LITTLE ROCK — 2020 has proven as unpredictable a year for cattle producers as for anyone else. An upcoming webinar from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture aims to shed some light on the coming fall marketing season, taking into account aspects both perennial and (one hopes) unique to this year.

The hourlong webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. In addition to current market conditions, the webinar will cover factors that affect bid price, calf management, and supplemental feeding for preconditioned marketing and more.

Shane Gadberry, professor of ruminant nutrition for the Division of Agriculture, said this year’s event takes place in a notably different market environment from previous meetings and webinars dedicated to fall cattle marketing.

“Since August last year we’ve seen turmoil in the cattle markets,” Gadberry said. “The fall of 2019 was associated with a fire at a processing plant. This spring, markets were responding to the stock market and a backlog of cattle in feedlots as processors were working through employee illnesses and worker safety issues due to COVID-19.

“With the uncertainty of what a combined flu plus COVID-19 season will look like, cattle producers will want to pay attention to cattle markets and evaluate if marketing sooner or later fits best,” he said.

James Mitchell, assistant professor of livestock marketing and management for the Division of Agriculture, will discuss likely market influences this coming fall and spring.

“We will talk through where cattle markets have been, where they are today, and where they might be going,” Mitchell said.

He said a discussion of the current supply and demand situation for the beef industry will be followed by a look at supply and demand factors that will likely influence fall feeder cattle and cull cow markets, including drought conditions in the western united states, feeder cattle placements and the backlog of cattle in feedlots from COVID-19 related disruptions, cow-calf producer costs and returns and economic uncertainty from COVID-19.

Mitchell and other panelists will also discuss multiple “sell versus retain” marketing scenarios, he said.

The webinar, which will be presented on the Zoom online conferencing platform, is free to attend, but registration is required. To register, visit http://bit.ly/FALL20CATTLE MARKETS.

Find past market analysis related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at https://bit.ly/AR -Ag-Eco-Impacts2020.

To learn more about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX _edu.