains has a national impact when it comes to cattle price outlooks.
“We are home to a lot of cattle from around the country at this time of the year" said Peel. "So, that’s one of the factors that’s kind of weighing on markets right now. Of course, it’s the time of year when we expect some seasonal pressure. But in the central and southern Plains, if we have good wheat pasture conditions, that sort of offsets that seasonal low. We’re seeing a lit bit more of that pressure right now, partly because of the dry conditions, partly because we’ve got some other things happening in cattle and beef markets that are also weighing in on the market a little bit.”
If there is little or no winter wheat pasture this year, Peel said that could change the timing for feeder cattle to enter the supply chain.
He also noted concerns this winter related to COVID-19 and slow food service recovery, which could send demand somewhat lower.