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.
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.
As corn prices steadily fall as word of a record corn crop grows with every telling, animal ag producers rejoice. Cheap corn means cheap feed. Cheap feed means better margins for those raising livestock that eat corn.
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.
Overall, the report found the rate of fatal workplace injuries declined, but “cattle ranching and farming,” which includes both dairy and beef operations, represented over a third of all agricultural (crop and animal production) occupational fatalities, and the massive majority of all fatalities within the animal production category.
Last week, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller announced the details of this year’s Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) award winners. This year sees 47 awardees being granted $15.7 million in grants, with over half of the projects focused on the theme of soil health.
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.
Three bills sit on California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. They were passed by the state’s assembly and await the governor’s signature. With three strokes of a pen, Gov. Brown could drastically reshape the water landscape of the parched Golden State, overturning over 100 years of water law tradition.
In mid-August, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of oil and gas company Entek GRB in its appeal of an earlier case against Stull Ranches in Colorado. Stull owned the surface rights to the area in question, while Entek owned the mineral rights under much of Stull’s ranch and adjoining surface parcels.
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.
Back in mid-July, Tyson issued an Offer to Purchase Hillshire Farms for $63 per share in cash, with the acquisition totaling $8.5 billion. The offer was extended several times and eventually came under Department of Justice (DOJ) scrutiny for potential antitrust concerns.
The frog was once native to much of the Pacific Northwest, but is now found in restricted areas in northern California, Oregon, and Washington in the U.S. as well as British Colombia in Canada. According to the USFWS’ final rule, it currently occupies 10-24 percent of its historical range.
“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].
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.