Uncertain when, but there will be strong interest in rebuilding the herd when conditions permit. Leaving aside the question of more drought, what's possible in 2023 given current availability of replacement heifers?
Given the limited hay supply, proportionally more wheat pasture is likely to be used for cow herds than for stockers. Even if there is wheat pasture, stocker demand may be somewhat lighter than usual this year.
Drought impacts have accelerated sharply in the southern plains in July, with the volume of feeder cattle in Oklahoma auctions up 24% the last two weeks and the volume of cows and bulls up nearly 124%.
Most components of fall and winter stocker budgets are uncertain at this point but it’s not too early to begin to pencil out possibilities, evaluating risk and perhaps taking actions to lock in some budget components.
The U.S. meat industry faces unprecedented threats as COVID-19 sweeps through labor forces nationwide. Production of beef, pork and poultry are simultaneously threatened by labor availability and processing capacity.