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2016 February 7
“Many roads are still closed in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, which has several beef and pork plants in the area either starting to kill late or cancelling first shift slaughters all together,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage last Thursday morning.


by USDA
2016 January 22
The value of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies strengthened considerably in 2015, accelerating a trend that began in 2011. The agricultural tradeweighted exchange rate is a broad measure of the value of the dollar against 79 foreign currencies, weighted by their share of U.


2016 January 22
“We’ve been having good cotton yields lately, the last two years,” he said. “Some growers have managed to produce four bales per acre. With each bale weighing about 500 pounds, some have been meeting that 1-ton cotton goal that before the decline in boll weevils was just a dream here.


2016 January 22
People were less excited to buy cattle last week compared to the prior week. Whereas the prior week saw 90,000 head trade by Thursday, last week couldn’t even muster 4,000 head traded by Thursday. Cattle buyers were likely waiting for the release of the Cattle on Feed report to give the manic market some direction.


by WLJ
2016 January 22
In the first World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report of the year, forecasts for beef production in 2016 have fallen 75 million pounds (mp) from the previous report’s estimate to 24.67 billion pounds (bp).


by USDA
2016 January 22
As China enters a new phase of its economic development, its demand for higher-valued products like meat and dairy products is growing rapidly. China’s imports of meats during 2013-14 were more than double the volume imported during the early 2000s.


2016 January 15
The cost of producing one unit of output is extremely important information in any business. It determines your break-even price which, in turn, helps determine pricing decisions and profit margins. It also provides a baseline for comparison to other producers with the same or similar output so you can see how competitive.


2016 January 15
November beef exports totaled 95,799 metric tons (mt), down 1 percent from a year ago but the largest volume since June, while export value fell 17 percent to $519.7 million. For January through November, beef exports were down 11 percent from a year ago in both volume (973,028 mt) and value ($5.


2016 January 8
Live cattle futures were trading fairly sideways last week after the prior week’s rally. But then Thursday trade, which opened in the U.S. following another day of the Chinese stock exchange trading locked down after mere minutes of opening, saw limit-down trade in almost all contracts on the board.

by USDA
2016 January 4
The average annual rate of global agricultural output growth slowed in the 1970s and 1980s, then accelerated in the 1990s and 2000s. In the latest period estimated (2001-12), global output of total crop and livestock commodities was expanding at an average rate of 2.


2015 December 27
The market year of 2015 was head-spinning in its difference from 2014. While this holds true generally across all sectors of the market, it was most poignantly felt by cattle feeders. The year 2014 was a record up year for feeder cattle prices, 2015 may well prove to be one of the worst down years for cattle feeders.


by WLJ
2015 December 27
“The report is kind of friendly across the board with total on-feed numbers coming down,” noted Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage. He also pointed out that “There was one extra slaughter day this year compared to last year, helping to give the better marketing number.


by DTN
2015 December 27
Albert Einstein supposedly remarked that the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. That may have been a quick quip back then. If he were around today and encountering the individual retirement account (IRA) distribution rules, he’d be dead serious.


2015 December 27
“Santa Claus does live,” proclaimed Andrew Gottschalk of Hedgers’ Edge on Christmas Eveeve. After weeks upon weeks of downward spiraling markets on almost all fronts, last week saw a turnaround in both futures and cash markets. That Christmas market miracle may well have happened.


2015 December 18
The markets continued lower last week, with the cash and futures markets of both live cattle and feeders, as well as wholesale beef, heading downward. By Thursday afternoon over 61,500 head had been confirmed sold on the negotiated market of the week. Live steers traded for $114-117, down from the prior week’s $115- 119.



2015 December 11
It might be time to start praying for that Christmas miracle in the markets this year, because things are ugly and just keep getting worse. Cash cattle and feeders were down, futures for both live and feeders were down, and wholesale meat prices were the relative bright star at a weak steady.


2015 December 11
October beef exports rebounded to some degree from their low September totals, but were still down 14 percent from a year ago in volume at 94,524 metric tons (mt) and fell 26 percent (to $508.2 million) compared to the record-high value posted in October 2014 ($687.


by DTN
2015 December 11
The cost is a variable, depending on the types of assets transferred and your attorney fees to draft the documents. The IRS has issued sample pre-approved CRT documents, which makes it easier for the attorney (see Rev. Proc. 2003- 54).


by WLJ
2015 December 11
Due to the slower pace of fed cattle marketings seen in recent months, the estimated beef production for 2015 declined 50 million pounds (mp) to 23.73 billion pounds (bp). Reduced placements of light cattle late in 2015 are also expected to reduce the estimated 2016 production to 24.


2015 December 4
Cash cattle trade got underway early, though at disappointing prices, last week. By Thursday, over 80,000 head had been confirmed sold at $122-125 live and $189-198 dressed; these prices being at the low end of the priorweek’s range for live, and being both below and above the prior week’s range for dressed.


by USDA
2015 December 4
In 2010, the first full year of the economic recovery, urban and rural employment levels grew at comparable rates, and rural areas experienced modest growth the following year. This was followed by two years of near-zero employment change before growth resumed in early 2014.


2015 November 30
The U.S. is the largest beef producing and consuming country and often the largest importer of beef. In the 26 years beginning in 1990, the U.S. has been the largest beef importing country 20 times. Australia and Canada are typically the top two sources of U.


by USDA
2015 November 30
U.S. net farm income—a measure of the sector’s profitability—is forecast to be $55.9 billion in 2015, down 38 percent from 2014’s estimate of $90.4 billion. If realized, the 2015 forecast for net farm income would be the lowest since 2002 (in both real and nominal terms) and a drop of 55 percent from the recent high of $123.


2015 November 30
Last week was something of a breath-catching week for the cattle markets after weeks of extensive volatility. But the holidayshortened week played some mischief with the markets as short weeks often do. Despite having a shortened kill week, packers were buying for a full production week for this week.



2015 November 30
Last week saw the release of three beef-relevant market reports. While the Cattle on Feed report was almost ironically neutral considering the recent weeks of extreme volatility in the cattle and beef market, the Livestock Slaughter and Cold Storage reports continue to show the impacts of the market.


by USDA
2015 November 20
Across a broad range of topics for agriculture, food, and related issues, research and development (R&D) conducted by U.S. public research institutions (state and federal institutions) tends to emphasize different themes than R&D conducted by private firms.


by DTN
2015 November 20
It’s 1040 time, and the farm client slides a new Schedule K-1 across the desk, explaining, “I invested in my brother-in-law’s used car dealership in California.” My inner voice of experience is thinking: I’ve just heard three facts and they’re all trouble.


2015 November 20
“Support exists at the recent cash low, $120-122,” declared Andrew Gottschalk of Hedgers’ Edge. “Seasonally, cash prices tend to grind higher into late November, reflecting a final push for holiday product pricing and a modest decline in fed cattle supplies.


2015 November 20
Robb identified a number of factors that combined to help create the current situation: •Cyclical movement downward in prices; •The impact of delayed marketings and heavier cattle; •U.S. economy relative to outside economies; and •Outside economies’ impact on beef trade with the U.


2015 November 13
India, which exports mostly meat from water buffalo (also known as carabeef) continues to see strong demand from southeast Asia and the halal processing of Indian beef makes the meat popular in Muslim countries.


by USDA
2015 November 13
U.S. exports of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS)—a common byproduct of corn ethanol production—have grown from nearly zero in 2005 to as high as 12 million metric tons in the 2013/14 marketing year (September/ August), with 10 million metric tons forecast for export in the 2015 marketing year.


2015 November 13
In the last few weeks there has been much discussion regarding the direction of cattle prices. Many analysts have explained that although short-term price forecasts are mixed, the long-term price outlook is bearish due to an increasing cattle herd.


2015 November 6
While the U.S. is the top dog in terms of production of quality beef, it is also an attractive destination for international beef trade. The U.S. cattle and beef industry may be eyeing Brazil and Argentina with the concern as competitors on the international market; those countries are eyeing the U.


2015 November 6
Andrew Gottschalk of Hedgers’ Edge blamed the week’s lowered cash tone on the steep losses in the futures market, and it was not hard to see why. Over the course of the week, the December contract lost $7.33 to settle Thursday at $134.40. The February contract got off relatively easy, losing only $6.


2015 November 6
September beef export volume fell 21 percent from a year ago in September to 79,474 metric tons (mt) and value was down 28 percent to $456.6 million—the lowest since January. For the first nine months of 2015, exports were down 12 percent in volume (782,705 mt) and 8 percent in value ($4.


2015 November 6
Last week, the unheard of happened; southern California got rain. Hail, heavy rain and snow in the higher elevations resulted in flooding in some areas, but it was precipitation in the parched state. Despite this wet interlude, California’s intense drought continues.


2015 November 6
While FSA announced more than $3.9 billion in commodity payments started to go out recently to roughly 800,000 farmers, FSA staff are concerned at least some farmers don’t understand the nuances of the ARC-County program. It isn’t like the old Direct Payments program because not everyone is going to receive a check.


by WLJ
2015 November 6
Although same-store sales and customer traffic remained positive in September (most recent data), the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a modest decline. The RPI—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.


2015 October 30
The cash fed cattle trade started up quickly last week, with over 54,000 head being confirmed sold by Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, that number had grown to almost 65,000 head. Live cattle traded at $134-139, a wider range than seen the prior week, and $208-210 dressed, steady with the prior week.


2015 October 30
September placements were close to expectations at 96 percent of last year, as were marketings at 98 percent of one year ago, leading to an Oct. 1 on-feed total of 10.2 million head or 102.3 percent of last year. The relatively strong marketings number was confirmed by a 5.


by USDA
2015 October 30
Beef prices typically experience a seasonal decline at the end of summer, but the decline in prices since August this year has been particularly steep, and the combination of abundant supplies and lower demand suggests cattle and beef prices could continue to decline.


2015 October 23
Like it or not, it’s a global economy. U.S. meat goes out and foreign meat comes in. But where does made-in-America meat go and from where does the foreign meat hail? A recent USDA report examined the U.S. top meat trade partners, import regulations, and what to expect for the future of trade.


2015 October 23
The past couple months likely will go down as some of the most turbulent in memory for most cattle producers. At the heart of industry-wide price declines and rallies has been concern and uncertainty regarding both supply and demand fundamentals. Most of the near-term supply pressures related to extra-heavyweight fed cattle are well documented.


by DTN
2015 October 23
Fed cattle prices declined more than $20 per cwt. from late August to early October, and early estimates of September losses are as high as $350 per head, according to Purdue University Ag Economics Professor Michael Langemeier. If the trend continues, October losses could soar to $550 per head.


by WLJ
2015 October 16
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report reflects a host of international economics situations as they play out on the domestic market. Declining demand for U.S. meat is resulting in declining exports and more meat on the domestic market.


2015 October 16
By close of trade on Thursday, not even 5,000 head had been confirmed sold in the negotiated sales. Those that had sold went for $123-126 live and $198 dressed. Though this volume was too low for setting any sort of market trend, the prices were within the upper level of the prior week’s price ranges.


2015 October 16
A recent Cow/Calf Corner newsletter discussed cull cow grades. Remember cull cows that are destined to go to the packing house are graded by their fleshiness. The fattest cows are called “Breakers.” Moderately fleshed cows are “Boners.” Thin cows are called “Leans” or “Lights,” depending upon the weight of the cow.


2015 October 16
There are encouraging signs that fed and feeder cattle markets have turned the corner on the massive slide in prices in recent weeks. Notice that I didn’t say “correcting the over-correction.


2015 October 16
For many years, cattle producers experienced a somewhat predictable cattle cycle approximately 10 years in length. However, during the last 15 years, an abnormal number of outside events have caused the cycle to be less predictable and left producers wondering if the cattle cycle is relevant for planning purposes.


by DTN
2015 October 16
The economy hit the skids about the time we formed the partnership, and for most years the Schedule K-1 allocations were insignificant. There really was not any profit until 2015. This year the company made a large sale, and my share of the profit is in excess of $300,000.


by USDA
2015 October 16
Because land is a critical input to farming and farm real estate represents such a large portion of the value of farm sector assets (around 80 percent), the ownership of agricultural land is a topic of interest to farmers, lenders, policymakers and others concerned with the farm sector.


