“Cattle-free in ’93!” Despite over two decades of failure, this mantra still highlights the reality that there are people who want to remove cattle (and sheep and other domestic livestock) from the public range.
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.
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.
Unlike past weeks, trade got underway earlier than usual last week. By Wednesday, over 50,000 head had been confirmed sold with Kansas, Nebraska, and the western Corn Belt leading the charge, despite analysts’ early week projections of late week trade.
Today was supposed to be the last day comments would be submitted on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps’) proposed Water of the U.S. (WO- TUS) rule. But, as before, the comment period has been extended. Comments can now be submitted through to Nov.
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.
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.
Back in the days of the old West, the Pony Express saw fleet-footed horses and their daring riders charging west through hostile territory to get mail through to its destinations. Now the ponies are pointed east and aimed to charge into hostile territory to deliver a petition to the government.
“Prior to the recession, the recreational properties were the focus of the markets. And then when the recession hit, those properties became very stagnant, very difficult to sell. But they have slowly started coming back,” reported Sam Middleton of Chas.
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.