Purdue Ag Economist Issues Report Showing Returns From Cattle Feeding, Not A Pretty Picture


by Michael Langemeier, Center for Commercial Agriculture, Purdue University

Monthly steer finishing net returns from January 2012 to October 2022 are presented in Figure 3. It is important to note that net returns were computed using closeout months rather than placement months.

The average net loss for 2022 is expected to be approximately $70 per head with the smallest losses occurring in the first and fourth quarters and larger losses experienced in the second and third quarters. As indicated above, the feeder to fed cattle price ratio was relatively low during 2022, thus cattle finishing losses were largely due to high cost of gains.

Rather than focus on net return projections, we will provide expected breakeven prices below. Of course, these breakeven prices incorporate expected feeder to fed cattle price ratios as well as cost of gain projections.

To read the entire report click here.


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