2015 October 9
Some culling of beef cows occurs in most herds every year. A few cows will become reproductively unsound, broken-mouths, bad udders, open, and/or just plain old. If feed resources are available, some producers may wish to market the culls after the first of the year for tax purposes.


by USDA
2015 October 9
About 222,000 women are principal farm operators, or the person most responsible for making day-to-day decisions about the farm; 1.5 million women are spouses of principal operators. About one-third of these women spouses are secondary operators who work on the farm and participate in day-to-day decisions with their husband.


2015 October 9
August beef exports totaled 84,167 metric tons (mt), down 18 percent from a year ago. Beef export value was down 24 percent to $498 million, the lowest in 18 months. For the first eight months of 2015, exports were down 11 percent in volume to 703,231 mt and dropped 5 percent in value to $4.


2015 October 9
At Hall and Hall, a fullservice real estate company based in the Rocky Mountain West, providing loan, appraisal, management, and brokerage services throughout the United States, Partner Tim Murphy and Appraiser Mike McDonnell of the Bozeman, MT, office talked with WLJ.


2015 October 2
Although 2015 fed steer supplies remain historically small, prices have recently fallen from the record high levels reached during the first and second quarters of 2015. Prices have been trending lower since April 2015, and in July and August fell below the levels of the same time a year ago.


by USDA
2015 October 2
The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) projected growth in agricultural productivity (measured as total factor productivity, or TFP) under alternative public R&D assumptions starting in 2010: a 1 percent increase in annual public research funding...


2015 October 2
Fed cattle prices dropped over $9/cwt. last week to about $125/cwt. Prices for pens over 80 percent Choice made up most of the volume and had a lower average price than lower grading pens of cattle. This has been the situation for several days and reflects the large supply of extremely heavy fed cattle.


by DTN
2015 October 2
By contrast, if you were to make a gift of grain to a family member, it would be necessary to use prior-year crop where all expenses had been deducted and your tax basis is zero.


2015 October 2
“We have some of the best vaccines and technology available to us, but the mortality number has continued to rise,” said Dr. Ted McCollum, AgriLife Extension Beef Cattle Specialist in Amarillo. “Health is the first management challenge faced by stocker cattle producers.


2015 October 2
“Fed cattle prices continued their collapse as producers try to alleviate their backlog,” announced Andrew Gottschalk of Hedger’s Edge last week. He additionally said there was little point in rehashing the prior week’s cash fed prices as they were “clearly imprinted in everyone’s mind.


2015 September 25
Under normal market conditions, it can be profitable for cow/calf producers to wean and background their calves in the fall. Historically, feeder cattle prices dip in early fall when many producers choose to market their calves before bouncing back to higher levels in the late fall and early winter months.


2015 September 25
The September Cattle on Feed report showed August placements at 95 percent of last year and the lowest August placement level in the current cattle on feed data series back to 1996. The placement total was below pre-report estimates and may provide a bit of shortterm boost to markets.


2015 September 25
Total cattle imports from Canada and Mexico are down 4 percent for the first seven months of 2015 compared to last year. Cattle imports from Canada for the January to July period are down 21 percent year-overyear while cattle imports from Mexico are up 15.


by WLJ
2015 September 25
Production estimates continue to chop around in the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. Predictions of 2015’s production fell by 210 million pounds (mp) to 23.61 billion pounds (bp), and rose 95 mp in 2016 to 25 bp.


by USDA
2015 September 25
Food-insecure households had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. While food insecurity has declined from 14.9 percent in 2011, the percent of U.S.


2015 September 25
It was yet another week of market mayhem last week. Cash cattle, live futures, wholesale beef, cash feeders, and feeder futures… all down. The whole supply chain is correcting the issue of too many cattle that are too big producing too much meat to fit current demand.


2015 September 25
Analysts are not entirely sure what to call the most recent Cattle on Feed report. Was it bullish? Bearish? Neither? The best description was likely “more-of-the-same and one surprise” and that surprise was lower than expected placements. Whether that is good or bad for the market depends on your perspective.


2015 September 18
Things were ugly last week. Very, very ugly. The cash cattle trade wrapped up Thursday with over 71,000 head confirmed sold for the week at $131-135 live and $212-216 dressed. For both live and dressed, they took the bottom end of the prior week’s range and made it the top of last week’s, dropping the low end down $4-5.


2015 September 11
Fall is just around the corner and there’s still some 2015 left to go, but it’s never too early to dust off the economic crystal balls. Considering the way the market has behaved this and last year, cow/ calf producers and cattle feeders need to consider what 2016 has in store for feeder cattle.


2015 September 11
The cash fed trade was reluctant to stir last week, but by last Thursday it had been coerced to complete something like a third of the week’s total trade if past weeks are any indication. About 14,000 head had been confirmed sold for the week, most of them on Thursday, at $139-142 live and $218-222 dressed.


2015 September 11
Economic headwinds continued to slow U.S. beef and pork exports in July, according to data released by US- DA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). For U.S. beef, July exports totaled 91,955 metric tons (mt), down 10 percent from a year ago and the smallest volume since 2010.


by USDA
2015 September 11
Households with commercial farms—operations which earn at least $350,000 in gross cash farm income—derive roughly three-fourths of their income from farming. Conversely, off-farm income contributes substantially to the total income of many farm households, especially those with smaller farms or a primary occupation other than farming.


2015 September 4
The cash fed cattle market was mostly completed by Thursday last week with almost 46,000 head confirmed sold. Live cattle were trading for $140-142 live with averages trending in the low end of the range and dressed cattle were a solid $222 dressed. This was $4-7 lower live and down $11-12 for dressed compared to the prior week’s sales.


by USDA
2015 September 4
With a value of $2.38 trillion, farm real estate (land and structures) accounted for 81 percent of the total value of U.S. farm sector assets in 2014. Because it comprises such a significant portion of the U.S. farm sector’s asset base, change in the value of farm real estate is a critical barometer of the farm sector’s financial performance.


2015 September 4
U.S. cattle producers are responding to recent recordhigh prices by expanding their herds, but Americans’ appetite for beef will play a crucial role in how the larger supply will play out for the producer’s bottom line, according to a Kansas State University (K-State) agricultural economist.


by USDA
2015 September 4
Of the 911 million acres of land in farms in the continental U.S., 61 percent is operated by the land owner, according to the 2014 Tenure Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey. Another 8 percent (70 million acres) of land in farms is rented from other farm operators.


2015 August 31
The results of the August Cattle on Feed report were not particularly unexpected. The reality matched almost perfectly with pre-report analyst estimates. For example, at 10 million head in feedlots with 1,000-head or greater capacities as of Aug. 1, the most recent on-feed population was up 2.


2015 August 31
An assortment of new data was released recently. Choice retail beef prices for July decreased for the second month in a row, dropping 4.1 cents per pound from June to $636.5/cwt. Choice retail beef prices peaked in May at $641.2/ cwt. All-Fresh retail beef prices, however, continued to increase, setting a new record in July at $616.


2015 August 28
Last week saw one of the most spectacular falls in Chinese markets the world has been allowed to see. Last Monday alone, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite (SHCOMP) fell 8.5 percent, one of the largest single-day declines possible for the market. And this was only one day in a weekslong decline.


2015 August 28
The cash fed cattle trade was sluggish at best with the leverage in the hands of the packers to buy cattle cheap. By Thursday, barely more than 8,500 head had been confirmed sold which was too slight a volume to set a trend. Live heifers traded between $140-145, but averages were on the lower end of the range, and dressed steers were going for $227.


2015 August 21
Compared to the prior week, the cash fed cattle trade was rather lively in terms of pace if not price. The vast majority of trade was completed by Wednesday, and by Thursday over 94,000 head had been confirmed sold. Live cattle sold between $145-148 and dressed cattle sold between $231-233.


2015 August 21
Feeder cattle prices have bounced off the recent summer lows. For the week ending August 14, 2015, the Oklahoma seven-market average price of 450-500-pound, Medium/ Large, number-one steers was $283.81/cwt., up from recent summer lows and $7-$8/cwt. higher than this time last year.


2015 August 21
A farmer recently asked a very simple but extremely relevant question at a market outlook meeting: “Will I ever see high grain prices again in my lifetime?” The farmer asking this question started his farming career in the early 1980s and remembers the low commodity prices and tough financial conditions in agriculture at the time.


by USDA
2015 August 21
Herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops, developed to survive application of specific herbicides that previously would have destroyed the crop along with the targeted weeds, provide farmers with a broader variety of options for effective weed control.


by USDA
2015 August 21
Agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) is the difference between the aggregate total output of crop/livestock commodities and the combined use of land, labor, capital and material inputs employed in farm production.


2015 August 21
Beef export volume in June was down 8 percent from a year ago to 96,716 metric tons (mt), while export value fell 9 percent to $578.9 million. This was the second consecutive month that export value fell below last year’s level, resulting in first-half value being steady with 2014’s pace at $3.


2015 August 14
Oklahoma feeder cattle prices are currently at about the same level as this time last year. The difference is that cattle prices increased steadily last year and were on the way up. Hot dry weather in July and August this year has pulled feeder cattle prices seasonally lower from peaks in May and June.


by DTN
2015 August 14
Erik Norland, an economist at CME, compared how spot futures contract prices and futures spreads for a variety of commodities behaved in the 12-24 months after National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center Oceanic Niño Index signaled the beginning of an El Niño or La Niña.


by DTN
2015 August 14
There are some comments about taxes that make me shudder. Here are five that cause me concern: • “I enjoy preparing my own return.” It’s rare, but on occasion I encounter that farm producer who does his own return. Today’s tax system is insanely complex, especially when business activity is in the mix.


by USDA
2015 August 14
The number of rural (nonmetropolitan) counties that lost population in 2010-14 reached a historic high of 1,310. The recent economic recession, increased global competition, and technological changes led to widespread job losses in rural manufacturing.


by USDA
2015 August 7
Imported food and beverages that were purchased directly by U.S. consumers (such as farm-raised shrimp from Thailand, fresh avocados from Mexico, and wines from Spain) accounted for $186.9 billion—13 percent of this total. The remaining 87 percent ($1.3 trillion) was spent on domestically-produced food and beverages.


2015 July 24
The most recent Cold Storage report shows a growing stock of all the major protein in U.S. warehouses. All told, stores of all meat (red meat and poultry) as of June 30 stood at 2.33 billion pounds, up 17 percent from the same time last year. Most of this increase came from increases in stored beef, though all the major proteins saw increases.


by USDA
2015 July 24
Herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops, developed to survive the application of specific herbicides that previously would have destroyed the crop along with the targeted weeds, provide farmers with a broader variety of options for weed control. Insect-resistant crops (Bt) contain a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that produces a protein.


2015 July 24
Cash cattle trade was slow to develop last week ahead of the release of the monthly Cattle on Feed and bi-annual Cattle Inventory reports. By close of trade on Thursday, over 20,000 head had been confirmed sold with prices ranging from $144-147 live (averaging in the low $145s) and $230-233 dressed (averaging in the upper $231s).


2015 July 24
The All Fresh retail beef price was $6.114/lb., up $0.059 cents from May and up $0.606/lb. from one year ago. The June retail pork price was $3.703/lb., up $0.007/lb. from last month but $0.413/lb. lower than June of 2014. The retail broiler composite price was $1.


by USDA
2015 July 24
Since USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey began collecting data in 1996, the median income of farm households has risen while real U.S. median household income has remained essentially flat. This may be due to a variety of factors including farm consolidation, increasing commodity prices, and minimal increases in hourly wages for all U.S.


2015 July 17
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was a boon to corn farmers and likely left a bitter taste in the mouths of cattle and beef ranchers concerned with the trade situation; corn stocks are down, meaning prices are up, and the U.S.


by WLJ
2015 July 17
Seventy-nine to 86 percent of retirement, off-farm occupation, and lowsales farms are in the “red zone” (farms with an RRA of less than 1 percent), indicating a very low return to farming. The share of farms in the red zone drops rapidly for the remaining family farm types, those with moderate sales and higher.


