A silver lining appeared for Oklahoma's wheat farmers as widespread rains brought renewed hope for winter wheat pastures. While most regions received between 1.5 and 6 inches, the northwest and panhandle remained less fortunate.
This rainfall has manifested in diverse wheat growth stages across Oklahoma. Interestingly, reports indicate a 71% planting completion rate for the state's wheat, marginally higher than last year but below the 5-year average. Consequently, farmers are optimistic, albeit expecting a slightly delayed wheat pasture season. This optimism has led some to invest in stocker cattle early, while others play the waiting game.
Contrary to seasonal norms, prices for stocker steers haven't dipped. Especially, the prices for 450–500-pound steers in October exceeded those in September. On the other hand, heavier cattle witnessed a price drop of around 10%.
The futures market for both Live and Feeder cattle experienced a dramatic shift recently. After months of positive trends, a sharp fall was noted in late October, influenced heavily by global events and increased market volatility. Given the current conditions, stocker steers weighing around 475 pounds are expected to offer marginal returns.
Finally, it's crucial to note the evident decline in cattle supply in Oklahoma, as reflected by consecutive drops in auction volumes over ten weeks. This decrease suggests that stocker calf prices might remain steady or even increase, depending on broader market dynamics.