Since August, BEEF has been providing a Friday afternoon roundup of each week’s cattle-market activity at beefmagazine.com.

Produced by Steve Kay, editor and publisher of Cattle Buyers Weekly (CBW), the number-one marketing and business newsletter for the North American meat and livestock industry, you can find it in the center column of the opening page under: “Cattle Market Update.”

Now, there’s a new addition to that Friday feature – a projected cattle-feeding margin.

“Cattle feeders in 2008 suffered their heaviest losses in recent history and 2009 will remain challenging. The projected feeding margin is aimed to help cattle feeders make informed decisions about buying and placing cattle,” Kay says. “The projected margin will cover one class of cattle and can be used as a weekly barometer of likely profitability.”

The margin will come from the North American Institute for Beef Economic Research (NAIBER), using its proprietary Cattle Feeding Return Risk Analyzer (developed by NAIBER co-founder Ted Schroeder of Kansas State University).

The weekly margin will include: 750-lb. steer; its average price at the previous Monday’s Oklahoma City Stockyards sale; a Kansas feedlot location; interest rates that reflect general cattle financing conditions; average daily gains, death loss and other feedlot inputs; projected corn costs during the projected feeding period, using corn futures closes each Thursday; a projected live cattle price at the end of the feeding period, using live-cattle futures closes each Thursday; a projected out-weight of 1,250 lbs.

Some inputs, as noted, will be updated each week while others, such as daily gain and death loss, will be adjusted on a seasonal basis. Producers wishing to calculate their own projected cattle feeding returns, using their own inputs, can do so by going to NAIBER’s Cattle Feeding Return Risk Analyzer at: www.naiber.org/cattleriskanalyzer/.