2015 July 17
Accumulating assets is one thing. Converting those assets into a retirement income stream you can’t outlive is another. One way to derive income from your investments is to distribute only the interest and/or dividends the investments generate each year.


2015 July 10
The JBS acquisition includes two Midwest meat processing plants; one in Ottumwa, IA, and the other at Beardstown, IL. Both plants were acquired by Cargill in 1987, and in 2014 they processed a total of 9.3 million hogs. The purchase also includes five feed mills—two in Missouri, and one each in Arkansas, Iowa and Texas—and four hog farms—two in.


2015 July 10
Beef exports moved counter-seasonally lower in May, dropping 14 percent from a year ago to 88,466 metric tons (mt). Export value dipped lower year-over-year for the first time since January, reaching only $556.7 million (down 6 percent). For January through May, exports totaled 430,393 mt, down 10 percent from the same period in 2014.


by DTN
2015 July 10
In a statement delivered in the Rose Garden, Obama said, “In January of 1961, the year I was born, when President Eisenhower announced the termination of our relations with Cuba, he said: ‘It is my hope and my conviction that in the not-too-distant...


by WLJ
2015 July 10
When shopping at the meat counter this Fourth of July, consumers noticed differences in prices per pound compared to last year. A pound of pork chops sold for $3.79 in May 2015 compared to $4.11 per pound in May 2014, a decrease of 7.8 percent. The price of boneless chicken breasts has also fallen, decreasing by 1.


2015 July 10
Producers have many options when it comes to choosing a time and a method to market their calves. There is the option to market calves at weaning straight from the cow, the option to market calves after a backgrounding period, the option to market...


2015 July 2
The retail pork price in May was $3.696/lb., down 7.3 cents from April and 9.8 percent lower than one year ago. The May broiler composite retail price was $1.


2015 June 26
The cash fed cattle trade got underway last Thursday with almost 35,000 head confirmed sold on the negotiated market. Prices for live steers ranged from $147- 150—steady to lower compared to the prior week’s $149-150—and dressed steers were down $2-3 at $235-240.


by WLJ
2015 June 26
Historically small U.S. cattle inventory continues to support high beef prices in 2015, but at least in the short term, increasing imports of processing beef (especially from Australia) and heavy carcass weights have helped moderate some of the price pressures.


by WLJ
2015 June 26
The variation in the percent of total expenses represented by individual expenses across different types of farms reflects how specialized U.S. agriculture has become.


by WLJ
2015 June 26
At 468.56 million pounds of beef in storage, beef stores were up 24 percent compared to last year, but down 3 percent from the prior month. The buildup was entirely credited to increased supplies of boneless beef, most of it likely from Australia given the still-favorable import environment.


by WLJ
2015 June 26
The Agricultural Act of 2014 gradually reduces the cap on land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) from 32 million acres to 24 million acres by 2017. CRP acreage declined 34 percent since 2007, falling from 36.8 million acres to 24.2 million by April 2015.


2015 June 19
The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the authority to conduct monetary policy. Beginning with the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, Congress has delegated this authority to the Federal Reserve (Fed). Congress has provided the Fed with a dual mandate: price stability and maximum employment.


by DTN
2015 June 19
“Growers have the newest fleet of equipment in the last 40 years. They can run without high repair bills,” notes Wade Litton, General Manager of Wade Inc., a John Deere dealership with 11 locations in the Mississippi Delta. Well-tooled operations combined with an abrupt collapse in grain farm incomes and uncertainty over Sec.


by WLJ
2015 June 12
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, released last Wednesday, altered estimates for beef production and trade. The result is a mostly mixed situation compared to pork and chicken. Estimates on corn production and supply changed only slightly.


2015 June 12
Cash fed cattle trade was again at a snail’s pace last week as packers hoped for—and again likely missed—an opportunity to buy cattle cheaper. By the close of trade on Thursday, not even 4,000 head had been confirmed sold. Though volumes were too low to establish a trend, live cattle sold for $155 and dressed for $246, steady with the prior week.


2015 June 12
Seasonally, this is a time of year when the cash price for calves finishes its increasing pattern. The summer sales volume tends to be low and prices tend to be more volatile. In recent weeks the price level has risen back to near $300 per cwt., just shy of last fall’s record price level.


2015 June 12
A charitable remainder trust (CRT) enables a family selling a farm or ranch to avoid tax on the sale of their land, livestock and equipment and generate lifetime income for retirement. In addition to saving taxes and generating a lifetime income, a CRT provides several other benefits:.


by WLJ
2015 June 12
If an estate has a value greater than the exemption amount ($5.34 million in 2014), it must file a return. An estimated 2.7 percent of farm estates would be required to file an estate tax return in 2014, with about 0.8 percent of estates owing any federal estate tax.


2015 June 5
Last week, packers and feedlots had a standoff on cash fed trade. Early week indications suggested futures prices would decline sharply—mostly due to concerns over poor seasonal demand and declining wholesale beef prices—prompting packers to hold off and possibly buy fewer cattle.


by WLJ
2015 June 5
April exports of U.S. pork reached the largest monthly volume in more than a year, while U.S. beef exports remained on a record value pace through April, according to data released by US- DA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) last week.


by DTN
2015 June 5
For too many, planning means a focus on next week’s activities. However, when it comes to income taxes, the perspective needs to be long-term. Today’s tax rate system is insanely complex (by design, but that’s a topic for another day). The hazard is not merely a more steeply graduated rate system; it’s also the layering of additional taxes (the 3.


2015 June 5
“Net Return” is the gross return of CDs or the S&P 500 adjusted for inflation. While stocks incur more risk, CDs offer a fixed rate of return, and the interest and principal on CDs will generally be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation up to $250,000.


2015 May 29
Cash trade was slow to develop during the holiday-shortened week last week, and early expectations were for a steady to lower trade compared to the prior week’s $159-161 live and $250-253 dressed prices. As of close of trade last Thursday, 967 head had been confirmed sold with volumes too low to establish the week’s price trend.


2015 May 22
The markets may well be on the precipice before the fall, or they could have some good times ahead. It’s anyone’s game at this point, and it all depends on the consumer at the meat counter. How much beef are they willing to buy for the traditionally best beef demand period of the year, and how much are they willing to pay for it?.


2015 May 22
As a result, the biggest and most immediate impact for consumers is in egg markets, especially in the north central part of the country. The reduced supply of table eggs as well as breaking eggs used in food service will impact consumers directly and indirectly.


by WLJ
2015 May 22
In the U.S., 10.5 cents of a typical dollar spent by consumers on domestically-produced food in 2013 represented value added by farm producers, up 8 percent from the previous two years. Products and services provided to farmers by agribusinesses, such as fertilizers and veterinary services, accounted for 2.


by WLJ
2015 May 15
If you are considering selling a farm or ranch, there are important tax and financial planning issues of which you need to be aware. Engaging in planning prior to a sale is critical for identifying these issues and for implementing strategies to effectively address them.


2015 May 15
Retail beef demand is teasing the market with thoughts that it might be improving. The futures— both live and feeder—responded in kind with rising cutout values. And if the minimal cash fed trade that developed by Thursday afternoon was any indication, so too did the cash market.


by WLJ
2015 May 15
Production estimates for this year were increased 58 million pounds to 24.34 billion pounds, mostly on increased carcass weights. This plus trade changes upped the estimates for per capita availability of beef by a half-pound to 54.6 pounds per person.


2015 May 8
Cash fed cattle trade developed slowly last week, though by Thursday afternoon prices paid for the slightly over 7,000 head that had been confirmed sold through the week were steady with the prior week. Live steers traded for $160, while dressed steers sold at $255.
2015 May 8
Unusual market conditions lead to unusual incentives that result in unusual market behavior. This makes markets unusually difficult to figure out. There is considerable variability in views across the industry about the current and coming fed cattle market for the remainder of 2015.
2015 May 1
You are at a feeder sale. A load of 400-pound calves sells for an average of $345 per hundredweight. Later in the day, a load of 700-pounders sells for an average of $225/cwt. What you’ve just seen is the market at work assigning relative value to the differing weights.


by WLJ
2015 May 1
“USDA’s monthly Cattle On Feed report was the same song and pretty much the same verse,” said Steve Meyer and Len Steiner of the CME Daily Livestock Report of the recent report. They summed up the performance as “Big feeder cattle, low placement numbers, even lower marketings and tight, tight inventories.


by WLJ
2015 May 1
In 2013, steers made up 50.1 percent of the total cattle processed. For 2014, that number is 51.8 percent. Heifer slaughter declined very slightly, from 28.6 percent in 2013 to 28.2 percent in 2014. Cow slaughter declined most notably—18.1 percent compared to 19.


by WLJ
2015 April 24
Despite these conditions, U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable price inflation is expected to be close to its historical average in 2015. USDA Economic Research Service predicts fresh fruit prices will increase 2.5-3.5 percent and fresh vegetable prices 2-3 percent.


by WLJ
2015 April 24
If farmers would have adopted the practice even without financial incentive, however, the practices are not “additional,” and the payments provide income for farmers without improving environmental quality.


by WLJ
2015 April 24
Beef exports add well beyond $300 to the value of each head of cattle annually, but without people like Dan Chase, Liz Wunderlich and Alberto Diaz, that number might not be so high. Wunderlich and Diaz each work in their own ways to build demand for U.


by WLJ
2015 April 17
The balances of beef in 2015 changed quite a bit in the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. USDA raised its predictions on beef production by 150 million pounds (mp) to 24.28 billion pounds (bp) mostly on increased cow slaughter and heavier carcass weights.


by WLJ
2015 April 10
While still impacted by severe congestion in the West Coast ports, February exports of U.S. beef, pork and lamb bounced back to some degree from the totals posted in January, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
2015 April 6
Conversations about demand often devolve into arguments about proverbial apples and oranges. This happens on the topics of beef demand and cattle demand quite frequently. One party is talking about bad (beef) demand while the other party scratches their head, thinking about the record high prices they just got for their calves.
2015 April 6
Cash trade was put off to the end of the short trade week last week. Due to Good Friday ahead of Easter, markets closed early last Thursday and were closed for the holiday. So packers, putting off spending money for cattle, had less time to stall last week…but they sure tried.
by WLJ
2015 April 3
After historically high average net cash farm in- come (NCFI) in 2012 and 2013, average NCFI is expected to decline 22.7 percent in 2014F-15F for U.S. farm businesses (defined as farms with annual gross cash farm income greater than $350,000, or smaller operations where the operator’s primary occupation is farming), the lowest level since 2010-11.
2015 April 3
Among the top proteins in the U.S. consumer’s diet, beef comes from the most diverse infrastructure of them all. The cattle and beef industry is so highly segmented that each segment exists in its own economic microcosm. When it comes to margins, the variety of this one, relatively small industry can be mind boggling.
by WLJ
2015 March 30
In recent years, growth in U.S.-China agricultural trade has accelerated. During calendar years 2012-13, U.S. exports of agricultural products to China averaged $25.9 billion per year—a tenfold increase from the late 1990s. Sales to China doubled during 2004-08 and doubled again during 2008-12, while the share of U.
by WLJ
2015 March 27
In recent years, growth in U.S.-China agricultural trade has accelerated. During calendar years 2012-13, U.S. exports of agricultural products to China averaged $25.9 billion per year—a tenfold increase from the late 1990s. Sales to China doubled during 2004-08 and doubled again during 2008-12, while the share of U.
2015 March 23
Last week the futures got all the attention in the cattle and beef market family. And despite the spectacular displays there, the cash fed trade was left to languish. Or perhaps that was the result of cash fed cattle buyers holding out until the Cattle on Feed report, which came out last Friday.
2015 March 23
Last week the futures got all the attention in the cattle and beef market family. And despite the spectacular displays there, the cash fed trade was left to languish. Or perhaps that was the result of cash fed cattle buyers holding out until the Cattle on Feed report, which came out last Friday.
by WLJ
2015 March 20
Several factors joined forces simultaneously to seriously impact beef exports and imports so far this year. The situation in 2015 is a continuation of trade issues that developed in 2014. Total beef production decreased nearly 6 percent in 2014 and resulted in dramatic increases in U.
by WLJ
2015 March 20
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFDP) was initially authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 to reimburse eligible farmers and ranchers for grazing losses due to a qualifying drought or fire through Sept. 30, 2011 (the end of the period covered by the 2008 Act).


