Farmer-feeders have struggled with high input costs for more than a year, and most closeouts have been printed with red ink during that time.
Despite that gloomy near-term outlook, farmer-feeders can find a silver lining in significantly lower costs.
Those lower prices will help lower costs for farmer-feeders, but breakeven prices for fed cattle will remain near $105 per hundredweight in December.
Controlling costs will continue to be an important objective for farmer-feeders as they look toward 2009.
Farmer-feeders will also seek more non-traditional marketing methods that may help them earn premiums on fed cattle.