Cow-calf producers face this question every year. There are many deciding factors including current calf prices, cost of gain, and projected feeder prices.
Mother Nature throws in her extra curve balls with drought and grasshoppers that force tough decisions to be made. These variables are different for each producer, depending on their cattle, and their cost structure, therefore each operation needs to crunch their own numbers. Producers need to project whether it will be profitable to feed their calves on a backgrounding program rather than sell them at weaning.
The region's producers have suffered exceptionally this past year and are working to overcome these hardships. For our operation backgrounding is the choice we are moving forward with.
Sewell, H. (1993, October). Backgrounding Calves Part 1: Assessing the Opportunity.
Extension University of Missouri. Retrieved December 28, 2021, from
Backgrounding Calves. (2021, June 25). American Cattlemen.