by WLJ
2015 March 20
Several factors joined forces simultaneously to seriously impact beef exports and imports so far this year. The situation in 2015 is a continuation of trade issues that developed in 2014. Total beef production decreased nearly 6 percent in 2014 and resulted in dramatic increases in U.
by WLJ
2015 March 20
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFDP) was initially authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 to reimburse eligible farmers and ranchers for grazing losses due to a qualifying drought or fire through Sept. 30, 2011 (the end of the period covered by the 2008 Act).
2015 March 16
The cash live trade held off to later in the week last week as packers held out hope for the possibility of lower fed cattle prices. By Thursday afternoon, they were to be disappointed. Over 10,400 head of cattle were confirmed sold at $162.50 live and $258- 260 dressed, steady to slightly higher for both live and dressed compared to the prior week.
2015 March 16
The cash live trade held off to later in the week last week as packers held out hope for the possibility of lower fed cattle prices. By Thursday afternoon, they were to be disappointed. Over 10,400 head of cattle were confirmed sold at $162.50 live and $258- 260 dressed, steady to slightly higher for both live and dressed compared to the prior week.
by DTN
2015 March 13
The president’s State of the Union message advocated a new top 28 percent capital gain rate and partial elimination of the stepup in basis that occurs at death. That would make sales of farmland a tax disaster. However, with the Republicans controlling the House and the Senate, those proposals have little chance of enactment.
2015 March 13
“Sharply higher beef prices in North America coupled with a very strong U.S. dollar have significantly distorted relative prices in the U.S. and Canada. High beef prices in the U.S. have limited U.S. beef exports to Canada and as a result Canadian consumers have had to rely more on domestic production to fill needs.
2015 March 13
Almost all facets of the beef projections were down in the most recent report. Production estimates were revised downwards to the tune of 160 million pounds at 24.13 billion pounds. This alteration was due to slow first quarter fed cattle slaughter.
by WLJ
2015 March 13
One measure of technological change is total factor productivity (TFP). Increased TFP means that fewer economic resources (land, labor, capital and materials) are needed to produce a given amount of economic output.


by DTN
2015 March 13
The president’s State of the Union message advocated a new top 28 percent capital gain rate and partial elimination of the stepup in basis that occurs at death. That would make sales of farmland a tax disaster. However, with the Republicans controlling the House and the Senate, those proposals have little chance of enactment.
2015 March 13
“Sharply higher beef prices in North America coupled with a very strong U.S. dollar have significantly distorted relative prices in the U.S. and Canada. High beef prices in the U.S. have limited U.S. beef exports to Canada and as a result Canadian consumers have had to rely more on domestic production to fill needs.
2015 March 13
Almost all facets of the beef projections were down in the most recent report. Production estimates were revised downwards to the tune of 160 million pounds at 24.13 billion pounds. This alteration was due to slow first quarter fed cattle slaughter.
by WLJ
2015 March 13
One measure of technological change is total factor productivity (TFP). Increased TFP means that fewer economic resources (land, labor, capital and materials) are needed to produce a given amount of economic output.
2015 March 9
According to data by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, in 2014 the U.S. imported 2.95 billion pounds (lbs.) of beef and veal. This compares to 2.57 billion lbs. exported in the same year, making a trade deficit of 380 million lbs. The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report projects trade this year will be 2.


2015 March 9
Cash fed trade was very slow to develop last week as packers tried to play chicken with the rollercoaster futures and cutout prices. They tried to hold out for steady to lower prices—compared to the prior week’s $157-160 live and $252-254 dressed trade—and even by Thursday afternoon there was little indication of where prices would go.
2015 March 9
According to data by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, in 2014 the U.S. imported 2.95 billion pounds (lbs.) of beef and veal. This compares to 2.57 billion lbs. exported in the same year, making a trade deficit of 380 million lbs. The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report projects trade this year will be 2.
2015 March 9
Cash fed trade was very slow to develop last week as packers tried to play chicken with the rollercoaster futures and cutout prices. They tried to hold out for steady to lower prices—compared to the prior week’s $157-160 live and $252-254 dressed trade—and even by Thursday afternoon there was little indication of where prices would go.
by WLJ
2015 March 6
Japan is one of the largest markets for U.S. agricultural exports, and the U.S. has long been its largest supplier. However, in recent years the total value of U.S. agricultural exports to Japan has stagnated (in real terms) and the U.S. share of Japan’s agricultural imports has declined.


by WLJ
2015 March 6
USDA estimates beef production through the end of February to be down 5.2 percent from the same period last year. Total cattle slaughter is down 7.0 percent year-over-year including a 6.4 percent decrease in steer slaughter and an 8.7 percent decrease in heifer slaughter.
by WLJ
2015 March 6
The tour started with an overview of USMEF’s marketing objectives in China and an explanation of several market access issues that impact U.S. meat exports into the region. This was followed by a briefing from the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office in Shanghai, which focused on the business climate in China for


by WLJ
2015 March 6
Lower projected farm asset growth is primarily driven by decreases in financial assets and a small drop in farm real estate value. These declines reflect lower forecast net cash income for 2014-15, along with expectations of slightly higher interest rates.


by WLJ
2015 March 6
The largest importer of U.S. beef told Iowa producers that they expect reliable access to a steady supply of high quality U.S. beef. The issue came up at every importer meeting held during a recent Iowa Meat Trade Mission to Japan. Iowa beef producers Steve Rehder, Hawarden, and Connie Richards, Tingley, were on the mission during February.


by WLJ
2015 March 6
Japan is one of the largest markets for U.S. agricultural exports, and the U.S. has long been its largest supplier. However, in recent years the total value of U.S. agricultural exports to Japan has stagnated (in real terms) and the U.S. share of Japan’s agricultural imports has declined.
by WLJ
2015 March 6
USDA estimates beef production through the end of February to be down 5.2 percent from the same period last year. Total cattle slaughter is down 7.0 percent year-over-year including a 6.4 percent decrease in steer slaughter and an 8.7 percent decrease in heifer slaughter.
by WLJ
2015 March 6
The tour started with an overview of USMEF’s marketing objectives in China and an explanation of several market access issues that impact U.S. meat exports into the region. This was followed by a briefing from the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office in Shanghai, which focused on the business climate in China for U.
by WLJ
2015 March 6
Lower projected farm asset growth is primarily driven by decreases in financial assets and a small drop in farm real estate value. These declines reflect lower forecast net cash income for 2014-15, along with expectations of slightly higher interest rates.
by WLJ
2015 March 6
The largest importer of U.S. beef told Iowa producers that they expect reliable access to a steady supply of high quality U.S. beef. The issue came up at every importer meeting held during a recent Iowa Meat Trade Mission to Japan. Iowa beef producers Steve Rehder, Hawarden, and Connie Richards, Tingley, were on the mission during February.
by WLJ
2015 March 3
A myriad of factors are joining forces to create significant challenges for beef, pork and poultry markets so far in 2015. These include supply and demand factors, domestic and international factors, and short- and long-term factors. Many of the factors are affecting all meat markets while others are specific to individual meats.
by WLJ
2015 March 3
In 2014, the U.S. beef export value hit a record-high of $7.13 billion—up 16 percent and nearly $1 billion from the previous record set in 2013. This is good news for beef producers, as opportunities to market beef to a growing middle class around the world adds value to each beef animal sold in the U.
by WLJ
2015 March 3
After going through a long period of relative stability in the world grain markets, there have been some major interventions in the past few years. Most of these have occurred in the former Soviet Union (FSU), but some of the actions by China also have had drastic impacts.
2015 March 3
At 490.94 million pounds of beef in cold storage as of Jan. 31, beef stocks are up 14 percent compared to the prior year. Though boneless beef makes up roughly 90 percent of all the beef in freezers, both the volume of boneless beef and beef cuts rose 14 percent.
by WLJ
2015 March 3
Between 1960 and 2007, the share of disposable personal income spent on total food by Americans fell from 17.5 to 9.6 percent, as the share of income spent on food at home fell. The share of income spent on food purchased in grocery stores and other retailers declined from 14.


by WLJ
2015 March 3
A myriad of factors are joining forces to create significant challenges for beef, pork and poultry markets so far in 2015. These include supply and demand factors, domestic and international factors, and short- and long-term factors. Many of the factors are affecting all meat markets while others are specific to individual meats.
by WLJ
2015 March 3
In 2014, the U.S. beef export value hit a record-high of $7.13 billion—up 16 percent and nearly $1 billion from the previous record set in 2013. This is good news for beef producers, as opportunities to market beef to a growing middle class around the world adds value to each beef animal sold in the U.
by WLJ
2015 March 3
After going through a long period of relative stability in the world grain markets, there have been some major interventions in the past few years. Most of these have occurred in the former Soviet Union (FSU), but some of the actions by China also have had drastic impacts.
2015 March 3
At 490.94 million pounds of beef in cold storage as of Jan. 31, beef stocks are up 14 percent compared to the prior year. Though boneless beef makes up roughly 90 percent of all the beef in freezers, both the volume of boneless beef and beef cuts rose 14 percent.
by WLJ
2015 March 3
Between 1960 and 2007, the share of disposable personal income spent on total food by Americans fell from 17.5 to 9.6 percent, as the share of income spent on food at home fell. The share of income spent on food purchased in grocery stores and other retailers declined from 14.
2015 March 2
The cash fed trade was slow and developed warily last week as other portions of the market moved erratically. By Thursday afternoon, more than 18,000 had been confirmed sold at $156-157 live and $250-252 dressed. This was down $3-4 live and down $1-8 dressed compared to the prior week.
2015 March 2
Australia is one of the world’s major beef producers and exporters, exporting roughly three-quarters of its total production. It was also the number one source of beef (not cattle) imported into the U.S. in 2014. The vast majority of the beef imported from Australia into the U.
2015 March 2
The cash fed trade was slow and developed warily last week as other portions of the market moved erratically. By Thursday afternoon, more than 18,000 had been confirmed sold at $156-157 live and $250-252 dressed. This was down $3-4 live and down $1-8 dressed compared to the prior week.
2015 February 23
The football season has long since ended and baseball hasn’t yet started. So in the meantime, perhaps your strategy needs can be sated with a peak at a different sort of playbook. Brazil is the U.S.’ biggest beef competitor so it’s important to keep tabs on what it’s doing.


