It is easy to argue the stocker sector serves as the fulcrum that makes current beef industry efficiency possible. Stocker operators warehouse cattle, spread seasonal surpluses and deficiencies into a balanced mix of volume. They assemble and sort cattle into more homogenous groups—weight, sex, type and such. Along the way, stocker producers straighten out the high-health-risk cattle that most feedlots want to avoid.
Source: Beef, November 29, 2017.
A small amount of research has been conducted on this sector of beef production. It shows producers find these barriers to their competitiveness in the next five years:
- feed input costs
- other input costs
- potential return on investment
- land purchase prices
- land lease prices
- availability of land to purchase and lease
INSIGHTS: Of those producers involved in stocker/backgrounding production, only a minority are involved in the sector exclusively. Dave Steinbecker, Jr., Perryville, MO, is the 2017 National Stocker Award designee.