It was the sort of event where a cowboy-hat-wearing, fifth-generation southern cattle rancher and a wide-eyed, Yogi-taught undergraduate who romanticized subsistence agriculture agreed that grain feeding cattle was a bad idea.
Over 11,000 head were offered and just under 9,500 head sold on the digital auction at prices well above the prior week at $103-104.75. One small lot of heifers sold for $98, even this being only slightly under the prior week’s average on live cattle.
The economic storm rages on in cattle country and the abrupt market downturn has taken a swing at the whole beef cattle industry. Producers raising traditional beef cattle bemoan the roughly 40 percent losses on beef feeders and fed cattle. Losses sustained in the Holstein steer sector are even more staggering, however.
California’s Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law several bills dealing with methane emissions coming from cattle. Among those bills were SB 32 and SB 1383. The details of the bills and what exactly they regulate however has been less than clear.
It has been a tumultuous election season this year to say the least. The country has had a front row seat to the two major political parties tearing each other apart. But they aren’t the only ones; less spectacular portions of the government seem intent on tearing each other apart too.
The volatility in the cattle futures has caused much tongue wagging and heartburn for producers. But our futures markets have a long history in which to develop problems. Elsewhere in agriculture, a new market is being created and its stewards are hoping to avoid a lot of those problems before they begin.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sent a letter to livestock industry groups. It indicated the USDA will move forward with a trio of proposed rules to the Packer and Stockyards Act (PSA). The rules were proposed in part back in 2010.
Cash fed cattle trade got underway relatively early last week. On Thursday afternoon, over 83,000 head had been confirmed sold, half of it that day, but the other half of it on Tuesday and Wednesday. The apparent trend towards earlier trading and more distributed sale volumes might be a good thing, but the prices sure weren’t.
If you’re a market watcher, you’ve noticed the extreme drop-off in trim prices this year. A history-focused market watcher would additionally note today’s 50 percent lean trim prices are almost half of what they were when consumer panic over “pink slime”— properly called lean fine-textured beef—tanked that market in 2012.
There’s a truism in life that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Physics brings us another consideration, however; measuring an outcome can change it. This dynamic seems to apply in the cattle and beef markets and USDA’s Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) program, often called “Mandatory Price Reporting” in the cattle industry.
Despite calls for a late-week trade in the cash fed cattle market, by Thursday afternoon over 62,000 head had been confirmed sold throughout the week. Prices were slightly lower than the prior week—$99-103 live and $157-160 dressed—which was in keeping with early-week expectations, but the speed at which the trade was accomplished was unexpected.
He explained that creek water, in addition to being cold because it is generally snow melt/snow runoff, is coldest because of its exposure to the air. Keeping things—water, pipes, or stock tanks—in the ground helps keep them insulated and warmer than things exposed to the air.
Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida are all widely considered toss-up states in this year’s election. Most of those states additionally see so-called “freshman” senators—those who have only served one term—defending their seat for the first time.
Do you have your market umbrella out? The sky is falling again. The cash fed cattle trade was ugly last week as cash prices again flirted with the $100 point. Trade volume was surprisingly high and sales came surprisingly early. Over 60,000 head had been confirmed sold by close of trade Wednesday at $103-104 live and $160-163 dressed prices.
American television sets were tuned to the first 2016 general election presidential debate, breaking previous records. Many additional millions watched the debate online. There’s no telling exactly how many Americans—or non-Americans—viewed the debates, but estimates range above 100 million.
The cash fed trade was almost non-existent ahead of the September Cattle on Feed report last week. By close of trade Thursday, not even 3,000 head had been confirmed sold. On the Fed Cattle Exchange, four lots totaling 775 head of mixed steers and heifers from Kansas sold for $110-110.50.