2015 February 23
The issue of the West Coast ports—and the effect that has had on beef trade—was the story of the week last week. Everything from cash fed trade to the futures turned on the slowdown in export demand and the prospect of more competing protein and beef needing to be absorbed by the domestic market.
2015 February 23
The football season has long since ended and baseball hasn’t yet started. So in the meantime, perhaps your strategy needs can be sated with a peak at a different sort of playbook. Brazil is the U.S.’ biggest beef competitor so it’s important to keep tabs on what it’s doing.
2015 February 23
The issue of the West Coast ports—and the effect that has had on beef trade—was the story of the week last week. Everything from cash fed trade to the futures turned on the slowdown in export demand and the prospect of more competing protein and beef needing to be absorbed by the domestic market.
by WLJ
2015 February 20
U.S. net farm income—a measure of the sector’s profitability—is forecast to be $73.6 billion in 2015, down nearly 32 percent from 2014’s forecast of $108 billion. The 2015 forecast would be the lowest since 2009 and a drop of nearly 43 percent from the record high of $129 billion in 2013.


by WLJ
2015 February 20
Since then, the combination of strong global demand, particularly in developing countries, and higher prices for farm commodities, has boosted agriculture’s share of all U.S. exports from a low of 6.6 percent in 2000 to an average of 9.1 percent during 2011-2013.


by WLJ
2015 February 20
The price of 750-800-lb. feeder steers at the Oklahoma National Stockyards exceeded $220 per hundredweight at the end of 2014, up $65 since January and over $100 since May 2013. At the same time, the price of corn (a major component of cattle feed) fell from above $7.


by DTN
2015 February 20
“Although farm production expenses also increase beyond 2016, net farm income remains above its 2001-10 average,” the report stated. “Similarly, the value of U.S. agricultural exports falls in 2015 due to lower crop prices, but then rises over the rest of the projection period.
by WLJ
2015 February 20
U.S. net farm income—a measure of the sector’s profitability—is forecast to be $73.6 billion in 2015, down nearly 32 percent from 2014’s forecast of $108 billion. The 2015 forecast would be the lowest since 2009 and a drop of nearly 43 percent from the record high of $129 billion in 2013.
by WLJ
2015 February 20
Since then, the combination of strong global demand, particularly in developing countries, and higher prices for farm commodities, has boosted agriculture’s share of all U.S. exports from a low of 6.6 percent in 2000 to an average of 9.1 percent during 2011-2013.
by WLJ
2015 February 20
The price of 750-800-lb. feeder steers at the Oklahoma National Stockyards exceeded $220 per hundredweight at the end of 2014, up $65 since January and over $100 since May 2013. At the same time, the price of corn (a major component of cattle feed) fell from above $7.
by DTN
2015 February 20
“Although farm production expenses also increase beyond 2016, net farm income remains above its 2001-10 average,” the report stated. “Similarly, the value of U.S. agricultural exports falls in 2015 due to lower crop prices, but then rises over the rest of the projection period.
2015 February 16
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report showed the effect of market drivers prompting expansion of protein supplies coupled with a strong currency that discourages export. The combination means there will be a lot more meat in 2015 that must be absorbed by the domestic market.
2015 February 16
Only scant volumes of cash fed cattle had sold by Thursday afternoon last week. Prices were mostly $160 for live and $256 dressed, which was steady with the prior week. Analysts had predicted earlier on in the week steady trade would be the likely situation barring future implosions.
2015 February 16
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report showed the effect of market drivers prompting expansion of protein supplies coupled with a strong currency that discourages export. The combination means there will be a lot more meat in 2015 that must be absorbed by the domestic market.
2015 February 16
Only scant volumes of cash fed cattle had sold by Thursday afternoon last week. Prices were mostly $160 for live and $256 dressed, which was steady with the prior week. Analysts had predicted earlier on in the week steady trade would be the likely situation barring future implosions.
by WLJ
2015 February 13
The Great Recession helped push down at-home food price inflation to just 0.5 percent in 2009 and 0.3 percent in 2010. Inflation was again higher than the 20-year average in 2011, reaching 4.8 percent. However, in 2014 retail food prices rose 2.4 percent, near the 20-year annual average of 2.


by WLJ
2015 February 13
In December, beef export volume slipped 2 percent year-over-year to 100,270 mt, though value still increased 17 percent to $643.2 million. December pork export volume was down 5 percent to 183,498 mt, but value still achieved a slight increase to $541.3 million.
by WLJ
2015 February 13
It’s a new world of cattle prices and some of the old rules of thumb that have been used for years need to be modified. I still hear folks talking about a $10/ cwt. slide for calf prices… the idea that calf prices should decrease by $10/ cwt. or 10 cents per pound as weight increases.
by WLJ
2015 February 13
The Great Recession helped push down at-home food price inflation to just 0.5 percent in 2009 and 0.3 percent in 2010. Inflation was again higher than the 20-year average in 2011, reaching 4.8 percent. However, in 2014 retail food prices rose 2.4 percent, near the 20-year annual average of 2.
by WLJ
2015 February 13
In December, beef export volume slipped 2 percent year-over-year to 100,270 mt, though value still increased 17 percent to $643.2 million. December pork export volume was down 5 percent to 183,498 mt, but value still achieved a slight increase to $541.3 million.
by WLJ
2015 February 13
It’s a new world of cattle prices and some of the old rules of thumb that have been used for years need to be modified. I still hear folks talking about a $10/ cwt. slide for calf prices… the idea that calf prices should decrease by $10/ cwt. or 10 cents per pound as weight increases.
2015 February 9
It suggests the total U.S. cattle herd as of Jan. 1, 2015 increased 1 percent compared to Jan 1, 2014 with a total of 89.8 million cattle and calves. The estimate of beef cows and replacement heifers is up significantly from last year, giving hope on the herd expansion front.


2015 February 9
It suggests the total U.S. cattle herd as of Jan. 1, 2015 increased 1 percent compared to Jan 1, 2014 with a total of 89.8 million cattle and calves. The estimate of beef cows and replacement heifers is up significantly from last year, giving hope on the herd expansion front.
2015 February 2
By Thursday afternoon, only 8,600 head had been confirmed sold on the negotiated cash market. Though nowhere close to the week’s full buy, prices of $159 live and $250 dressed (down $1 and $4-7, respectively, from the prior week) likely set the tone for the week.
2015 February 2
By Thursday afternoon, only 8,600 head had been confirmed sold on the negotiated cash market. Though nowhere close to the week’s full buy, prices of $159 live and $250 dressed (down $1 and $4-7, respectively, from the prior week) likely set the tone for the week.
by WLJ
2015 January 30
U.S. retail Choice beef values climbed through 2014, reaching a record high of $6.30 per pound in November (most recent complete data). Retail value is defined as the average value at the grocery store of a basket of beef cuts, measured in cents per pound of retail weight.


by DTN
2015 January 30
The U.S. is continuing to put pressure on Canada to put forward a more robust proposal in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, Darci Vetter, the chief U.S. agricultural trade negotiator, said last Tuesday at the International Dairy Foods Association’s annual Dairy Forum.
2015 January 30
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Chicken Council (NCC), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and National Turkey Federation all issued statements Monday in a concerted effort to draw attention to TPA and their interest in getting a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership deal completed.
by WLJ
2015 January 30
U.S. retail Choice beef values climbed through 2014, reaching a record high of $6.30 per pound in November (most recent complete data). Retail value is defined as the average value at the grocery store of a basket of beef cuts, measured in cents per pound of retail weight.
by DTN
2015 January 30
The U.S. is continuing to put pressure on Canada to put forward a more robust proposal in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, Darci Vetter, the chief U.S. agricultural trade negotiator, said last Tuesday at the International Dairy Foods Association’s annual Dairy Forum.
2015 January 30
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Chicken Council (NCC), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and National Turkey Federation all issued statements Monday in a concerted effort to draw attention to TPA and their interest in getting a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership deal completed.
2015 January 26
In the domestic market, overall trends in beef demand have been surprisingly strong. Americans are forking over record amounts of cash for their favorite protein compared to year-over-year retail prices. According to the most recent National Beef Retail report, the overall price increase for four highly popular retail beef cuts amounts to a 17.


2015 January 26
Cash fed trade got underway surprisingly early last week with over 5,000 head being confirmed sold on Tuesday. By Thursday afternoon, over 43,000 head had been confirmed sold via negotiated trade at prices of $157-160 live, and $256-257 dressed. This continues the downward momentum from the prior week, being down $3-6 live and $3-9 lower for dressed.
2015 January 26
In the domestic market, overall trends in beef demand have been surprisingly strong. Americans are forking over record amounts of cash for their favorite protein compared to year-over-year retail prices. According to the most recent National Beef Retail report, the overall price increase for four highly popular retail beef cuts amounts to a 17.
2015 January 26
Cash fed trade got underway surprisingly early last week with over 5,000 head being confirmed sold on Tuesday. By Thursday afternoon, over 43,000 head had been confirmed sold via negotiated trade at prices of $157-160 live, and $256-257 dressed. This continues the downward momentum from the prior week, being down $3-6 live and $3-9 lower for dressed.
by DTN
2015 January 23
Don’t expect much farmer economizing in production costs in 2015, but it’s not for lack of trying. Yes, growers can nickel-and-dime their remaining grain and soybean expenses, but most cannot recover the hundreds of dollars of gross income per acre that have vanished since 2012.
by DTN
2015 January 23
Don’t expect much farmer economizing in production costs in 2015, but it’s not for lack of trying. Yes, growers can nickel-and-dime their remaining grain and soybean expenses, but most cannot recover the hundreds of dollars of gross income per acre that have vanished since 2012.
2015 January 19
The rally in the cash fed market was very short-lived. After seeing large volumes trade at up $4.00-4.50 live during the week starting Jan. 5, last week gave back those gains and then some. By Thursday afternoon, 44,575 cattle had been confirmed sold on negotiated trade at live prices of $162-165 and $260-265 dressed, down $5-15 from the prior week.
2015 January 19
The rally in the cash fed market was very short-lived. After seeing large volumes trade at up $4.00-4.50 live during the week starting Jan. 5, last week gave back those gains and then some. By Thursday afternoon, 44,575 cattle had been confirmed sold on negotiated trade at live prices of $162-165 and $260-265 dressed, down $5-15 from the prior week.
by WLJ
2015 January 16
The most recent monthly trade data provides an update to recent cattle and beef trade flows in North America. They emphasize the longer term evolution and change in the roles of Canada and Mexico in North American and global markets. Cattle and beef trade flows between the U.
by WLJ
2015 January 16
The most recent monthly trade data provides an update to recent cattle and beef trade flows in North America. They emphasize the longer term evolution and change in the roles of Canada and Mexico in North American and global markets. Cattle and beef trade flows between the U.
2015 January 12
The Southwest has had its share of hard times in recent years, but in terms of ranchland and ag real estate, it has been flying high. The greatest challenge in that market is also its biggest opportunity; there are willing buyers, but scant inventory. That equates to a seller’s market.
2015 January 12
The combination of plunging petroleum costs and high cattle prices makes for happy American ranchers these days, but a flip side of the equation is causing them to pause and wonder about the long term impact that the ongoing low fuel prices ultimately will have on their livestock operations.


2015 January 12
The Southwest has had its share of hard times in recent years, but in terms of ranchland and ag real estate, it has been flying high. The greatest challenge in that market is also its biggest opportunity; there are willing buyers, but scant inventory. That equates to a seller’s market.
2015 January 12
The combination of plunging petroleum costs and high cattle prices makes for happy American ranchers these days, but a flip side of the equation is causing them to pause and wonder about the longterm impact that the ongoing low fuel prices ultimately will have on their livestock operations.
2015 January 2
“So far this week we’ve seen some light fed cattle sales in Nebraska and Iowa at $163 live and $260-262 dressed,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage. “Not enough volume to establish a market but suffice it to say it likely points to a higher cattle trade when all is said and done this week.
by WLJ
2015 January 2
Cattle and beef markets are finishing 2014 at or near record levels, which is the way the year began…at or near record levels. However the advance in prices has been much more dramatic in 2014. Retail beef prices are up 15-20 percent, following a 5-6 percent year- over-year increase in 2013.
2014 December 29
As the year-end holiday season continues, the markets are calm. The most recent Cattle on Feed report showed a continuation of the ongoing build-up of cattle in feedlots. Cattle on feed numbers were up, placements were down slightly, and marketings were down considerably again.


2014 December 29
Due to the holiday-shortened week last week and the subsequent lack of activity in the markets, there is not as much to report this week. But, in keeping with the theme of looking back on the year that’s about to fade into history, there were some distinct highlights in this year’s market that deserve reflection.


