Kellie Curry Raper, OSU Extension Livestock Economics Specialist
The Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN) wrapped up another year of VAC45 certified sales in late December. OQBN scheduled 10 fall sales across 7 markets. A total of 2,674 head were enrolled in OQBN by 63 producers, with 1,633 marketed through OQBN sales. Preliminary average premiums were calculated from data collected by Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Economics Specialists that included 11,027 head marketed in 1,352 total lots: 228 OQBN and 1,124 non-OQBN. Following below average premiums in 2020, preliminary numbers indicate producers likely saw a favorable increase in 2021 premiums for preconditioned calves over non-preconditioned as the approximated average premium received was $15/cwt.
The largest proportion of calves marketed through OQBN sales were 4 to 6 weight calves accounting for 79% of OQBN calves. Premiums received for 4-weight steers ranged from $16.92 to 37.01/cwt and from $0 to 22.55/cwt for heifers. The largest proportion of OQBN calves were in the 5-weight class with premiums for steers ranging from $10.36 to 22.08/cwt and for heifers, $0 to 35.53/cwt. The 6-weight calves represented the second largest proportion of OQBN calves marketed with premiums for steers ranging from $3.83 to 8.83/cwt and from $6.62 to 30.00/cwt for heifers.
Premiums appeared stronger when more OQBN calves or other program calves were present, likely drawing in a larger audience of buyers to compete for preconditioned calves and generating greater selling power. High heat and dry weather conditions in late summer and early fall contributed to fewer calves enrolled in the OQBN program as many producers were without available resources to begin preconditioning programs.
Producers that were unable to meet required weaning dates to participate in the fall OQBN sales have a few upcoming opportunities to market their calves through an OQBN sales after the first of the year. There will be an OQBN sale at OKC West Livestock Market on 01/25/2022 and McAlester Stockyards on 02/08/2022. To participate, calves should have been weaned by or before 12/11/2021 (for OKC West) and 12/25/2021 (for McAlester). For more information on enrolling calves in the OQBN program, please contact Jeff Robe at 405-744-4268 or [email protected].
Watch producers talk about the benefits of preconditioning and the OQBN program on SUNUP TV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDsGG0AyXOM
Insight on marketing preconditioned calves from a recent Rancher’s Thursday Lunchtime Webinar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvie8HF_xHU&t=195s