The severity of this year’s drought - extending from the Great Plains through the Corn Belt - has not been seen in a generation. The past month has added roughly $2 to the value of a bushel of corn and the impact will stretch across every segment of the cattle industry.
Despite the holiday-shortened week, cattle feeders coaxed $1 higher bids on the few cattle that traded. Cash cattle traded at $117 per hundredweight, and in the North dressed sales were reported at $187 to $188. Beef demand remains supportive to the market, but analysts expect it will weaken with continued hot weather.
A light run of stocker and feeder cattle during the July 4th holiday week produced prices $1 to $2 lower. Early movement of stocker cattle off drought-stressed pastures is anticipated this week and next.
Choice boxed beef cutout values declined $2 last week to $192.65 per hundredweight. Select boxed beef traded at $174.71, down $3.38 from the previous week. The Choice-Select spread was $17.94 per hundredweight.
USDA’s Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday was $172.65, up 54 cents from the previous Friday. Cash corn prices increased 67 cents per bushel during the week, with Omaha closing at $7.42 per bushel on Friday.