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Cattle and Beef Markets

2017 March 24
Cash prices continued their climb last week. By Thursday afternoon, over 23,000 head of cattle had been confirmed sold at prices ranging from $125- 137 live and $210-215 dressed. Though not nearly as rapid-paced a weekly sale progression, the prices were up considerably from the prior week’s prices of $125-132 live and $204-210 dressed.


by WLJ
2017 March 17
The average cattle feeder wants to be rewarded for above-average beef quality, and many have turned to some type of value-based “grid” marketing to earn premiums. After selling a few pens on a packer grid, some feeders lament it’s less about quality and more about dressing percent, the whole-carcass yield of beef, including bones in those cuts.
2017 March 17
“Things started on the electronic Fed Cattle Exchange auction where packers started buying cattle in Texas/Kansas for $125-126 but then packers in the north began gobbling up cattle in Nebraska for $129-131.50 live so the southern cattle finished up on the auction at $127-128.
2017 March 10
Beef exports totaled 96,488 metric tons (mt), up 17 percent from a year ago, valued at $515.5 million— up 18 percent and the highest ever for the month of January. Exports accounted for 12.2 percent of total beef production and 9.5 percent for muscle cuts only—with both ratios being fairly steady with January 2016.
by WLJ
2017 March 10
Smaller-sized feedlots did increase capacity adding 2,000 lots (locations) compared to 2015 and increasing the number of head marketed during 2016 by just over 200,000 head year-over-year. This relatively large increase in small feedlots is driven by cheap feed, but is unlikely going to be a long-term trend.
by WLJ
2017 March 10
A good set of financial records are a must when considering economic decisions in your operation. Understanding how to pull the needed data out of those records and how to interpret them is key to providing you with usable information to make your decisions.
2017 March 10
After the prior week’s impressive gains, last week saw cash fed cattle prices increase even more. By close of trade Thursday afternoon, almost 110,000 head had been confirmed sold at $125- 129.50 live and $200-204 dressed. This was up a few dollars for live cattle and steady for dressed cattle compared to the prior week.


2017 March 3
The futures markets were interesting last week. On Monday, one couldn’t help but notice that expiring February live contract seemed to be high on the success of the cash markets. All the while, more deferred contracts appeared to be pointedly pessimistic about the future despite cash and demand signals.
2017 March 3
“This gives us a good picture of how important it is to keep these markets open,” Ribera said. “When you look at it, over 509,000 jobs and almost $108 billion in economic impact is a lot of money and jobs, especially now that commodity prices are low and farmers are struggling to make a profit.
2017 March 3
Non-pregnant (aka “open”) cows are often considered a byproduct of cow/ calf operations. Usually, when open cows are identified at pregnancy diagnosis they are sorted directly into a separate pen, loaded that day (or as soon as the calves are weaned) and transported to a livestock marketing facility.
2017 March 3
The cash fed cattle markets were off to the races last week with continued optimism. The prior week’s $122-125 live and $194-196 dressed was handily bypassed by last week’s $124-127.50 live and $200-205 dressed prices. To top it off, by close of trade Thursday, over 130,500 head had been confirmed sold on the negotiated cash market.


by USDA
2017 March 3
Higher working capital means better financial health for the farm sector. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) expects that working capital for the farm sector could contract to $48 billion by the end of 2017.
2017 February 24
Bred cows vary in value according to a number of factors including age, quality, weight, stage of gestation, hide color, time of year and location. Research at Oklahoma State University (OSU) has examined 15 years of auction data in Oklahoma to determine the impact of these factors on commercial bred cow value.
2017 February 24
Dr. Ian Sheldon—the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE)—said if Trump were to implement a 45 percent tariff against China and a 35 percent...
2017 February 24
Outlaw said projections indicate 17 of the 23 feed grain and oilseed farms are projected to be in moderate or poor financial condition; nine of the 11 wheat farms are projected to be in moderate or poor financial condition; 11 of the 15 cotton farms...
2017 February 24
By close of trade last Thursday, nearly 128,000 head had been confirmed sold last week and the prices were refreshing; live cattle trading for $124-125 and dressed cattle traded for $196. This is a far cry from the prior week’s $116-120 live and $187 dressed.
2017 February 24
product. The move follows a multi-year effort by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to persuade store managers that sales of U.S. beef—a popular item at Costco —would match or exceed Australian beef sales due to revived consumer confidence in the safety of U.


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