This summer has not only been hard on crops, but also livestock. Excessive heat and drought conditions are forcing producers to make management decisions now that impact marketing.
For many, early weaning offers the option of improving cows body condition and moving that calf to market earlier, saving pasture and feed.
"With the forced movement of cattle off short grass, calves still possess the greatest selling power," says Frank Loschke with Cattle-Exchange.com, and online cattle buying and selling listing service. With that in mind, it still pays to follow your marketing plan and look at some other alternatives for selling cattle, even if it's earlier than anticipated.
Listing cattle online is one method of "testing the waters" to get an idea of their value. If you plan to list cattle online, Loschke offers these tips:
- Be prepared to make that tough decision. "The cattle may not be perceived as good as we think they are," he says. Be prepared for a reality check when it comes to market value on the day you offer them.
- Use up-to date information (breeding dates, calving dates, body scores, weaning weights, average daily gains, health history, and financial records of all inputs).
- Use multiple media methods to showcase your cattle (photos, videos, and web links).
- Conduct some research into the market you are selling into (current and forward futures and cash prices).
- Be flexible -- to a degree.
- Provide yourself with alternative solutions by having more than on marketing method. For example, create an online listing to test the waters, then if you can't get the price you want, watch the local market and take calves to the sale barn.