After cogitating over the last cattle on feed report, something seemed a little odd. We’re in the middle of a widespread drought, pastures are scrubbed clean, and you would think there would be some early weaning going on with calves going into grow lots or feedlots.
The latest Cattle on Feed report showed that cattle placed into feedlots was 10 percent lower than a year ago, but it’s a little misleading since there were a lot of cattle placed last year because of the drought in the southern plains.
Who involved in agriculture, and of sound mind, would get involved with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)? The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM)—that’s who. Two weeks ago, OCM, teaming up with HSUS, filed suit in Kansas district court against USDA.
beef industry’s report card came out during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s midyear meeting a couple weeks ago. It shows that most beef producers have done a pretty good job improving the product over the past 20 years when the first National Beef Quality Audit CROW.
Cattle markets have declined a bit over the past few weeks but they are still relatively strong. Yearlings at 750 pounds are still selling for $150/cwt. And light calves are still selling around $200 or more. The big question is, what are you going to feed them?.
Corn went over $8 a bushel last week, and soy beans were around $17 a bushel. These are new record level prices for these commodities. This situation makes one wonder where the grain markets will end up when it’s time to harvest. I don’t see moisture conditions getting.
Last week, the markets pulled a fast one that I’m still having a hard time figuring out. Corn moved up the limit, feeder cattle moved up the limit, and fed cattle moved up near the allowable trading limit. When corn goes this high, feeder cattle just aren’t supposed to go limit up.
Last week we prayed for rain and it seemed to work pretty well here in Colorado with a couple inches of the golden material hitting the ground. It also was a godsend for the fires in the area. So far this has to be the most destructive fire season we’ve ever seen in Colorado.
Time to pray for rain, just don’t pray too hard. We certainly don’t want it all at once. Recent weather patterns have been very disturbing. It’s hard to make any kind of feed without water and we’re past the point where we’re going to make any summer pasture that is worth much.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell most of you about it, because most of you all can feel it, but this dry weather is really becoming a problem. Last year, the dry weather was limited to mostly the south and southwest. We had some hot weather in the Midwest, but it wasn’t the CROW.
The first big video sales are getting underway; Superior Livestock Auction held their first two-day sale in Des Moines, IA, last week and it was a good one. Buying feeder cattle this summer is going to take nerves of steel. It appears the heavy cattle will be selling for big money.
I have felt a little out of the loop the past few weeks, not keeping up with cattle markets and issues. A few weeks ago, I had to have major back surgery which took me out of the game for a while. It’s been difficult to stay up with the markets, but I figured it’s time to make some kind of appearance.
We’re just about to the point where we’re going to have full contact politics. This race for presidency is going to be interesting, to say the least. It really does get down to an ideology and voting for the man who possesses the same ideals you do. And the way I see it, it’s a simple choice who our next president should be.
Any time you see the futures markets trade limit down, on all contracts, inside of an hour, you know something went wrong, very wrong. It doesn’t happen all that much but did last Tuesday morning when traders got news that a cow was found in California with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and then the panic sell was on.
The boxed beef cutout value had a nice rally last week, up about $7, and it brought fed cattle values up a little bit with it. Still, the weak aspect of the market is slaughter level. The industry needs to start processing cattle in the mid 600,000-head range and get this summer demand going.
The news of lean finely textured beef (LFTB) did have some influence on beef markets and the attitude of consumers. However, beef trade had been lackluster prior to that episode. Many market watchers have been waiting for grilling season to get underway, hoping that the seasonal trend would light up the beef markets.
This episode with Beef Products Inc. (BPI) is a real tragedy. Last week, BPI shut down three of their four plants and temporarily laid of 650 people at those plants. It’s amazing that an elite segment of the general media was willing to throw them under the bus, espe- CROW.
They’re back! The celebrity foodies have selected Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) as their next target. It’s remarkable how fame can provide credibility to folks who have no idea what they are talking about. They do their damage and then they simply walk away.
It’s still a little early to talk about the weather, but my latest travels through the Intermountain West suggest we could see a dry spring. We went to bull sales in Wyoming and Montana last week and the dry weather was on everyone’s mind, although they didn’t want to talk about it, think.