Many cow-calf producers are pleased to see the relatively good calf prices being reported this year on video auctions and a few early calf sales. Unfortunately, all of the improvement in calf value is needed to offset what seems to be ever-increasing costs.

The relatively good calf prices have many cow-calf producers asking if they should sell at weaning or maintain ownership for a period of time. Fortunately, several factors are in place now to reward producers for high-quality cattle so selling average commodity doesn't have to occur.

Certainly data shows that there is a price difference for preconditioned calves which was not often the case 10-15 years ago. Calves with a reputation for fast and efficient gains are often sought after by past buyers and usually trade at some premium.

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