|Beef prices. Most of the valleys fall in the September/October timeframe. Data source|
It looks like the person Sprite talked to was right, the prices bobbed up almost $20/hundred.
University of Nebraska, prices skyrocketed in the 2011-2014 time-frame because of a drought pushing many cattle producers into liquidating their herds. Initially, liquidation exerts downward pressure on prices as all the mama-cows hit the market but then the limited number of calves cause it to spike.
It can take three or four years to rebuild numbers of mama cows.
2019 was a horrible year for hay and grain through much of the corn belt.
The only think keeping corn prices from blowing through the roof is the huge overhang in the pork market due to China is not importing US pork. Even though you don't see it at the supermarket, yet, the pork market is saturated and prices have to get soft. Soft prices means some producers will fold and reduce production. Fewer hogs means less buying pressure on corn.
The fly-in-the-ointment for cattle producers is the effect cheap pork chops will have on beef prices as various cuts of meat compete side-by-side in the grocery store. A tsunami of pork will beat down beef prices causing even more beef producers to liquidate.
Sprite's current plan is to sell most of her cows and her bull in December. Feed the calves (hay + creep feed grain) plus one boss-cow (hay) through the winter. Graze them on pasture until August and then pull the plug on them.
|Ten year price data on 700-800lb feeder steers. Data from the University of Nebraska report|
|Eaton Rapids Joe taking Sprite's cattle their Thanksgiving feast|
If she wants to work extra hard, she can mow each paddock as they move out after June first.