2014 December 29
The most recent Cold Storage report came out last week showing red meat supplies in all freezers down fairly significantly year-over-year. Red meat in cold storage as of Nov. 30 stood at 919.08 million pounds, down 10 percent from the same time last year.
2014 December 22
One of the biggest elements of market news last week was the unprecedented freefall seen in the feeder futures markets. For five solid days—from Dec. 12 through Dec. 17—every contract on the feeder board was limit down—a drop of $15 in all feeder contracts in less than a week!.
by WLJ
2014 December 19
In 2014, cattle and beef prices advanced from (what were then) record levels at the beginning of the year to a nearly continuous series of record levels throughout the year.
by WLJ
2014 December 19
Because of the broad USDA definition of a farm (which includes places with the potential for as little as $1,000 in annual sales), more than half of farm operator households consistently incur a net loss from farming activities in any given year, and far more do not earn the equivalent of a market wage for their on-farm labor.


by WLJ
2014 December 19
The Canadian and Mexican cow and heifer situation has implications for herd size and cattle production on the North American continent in coming years and more immediately on current feeder supplies. Record U.S. cattle prices provide a tremendous pull for cattle of all types and from all possible sources.
2014 December 12
All was quiet on the agricultural supply front last week. The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report showed very little movement in grains, and minimal activity in meats relative to past reports, though beef led the total meat production estimates downward while pork led the meat import numbers upward.
by WLJ
2014 December 12
October beef exports were up 2 percent from a year ago to 109,858 metric tons (mt), while export value was a record-high $687.1 million— up 22 percent from a year ago. Muscle cut volume was down 2 percent to 76,472 mt, but still increased 19 percent in value to $596.
2014 December 8
At its 166th conference, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to maintain its production level of 30 million barrels of oil a day. The announcement sent the already declining crude oil prices into a momentary tailspin. Cattle producers and beef consumers may benefit, however.


