To sell or not to sell?

The improved cattle market outlook has producers weighing their options as drought continues and inputs skyrocket.

Tricia Grabenstein operates a large cow-calf herd and backgrounding operation. “It’s kind of one of these years where people are debating do we sell and do herd liquidation or do we carry these calves and feed them because there is value in cattle right now?”

She tells Brownfield drought has reduced hay quality and feed costs have tripled since last year causing some producers to wean calves earlier than normal. “We’re looking at calves that are coming in weighing less than 450 pounds therefore they need some extra protein as well.  We need to supplement them in many ways to get them going.  We have several variables to deal with that we typically don’t.”

Grabenstein says she’s considering selling off older cows, but “We have a production sale so that’s kind of a different look for us than what other cattle producers are facing.  We also retained an extra 60 heifers this year so that will be a benefit to us.”

She says other producers in the area have sold off large portions of their herds.

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