Cattle pricing explanation?

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Well-known member
Nov 21, 2012
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SW Oklahoma
It’s a puzzle with a whole lot of pieces - most of which have been mentioned above. Lighter cattle of comparable quality will always bring more per pound. How much depends on if they’re long weaned, vaccinated, flesh, fill, where you are, what time of year it is, how big a group there is, whose buying and what they’re looking for....

Another big factor here is that many stocker guys sell their cattle on contracts - they simply can’t be there trying to buy 400# steers but pick up a few 600#’s just because they’re a really good deal. So they try to figure out what’s available, what kind of gain they expect to get, how long they’re going to carry them and so on to reach their target. Then they have to choose a lane and stay in it. Even if you’re not contracting, just selling your feeders at auction, you’ll almost always realize the most profit by doing it the same way.

Not to say there’s not money to be made on all of them, but if you’re buying cattle that don’t fit together, you’ve got to buy them cheaper cause you’re gonna sell them cheaper.

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