by WLJ
2014 December 5
Many years of cattle herd liquidation, due to drought and other factors, have left the beef industry with such low cattle inventories that severe reductions in beef production are inevitable. Beef production in 2014 is projected to total roughly 24.4 billion pounds, down 5.
2014 December 1
One of the bi-products of the industry’s ongoing argument over Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is added scrutiny of the U.S.’ beef imports. The lines are fairly clearly drawn in the pro and con camps, but as it has been said, “the truth is rarely pure and never simple.
2014 November 28
Across all warehouses as of Oct. 31, beef in cold storage amounted to 374.87 million pounds (mp), down 15 percent from the same time last year. Beef additionally represented less of red meat and total meat in cold storage at 39.8 percent and 18.8 percent respectively, down from 42.
2014 November 24
Last week the cattle and beef markets were holding their breaths before the Thanksgiving week. Cash cattle trade didn’t relevantly develop until Friday and futures were sideways. But prices for feeder cattle keep going up and the cutout continues its slow march upwards.
2014 November 10
Activity in the cattle and beef markets was slow last week as the nation turned its attention to the elections and the strength in the outside markets. Live and feeder cattle futures were quietly mixed as more attention-grabbing markets—the Dow and the S&P 500— set record highs.
by WLJ
2014 November 7
For many producers, this may be a question of expanding the cow herd. In addition to potential herd expansion, producers should consider whether current market values should prompt management changes as well. Consider this question, for example: What is the optimal level of death loss for cows or calves?.
by WLJ
2014 November 7
Although margins are often tight in the stocker business, the higher dollar risk of recent years points to a need to think beyond buying low and light and selling high and heavy. Seasoned stockers like Mark Yazel, who operates along the border from Kiowa, KS, to northeastern Oklahoma, know there is more to it than weight.
2014 November 7
Prior to Election Day, Senator Rand Paul, a potential Republican Presidential candidate, gave a foreign policy address at the Center for the National Interest dinner in New York City. He was the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Service Award, and offered some compelling arguments for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
by WLJ
2014 October 31
With lower prices, those incentives just aren’t there, for either acres or intensive inputs to push production,” Welch said. “On the demand side, we are still seeing strong export demand and good feed and fuel use. High meat prices offer rewards to increase livestock numbers and feed to heavier weights; that will require more grain used for feed.
by WLJ
2014 October 31
China’s rapid economic growth and changing population demographics have affected the world’s most populous country. Driven by income growth, urbanization and a transition to a market economy, the Chinese diet has shifted from its usual staples to meat.
by WLJ
2014 October 31
About 150,000 participants from more than 100 countries are in attendance at the five-day event. A majority of those attending are from the European Union, but SIAL also attracts a large number of buyers and other food industry professionals from Russia, the Middle East and many Asian countries including Japan and China.
2014 October 27
The industry seems to be running a manic two-part market game. On the one hand, strength in the cash fed and feeder markets was striking last week, as were gains in both futures markets, yet at the same time there was continued information on declining and disappointing beef movement.
2014 October 24
A recent report from Rabobank suggests the future of beef abroad will be Brazil. However, the country—already the world’s second largest beef producer and largest exporter—is not nearly as efficient as its fellow beef competitors. The answer will be American-style feedlots, fueled by the growing Brazilian grain industry.
2014 October 20
Most things were up in the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, released in the afternoon on Oct. 10. For beef, the increased production estimated hinged mostly on increased carcass weights, but corn and soybean yield estimates were finally catching up with what analysts have been saying for months.
by WLJ
2014 October 17
The formula is pretty simple. Winter wheat planting in Oklahoma this fall is ahead of normal pace and the best in several years. All that is lacking in many cases is a rain to get the wheat up or connect surface moisture with subsoil moisture and keep the wheat growing.
by WLJ
2014 October 17
Plummeting gasoline prices are the result of lagging economic growth in many parts of the world, the end of the summer driving season, less expensive winter gasoline and well-functioning Midwest refineries, Purdue University Energy Economist Wally Tyner says.
2014 October 13
With the recession diminishing in the memories of the country, and people dissatisfied with waiting any longer to invest, the land market in the intermountain region has decidedly picked up. There is optimism and buyer interest with some looking to invest and others looking to expand.
2014 October 13
The second week of October looked an awful lot like the first week in terms of the cattle markets. Cash was slow to start with expectations putting it at higher money, futures continued upwards, feeders sold for more money, and the beef complex gained some ground while still leaving packers in the red.
2014 October 6
Packers missed the boat last week for buying cattle cheaper. After an explosive rally that began the prior Friday, the relatively aggressive gains of the near-term futures contracts left behind any hope that packers might have allayed their significant losses on the procurement side.
by WLJ
2014 October 3
If you choose personal use, one option Johnson said is to start or increase the family’s emergency savings. “When making this decision, ask yourself, ‘Do I have enough money set aside in case of an emergency and I can’t work?’ Having enough money for three to six months of household fixed expenses is always a smart idea,” she said.
2014 September 29
Everything was slow or a bit low last week. Next to no cash trade had occurred by Thursday—3,380 head were confirmed sold for the week at that point at $153 live and $242 dressed—and the cutout was sharply lower as packers struggled with negative margins and slack demand.
2014 September 22
Cash fed trade was slow to develop last week as packers were trying to mitigate recently very red margins and everyone was collectively holding their breath for the Friday release of the Cattle on Feed report. Even by Thursday, bids were limited to $155-156 live in the Southern Plains and $242-244 dressed in the Corn Belt.
2014 September 15
The cash fed trade last week was slow, but this was not surprising. Analysts expected packers to hold off buying cattle until the release of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WAS- DE) on Thursday, and that seemed to work out for them, though not because of WASDE.
by WLJ
2014 September 12
U.S. red meat exports slowed in July, the first time this year that year-over-year export volumes were lower for both beef and pork. But 2014 exports remain on a strong pace, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
2014 September 8
Very light trade developed Wednesday at $158-160 live in Minnesota and $250 dressed in Nebraska and Iowa, but at levels too low to set the week’s trend. Still, the early trade at $3-5 higher live and $5-8 higher dressed caught the market’s attention. Live futures closed strong on Wednesday and followed suit on Thursday.
2014 September 1
“However, I believe we get past Labor Day and further into the month of September and the market will be dealing with increased supplies of competing proteins and heavier carcass weights. This likely resumes the recent downtrend in cash cattle prices from the historic highs posted earlier [in August].
by WLJ
2014 August 29
“One operation we tracked had heifers weaned in 2010 and 2011, what those heifers were and what their accumulated expenses were over the two years to the point where they were heavy bred. Their expenses totaled $1,100-1,400 a head. That ranch was pretty efficient and did a good job of reducing their expenses.
2014 August 29
The Aug. 1/July Cattle on Feed report was released Friday, Aug. 22. While everything was predicted down— and everything was down— things weren’t as down as analysts expected. The report has been called mixed neutral to bearish, particularly for record low placements that still disappointed expectations, and for the lagging marketing rate.
by WLJ
2014 August 29
Since the early 1970s, the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) has estimated cow/calf returns over cash costs plus pasture rent based on typical production and marketing practices in the Southern Plains, but does not include other economic costs like family labor and management.
2014 August 25
As with the prior week, cash fed trade developed earlier than usual last week. A trickle of trade began Tuesday with Wednesday seeing the majority of trend-setting prices. Trade on Thursday was in clean-up mode as almost 70,000 head were confirmed sold week-to-date.
by WLJ
2014 August 22
With all the rain in July, things are looking a little more optimistic for wheat and stocker cattle operators than in the past four years in the Rolling Plains of Texas and southern Oklahoma, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.
by DTN
2014 August 22
The tax law defines a hedge as a transaction in the normal course of business to minimize the risk of price change with respect to inventory or supplies. This requires a producer to have a hedging position that’s opposite the physical position on the farm and within normal production ranges.
by WLJ
2014 August 22
The rollback in price between stocker purchase price and feeder sales price, along with overall price level, is the principal determinant of the gross margin, i.e., value of gain, for stocker production. For example, Oklahoma feeder prices last week indicated that the value of 250 pounds of gain for a 450-pound steer was $1.
by DTN
2014 August 22
Japan banned beef from the U.S. and Canada in 2003 because of BSE. The beef came back in 2006, albeit limited to meat taken from cattle aged up to 20 months as an anti-BSE measure. Certain “specified risk materials” (SRMs) with high risk of carrying BSE were also forbidden.
2014 August 18
The cash fed trade developed earlier last week than usual, though the prices left a lot to be desired from the cattle feeders’ perspective. Tuesday saw a surprising number of cattle trade in the Corn Belt at $154-155 live and $245-248 dressed. This was lower than the prior week’s cash trade, which was itself lower than the week before that.
by WLJ
2014 August 15
Beef exports were up 5 percent in volume; 106,609 metric tons (mt) which equals 2,204.622 pounds) in June and set a new monthly value record of $631.7 million ( 12 percent). First-half export value also set a new record of $3.27 billion ( 16 percent).
2014 August 11
Cash fed cattle trade took its own time in happening last week. By close of the markets on Thursday, 18,288 head had been confirmed sold over the course of the week—not exactly sluggish, but not overly speedy either. The bulk of that volume traded Thursday at $159-162 live and $253-255 dressed, steady to down $4 in both areas.
2014 August 4
Cash fed trade was slow to develop last week as packers, reportedly flush with cattle sufficient for their reduced production rates, were content to let the cash market cool off. Analysts expected trade to be steady with the prior week’s $160-165 live and $255-262 dressed.
2014 August 4
Two key cattle reports were released at the end of July: the biannual Cattle Inventory report and the monthly Cattle on Feed report. The reports were called bullish with both the Inventory report showing continued tightening of the cattle herd and the Cattle on Feed report showing decreased populations, placements, and marketing activity.
by DTN
2014 July 25
Corn importers don’t have to look far for supplies, either. With China’s hesitance to take U.S. corn, due to that country’s failure to approve corn with the MIR162, South Korea is enjoying the availability of Asia-bound freighters and lower prices. Imports of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) also are doubling.
by WLJ
2014 July 25
The number of cattle slaughtered is 5.7 percent lower than last year. Plain says the drop in cow and heifer slaughter has tightened up the beef supply, driving up prices. With high feeder cattle prices and good pastures, producers are now looking to increase the breeding herd, which eventually will bring prices down.
by WLJ
2014 July 18
Most all of Oklahoma received considerable rain from late May into early July. This resulted in much needed forage growth in all regions, including some of the worst drought areas. However, the heat of summer has arrived in July and forage growth has slowed abruptly.
by WLJ
2014 July 11
The beef industry is experiencing a wide range of emotions at the current time. The level of excitement is obvious as cattle and beef prices have pushed even beyond record levels of earlier this year. Cattle prices are at values unimaginable just a few years ago.
by WLJ
2014 July 11
“‘Out of sight’ is a good term for the prices,” said Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension Specialist in Livestock and Food Products Marketing. “And it doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about retail prices to consumers, the wholesale beef market or at sale barns for calves and feeder steers.
by WLJ
2014 July 3
According to the latest Rabobank report, Beef Quarterly Q2 2014, the global beef market will regain its positive momentum in Q3, once the current, temporarily high supply has worked through the system. This will likely support further strengthening of prices, as supply of competing animal proteins tighten.
2014 June 30
Asking prices started the week slightly elevated from the prior week’s sales of $148-150 live and $234-238 dressed. However, after a strong rally—again—in the futures markets, asking prices jumped up a few more dollars. By Thursday morning, cattle feeders were asking $153-154 live and $240-242 dressed.
2014 June 27
The most recent Cold Storage report was released last week. It showed that stores of beef in all warehouses across the country are down considerably from the same time last year. As of May 31, there were 378.9 million pounds of beef in cold storage, representing 38.
2014 June 27
Cattle on feed in feedlots of 1,000 head or greater capacity as of June 1 stood at 10.59 million, down 1.7 percent compared to June 1 of last year. As has been the case for the past several months, all of the major cattle-feeding states, save Nebraska, saw declines in their on-feed populations.
2014 June 23
The markets were alive last week! Cash feeders were still shooting for the stars, feeder futures were bouncing off the walls, and—despite analysts’ predictions—the bulk of the cash fed trade was accomplished ahead of last Friday’s Cattle on Feed report.
2014 June 16
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was released last Wednesday. Though much of the grain-trading world was awaiting its release, the Crop Progress report had more interesting data than did WASDE. Projections of meat and poultry production show the effect of decreased supplies in beef, however.
2014 June 16
Relative to the action in the feeder markets, describing the cash fed trade of last week as in low gear would be generous. That said, trade—once it happened—was decent. By Thursday afternoon, 18,083 head of cattle had been confirmed sold, almost all of them on Thursday, at $148 live in the Southern Plains and $233-235 dressed in the Corn Belt.
by WLJ
2014 June 13
U.S. beef and pork exports continued their positive growth trend in April, increasing by double digits in volume and by an even healthier margin in value, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (US- MEF).
by WLJ
2014 June 13
Instead, a paradigm shift swept through the U.S. feeding industry: those last days on feed are not so inefficient because cattle are growing carcass weight to sell on value-based grids. Supporting factors included the growing use of beta-agonists and the shrinking supply of feeder cattle that made replacements more costly.
by WLJ
2014 June 13
Traditionally, cattle feeders have estimated external fat thickness over the12th rib as one measure of finish, and although some research and carcass contests still ship cattle to the packer as soon as 0.3 inches, the norm has reached nearly twice that.
2014 June 6
Feeder cattle markets continue to move higher with a major record high set last week. October feeder cattle futures broke $2 in overnight trade last Wednesday. Good rains have come over the past couple weeks in areas of the Southwest, causing a case of grass fever which has encouraged cattlemen to bid on light calves.
2014 June 6
Widespread rains over the Memorial Day weekend may have curtailed holiday activities but were enthusiastically welcomed by cattle producers in the Southern Plains. Much of the worst drought areas in eastern New Mexico, western Texas and western Oklahoma received rainfall that was very timely for forage production.
2014 May 26
Last week was the final week retail buyers could fill grocery store coolers with beef ahead of the Memorial Day holiday. That longawaited beef procurement finally came in the 11th hour, bringing up several portions of the cattle and beef market complex.
2014 May 19
Last week’s release of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was the first of the year to include predictions of the 2015 production rates. The upcoming year is expected to be one of decreasing beef production, but increased production of pork, chicken, corn and soybeans.
by WLJ
2014 May 16
The program provides financial assistance to small (less than 500 employees) for-profit companies or U.S. agricultural cooperatives that own a commodity brand, with the provision that products promoted under the program must contain at least 50 percent U.
by WLJ
2014 May 16
In the first quarter of 2014, Nebraska steers sold at an average price of $147 per live hundredweight; more than $20 higher than the previous first-quarter record price. Nationally, finished cattle prices were up 17 percent during the first quarter. With production only down 4 percent, the hike has been somewhat unexplained.
by DTN
2014 May 9
The nightmare of the 2013 tax return preparation season was the new 3.8 percent net investment income (NII) tax. The good news is this tax only applies to the extent income on page 1 of the Form 1040 exceeds $200,000 single or $250,000 joint.
2014 May 9
Walmart executives used the event to talk about how to “rewire the system” in ways that would have a significant impact on improving the environment. That entailed touting various collaborative efforts to improve efficiency and reduce waste throughout the supply chain for Walmart stores.
by WLJ
2014 May 9
The pace of U.S. beef and pork exports increased sharply in March, driven by double-digit increases to leading markets Mexico, the China/Hong Kong region and South Korea, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (US- MEF).
2014 May 5
Cash trade was slow to develop again last week, but when a little trade happened on Thursday, the numbers were a surprise. With a little over 7,000 head sold by Thursday afternoon, prices were steady to up $5 compared to the prior week with steers selling live at $148-150.
2014 May 2
The futures markets reacted favorably to what was a decidedly bullish surprise from the most recent Cattle on Feed report. Following the report’s release, feeder futures and live futures to a lesser extent surged on word that there will be fewer cattle than expected in the coming months.
2014 April 28
“Packers are trying to lay in the weeds and say they have enough inventory around them and that domestic beef business has yet to pick up seasonally,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage. “This may be true to a certain extent but they do have first of May beef orders to fill and export orders have been robust lately.
2014 April 21
The cash fed trade developed in a slow trickle throughout the week last week. By Thursday afternoon, over 59,000 head had been confirmed sold for the week at a weighted average of $146.79 live and $233.33 dressed. That was decidedly lower compared to the prior week’s $147-148 live and $240-241 dressed prices.
by DTN
2014 April 18
On the positive side, exports to Asia increased 5 percent for a total of $1.2 billion while exports to Canada increased 6 percent for total of $4.3 billion. The increase in Asia was aided by China having government polices still supportive of agriculture focusing on productivity and increasing farm income, he said.
2014 April 14
Packers are bleeding out red ink again, and last week looked like the cash fed cattle market was going to wring a bit more red out of them. By close of trade Thursday afternoon, barely 5,000 head had been confirmed sold for the whole week, and then only at $150 live and average $240.
2014 April 11
Last Wednesday saw the release of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. The report was called bullish for corn given the increases made to corn export to reflect the quick pace of corn trade in recent months, and not all that surprising for meat.
2014 April 7
The cash fed cattle trade decided to play an opposite day prank for the week of April Fools. Compared to the prior week, where the bulk of a very large weekly cash fed trade took place early in the week for surprisingly higher money, last week was sluggish, inactive, and what few trades did occur prior to publishing were depressed.
by WLJ
2014 April 4
