Implementing risk management to take advantage of higher cattle prices

The January Cattle Inventory report from the USDA shows continued contraction in the US cattle herd, paving the way for stronger prices in 2022.

Mississippi State University’s Josh Maples says that makes it the perfect time to implement risk management tools.  “Have some sort of risk management strategy that allows you some protection should something unexpected happen,” he says.  “My encouragement to producers is even when prices are increasing look for chances that make sense for the cattle that you’re selling to try and lock in a price that protects your operation.”

He tells Brownfield demand will continue to play a pivotal role in the direction of cattle prices. “I’m not expecting that to fall off,” he says. “Both domestically, here, we’ve seen really strong support for beef, but also internationally.”

And while higher prices typically do trigger expansion, other factors like persistent drought conditions in parts of cattle country could keep some producers from holding back replacement heifers.  

Brownfield interviewed Maples during the 2022 Cattle Industry Convention in Houston, Texas.  

AUDIO: Josh Maples, Mississippi State University

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