Many producers in the stocker business have said that the profit is made when the calf is purchased. If correct decisions are made when the calf is bought, then the rest of the job is much easier. Attention must still be given to health, gain and input costs, but, if the calf is too expensive to start with, profits can be elusive even with low death loss, morbidity and good gain. There is wisdom in this, but, in today's highly volatile market, considerable variation in a calf's sale value can be experienced from week to week. This can also have a significant impact on profitability.
To determine if there were any seasonal patterns in the price volatility of 700- to 800-pound feeder cattle sold at Oklahoma City National Stockyards, average prices for each week were compared to the week before for all 52 weeks of the year.
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