Live-weight steers reached $130 per hundredweight for the first time last October. January brought $140 per hundredweight and in February prices cleared $150 for the first time. Those prices were enough to interest cattlemen in expanding their herds..
by WLJ
2014 April 4
A myriad of factors are at work in cattle and beef markets now. Spring has arrived, according to the calendar, but it isn’t obvious yet in many parts of the country. Cold weather continues to delay grass greenup in many regions in a fashion that is reminiscent of last year.
2014 April 4
Every year, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects surveys from a large number of American farmers and ranchers asking what they plan to plant. This information is collected into the Prospective Plantings report, and the information is invaluable to the markets and subsequent reports.
by WLJ
2014 April 4
Although challenging weather conditions in many parts of the country continued to impact customer traffic in February, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained above 100 for the 12th consecutive month. The RPI—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.
2014 March 31
It is such an alien thing to report these days, but cash fed cattle trade was wrapping up Wednesday last week, with the prices paid surprising even bullish analysts. Live cattle went for $150-154, with most volume in the $152-154 area—up $4 in the Southern Plains and steady to up $1 in the Corn Belt—and $242-245 dressed.
2014 March 28
Wheat Association, strong export demand supported markets, including a soft red winter (SRW) cargo purchase by Egypt. Worries about how political tensions in the Black Sea region might disrupt grain shipments helped push futures even higher, the association said.
by WLJ
2014 March 28
One thing making economics brighter for cattle producers is a change in the price of corn, a major feed for market cattle. “Corn at $4.50 per bushel looks better than corn at $7.50. Recall, we didn’t think $4.50 corn looked so good on the way up.”.
by WLJ
2014 March 21
Cattle and beef prices are at record levels in every industry sector, from cow/calf to retail beef prices. These record prices are obviously supported by a very unusual set of supply and demand circumstances.
2014 March 10
“Effective with the August 2015 delivery month, the amendments will allow heifers to be deliverable against the Live Cattle Futures contract but be subject to additional eligibility requirements,” noted the CME announcement of the decision. The additional restrictions are as follows:.
2014 March 10
Cash fed cattle prices drifted lower last week as the live cattle futures took a nose-dive and packers seized on the opportunity to buy cattle cheaper. Compared to the $150-152 live and $240 dressed prices seen in the previous week, last week saw the bulk of trade happen at $150 live and $237-240 dressed.
by WLJ
2014 March 7
The largest collaboration between Walmart and U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) in Central America to date recently concluded in four countries in the region. Walmart in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua worked with USMEF on a six-week “Ten New U.
2014 March 3
And up we go (again)! Packers took the steer by the proverbial horns last week in the cash markets. They were apparently undaunted by their $100-perhead losses as they bid up the price of cash cattle to $150-152 live and $240-242 dressed mid-week.
by WLJ
2014 February 28
The largest food industry trade show in the Middle East, the Gulfood Show in Dubai, is the first stop for the group, which includes representatives from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, United Soybean Board, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Iowa Corn...
2014 February 24
All was quiet on the beef front last week. The same could not be said for the world of pork, however, as the Humane Society of the U.S. fired shots over the bow of the pork industry. Look for more information on that unfolding story in this week’s Beef Bits and next week’s issue of WLJ.
by DTN
2014 February 21
“We had assumed that under the continuation of the old law that more land would be planted to corn because of the ACRE program,” Glauber said. “Now with the new programs based on base acres, we think there will be more flexibility. They will look at the soybean-to-corn price ratio and will plant a little less corn than normal.
by WLJ
2014 February 21
There were plenty of hints. In 2011, a 45 percent increase in grid premiums to $32.3 million did not in itself constitute a trend. But USDA’s mandatory reporting, never known for overstating, showed 2012 starting with a CAB premium of $8 per hundredweight (/cwt.
by DTN
2014 February 21
AgriBank, the Farm Credit System district bank that sources funds for Farm Credit Associations covering half of the nation’s cropland, still sees wide disparities in farmland appreciation, depending on the 15 states within its territory.
by WLJ
2014 February 21
According to the Purdue Farmland Value Survey, Indiana farmland values have nearly tripled in the last 10 years—from an average of $2,509 per acre in 2003 to $7,446 in 2013. But abundant corn and soybean crops in 2013 have caused commodity prices to fall, making farm profit margins much tighter.
2014 February 14
While producers seem to be supporting a push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be finalized, media outlets across the U.S. seem to be skipping the topic. It is far from an apparent “hot topic” in most areas, and skeptics are questioning the chances of it going anywhere with the discourse in the White House.
2014 February 10
Cash priced continue to settle lower, making the second week this year where the cash fed cattle market did not set a new high record. Compared to the prior week which saw live prices at $144-146 and dressed prices at $230-232, the meager number of sales which had been recorded by last Thursday had declined to $139-141 live and $225 dressed.
by DTN
2014 February 7
Do you remember when you were in grade school and the science project was to watch and record the process of metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly? One day, the funny looking bug was hanging from a twig, the next it was encased in a cocoon, and then suddenly a butterfly was fluttering around the plastic box.
2014 February 3
It’s been a hard year for the West in terms of drought, and the far western states especially. While much of the western U.S. has seen a lessening of drought incidence and intensity, states like California and Nevada are bearing the brunt of the western drought with swaths of red taking up residence in their territories.
2014 January 31
“It sounds and feels like the hysteria of ‘get me some beef bought, I don’t care the cost’ and ‘go get some cattle lined up for next week’s kill, just pay them what they want’ that we have seen the last six weeks has subsided for at least the near term,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage last Thursday.
by WLJ
2014 January 31
It appears that the phenomenal January run of wholesale beef prices may be over. Choice and Select boxed beef prices peaked on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at $240.05/cwt (Choice) and $237.44/cwt. (Select). Choice boxed beef dropped back nearly $3/cwt by Friday with Select dropping just over $1/cwt.
by WLJ
2014 January 31
An early start to winter has caused many farms in the upper Midwest to reconsider whether they will have enough hay and other feeds to get their animals to spring. The summer of 2013 allowed many farms to replenish exhausted forage supplies that were caused by the drought the previous year.
2014 January 27
The cash fed cattle trade continued its upward momentum with a vengeance last week as Wednesday saw over 20,000 head sell on that day alone, and at prices $5-6 higher live and $11-13 higher dressed than the prior week’s cash prices. Which, at $141-144 live and $126-129 dressed, were nothing to sneeze at to be sure.
by WLJ
2014 January 17
“This is a good thing for both sides,” said Glynn Tonsor, Livestock Marketing Specialist with K-State Research and Extension, noting that while the prices may be construed as impeding some beef purchases at grocery store meat counters, some consumers are willing and able to buy at these prices.
2014 January 13
Last week the cash fed market continued to ride the rising tide of record prices. Though the bulk of sales were pushed off until Friday, the scattered small volume sells to regional packers were nothing if not a reprisal of the prior week’s tune, though at a slightly higher pitch.
by WLJ
2014 January 10
There are a multitude of factors impacting the shipping market. Major factors include strong growth for several of the major commodity segments, with the growth in Bakken oil and crop shipments being the most notable. There is a persistently strong demand for containers in other logistical market segments.
by WLJ
2014 January 10
“While corn prices at South Dakota ethanol plants have dropped $1.50 per bushel since Aug. 2, dried distillers grains plus solubles (DDGS) prices have actually increased by $1.05 per ton,” said Darrell Mark, Adjunct Professor of Economics at South Dakota State University.
2014 January 4
Cash fed trade last week was riding the strong price tailwind from the prior week. On Friday, Dec. 27, cash cattle prices increased sharply with cattle selling $3-4 higher for live at $133-136 and $3-6 higher with $210-215—mostly $212-214—for dressed.
2013 December 30
The cash fed trade was choppy last week, given the Christmas holiday being smack dab in the middle of the trading week. Analysts expected cattle to sell steady to $1-2 higher than the prior week’s $129-130 live and $205-209 dressed in late-week trade.
2013 December 30
In what has been called “moderately bullish,” the most recent Cattle on Feed report showed on-feed, placements, and marketing numbers below industry expectations. The decline in placements of cattle into feedlots with a 1,000-head-or-greater capacity was especially surprising and friendly to the markets.
by WLJ
2013 December 27
“My discussions with Premier Li Keqiang and other Chinese leaders laid the groundwork for future cooperation related to our shared interests in food security, food safety, and sustainability, as well as the expansion of export opportunities for Ameri can farmers and ranchers,” Vilsack said.
by WLJ
2013 December 27
Taiwan’s love for American beef is evident by the growth in exports to the Asian island nation this year, and U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) Taiwan team, contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program, is exploring new channels to sustain that progress.
2013 December 23
Packers were reluctant to pay much for fed cattle last week ahead of projections of decidedly short production weeks. With estimates for this week’s production rates ranging widely between 435,000- 480,000 head, and predictions for next week’s standing at 505,000- 545,000 head, packers felt no pressure to collect cattle around them.
by WLJ
2013 December 20
Cattle markets are heading into the final holiday period of 2013 at record or near record price levels across the board. Cattle slaughter and beef production are falling as the market transitions into a much tighter supply situation in 2014. Cattle and beef prices are expected to push to even higher record levels in 2014.
2013 December 16
Trade was again shrugged off until Friday last week as only 2,844 cash fed cattle sales had taken place by Thursday afternoon. Analysts had predicted this was likely and expected a steady-at-best market relative to the prior week’s $132 live and $208-210 dressed market.
by WLJ
2013 December 13
Every best management practices book related to beef cattle production calls for pregnancy checking the herd to identify open cows as early in the season as possible, said South Dakota State University Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist, Heather Gessner.
by WLJ
2013 December 13
On the production side of the beef industry, the focus has become whether the nation’s beef cow herd will begin to grow and eventually result in more beef production, said Darrell R. Mark, Adjunct Professor of Economics at South Dakota State University.
by WLJ
2013 December 13
Cattle and beef trade between the U.S. and Mexico has evolved over many years to increasingly complex and integrated levels. The long history of Mexican cattle exports to the U.S. was supplemented in the late 1990s with increased U.S. beef exports to Mexico.
by WLJ
2013 December 13
For at least three decades, beef cattle scientists have studied body condition of cows and its impact on productivity. Cows in better body condition at calving time and breeding nearly always seem to outperform their counterparts that are in thinner body condition.
by WLJ
2013 December 13
Beef exports remained on a record-setting pace in October while pork exports put up one of their strongest performances of the year, yet remain behind 2012’s record-high levels, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
2013 December 9
Trade was slow to develop last week ahead and then during the sudden, intense cold weather that gripped most of cattle country. Light purchasing trickled in throughout the week, but by Thursday afternoon the bulk of the week’s trade took place at $132 live and $208-210 dressed, roughly steady with the prior week.
by WLJ
2013 December 6
Beef production is falling at the end of 2013 and is expected to fall sharply in the coming year. This reduction in beef supply will add significant additional pressure to increase wholesale and retail beef prices. This leads to much concern in the beef industry that beef will “price itself out of the market.
2013 November 25
Cash fed cattle trade was in a “wait and see” mode last week ahead of the release of the Nov. 1 Cattle on Feed report and the drastic downward movement of the futures market. By Thursday afternoon, light trade amounting to over 11,000 head for the week had sold at $130-131 live in the South Plains and $132 live and $208 dressed in the Corn Belt.
by WLJ
2013 November 22
The counter-seasonal behavior of cattle markets this fall indicates the transition occurring in beef and cattle markets. The fourth quarter of 2013 provides insight into the general expectations for markets in 2014. Cattle slaughter for the year to date is down 1.
by WLJ
2013 November 22
The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.
by WLJ
2013 November 22
Paced by sustained strong performances by the Japan and Hong Kong markets and a rebound in Mexico, U.S. beef exports in September remained ahead of 2012 levels. U.S.
2013 November 18
The big news of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report involved the changes to the corn projections. Though the report’s estimated corn production rate for the 2013/2014 crop is up from the previous estimate, the number was still down from prereport trade averages.
2013 November 18
“A post-Thanksgiving rally is expected for product and cash cattle values,” said Andrew Gottschalk of Hedgers Edge. That might not be a good thing in the long run, however, as cash prices and their influencing market elements—such as production rates, feeder prices and futures—threaten to push prices out of consumers’ willingness to pay.
by WLJ
2013 November 15
The RPI—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry— stood at 100.2 in September, down 0.3 percent from a level of 100.5 in August. Despite the recent declines, the RPI remained above 100 for the seventh consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.
by WLJ
2013 November 8
Drought has caused many cow herds to be culled extensively over the last two years. However, some culling of beef cows occurs in most herds every year. A few cows will become reproductively unsound, brokenmouths, bad udders, open, and/or just plain old.
2013 November 8
After more than two weeks delayed, the September/October Cattle on Feed (COF) report was released to little fanfare. The results were called neutral though analysts predict it bodes well—or badly, depending on your perspective—for months to come. Tight supplies of cattle are coming.
2013 October 25
“It was a fast track in the country with South Plains trade at $132-133 while the Corn Belt traded at $132-134 live and a full range of $206-210 on a dressed basis,” reported Andrew Gottschalk of Hedgers Edge Thursday, noting that the bulk of the Corn Belt dressed trade was in the $208-209 area.
by WLJ
2013 October 25
U.S. beef exports to South America are up sharply in recent years, and Peru is one of the main drivers of this phenomenal growth. Now residents in this nation of 30 million have mouthwatering images of one of their favorite dishes—made with high quality, grain-fed U.
2013 October 21
Last Thursday came with word that the government was back up and running. Politics and speculations of the future aside, this was a welcomed change from the market point of view. Finally there are official numbers on cattle sales and beef prices! However, the market party can’t start just yet.
2013 October 11
The continued government shutdown has lent more speculation to the cash markets. Asking prices, bids, and the fact it was another week of Friday trade were all easy to track. But expectations of where that Friday trade would eventually come in was all over the map, from “up” to “down” to “steady” predictions.
by WLJ
2013 October 11
The lack of federal government data collection has already impacted livestock markets. The impacts will grow exponentially if the situation persists for many more days. The most significant initial impacts are on business arrangements that base beef and cattle transactions on USDA price reports.
by WLJ
2013 October 4
The ingredients for the best winter wheat grazing opportunity in several years seem to be coming together this fall. Most all of Oklahoma has received significant rain in the past two weeks. The rain is sufficient, in most cases, to get wheat planted and up.
2013 September 30
The most recent Cattle on Feed report again had bullish surprises in the placements area. Analysts expected placements to be down, but what actually happened was a shock. Placement numbers inspire questions; are cattle being held back or do they exist at all?.
2013 September 27
The trend of a Friday trade continued last week; Packers might have done themselves a disservice in waiting as futures did nothing but strengthen throughout the week and they were said to have had short supplies of contract cattle around them. Analysts expected trade to take place late Friday at higher money compared to the prior week.
2013 September 23
Yet another week of “wait- ‘til-Friday” trade in the cash fed cattle markets. With larger show lists, a number of outside influences on the market, and the expectation of a late Friday-afternoon Cattle on Feed report, the theme was one of biding time..
2013 September 20
Production estimates were upped for both this year and next on increased bull and cow slaughter throughout this year. Estimates of 25.68 billon pounds (bp) of beef were set for 2013 and 24.23 bp for 2014. These are both below the production of 2012, but up from earlier expectations this year.
by WLJ
2013 September 20
Cash corn prices in the Texas Panhandle have decreased $2.00/bushel since July. While there is still some uncertainty about how big the new corn crop will be and just how low corn prices might go, there is no doubt that significantly lower corn prices will have a big impact on feeder price levels and feeder price relationships.
2013 September 16
Bids were slow to develop and were passed over out of hand by cattle feeders offering cattle at $3-5 above the Spartan bids. That said, analysts expected trade would develop at slightly depressed prices from the prior week of $123 live in the South Plains, and $194-195 dressed in the Corn Belt.
by WLJ
2013 September 13
Consumers visiting their local meat counter to purchase steaks and hamburgers for grilling over Labor Day weekend may experienced some sticker shock over the price of beef and thought cattle producers must be making a lot of money.
by WLJ
2013 September 13
The latest trade data for July provides additional indication that recent trends in U.S. and Mexican cattle and beef trade have changed dramatically. The 51 percent decrease in July imports of Mexican cattle, compared to last year, is a continuation of the change in Mexican cattle imports that has been happening for several months.
by WLJ
2013 September 6
The Expectations Index stood at 101.3 in July, down 0.6 percent from June and the lowest level in seven months. Despite the decline, each of the four expectations indicators stood above 100 for the seventh consecutive month, which indicates restaurant operators remain generally optimistic about business conditions in the months ahead.
2013 September 3
Cattle feeders’ reaction to the bullish Cattle on Feed (COF) report of holding firm on higher asking prices, and packers’ theoretic position of leverage with larger showlists and buying for a short kill week this week had the two parties on the sidelines of cash trade last week.
by WLJ
2013 August 30
By the second quarter of 2014 the projections are above the futures price by $10 per hundredweight. Gessner said these prices, combined with new crop corn and hay prices remaining lower than last year, suggest profit potential for calves backgrounded throughout winter.
2013 August 23
It seems the cash attention last week was on the feeder sales because negotiated cash fed sales were slow to “dead.” Very few bids and only tiny and sporadic sales had occurred by midweek. By Thursday afternoon only 4,679 head had been confirmed sold, making the volume too low for a market trend.
by WLJ
2013 August 23
Cattle markets and boxed beef appear to have moved past the summer lows. Wholesale beef, fed cattle and feeder cattle markets are all generally moving in the same direction, rare for this year, and certainly not all in harmony yet. The Choice boxed beef cutout has increased about $8/cwt.