Beef producers won’t be surprised to learn that agricultural prices increased significantly this month – prices that is, for almost all agricultural commodities except cattle.
USDA’s Agricultural Prices Report, released July 31, shows overall farm-price index posted an 11-point month-to-month increase during July.
The index uses average prices from the period from 1990 through 1992 as a 100 percent baseline, so the preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers for July, at 193 points, is 193 percent of that from 1990 through 1992 and 6 percent above that of June 2012.
During July, the crop index advanced 20 points, or 9.4 percent, while the livestock index declined 1 point or 0.7 percent.
The July index for feed grains and hay, listed at 302 points, is up 12 percent from last month and 15 percent above a year ago. The corn price, at $7.36 per bushel, is up 99 cents from last month and is $1.03 above July 2011. The all hay price, at $184 per ton, is up $1.00 from June and up $14.00 from last July. Sorghum grain, at $12.00 per hundredweight, is $2.44 above June and up $1.60 from July last year.
But while feed prices have climbed sharply, livestock prices have suffered this summer. The July average beef cattle price of $116 per hundredweight is down $5.00 from last month but $5.00 higher than July 2011. Hog prices did better, with the July hog price at $73.80 per hundredweight, up $3.60 from June and $2.10 higher than a year ago. The overall index for meat animals, at 158 for July, is down 2.5 percent from last month but 3.9 percent higher than last year.
The overall index for prices farmers paid for inputs, at 215 for July, was up just one point from June and 11 points from the 2011 average. The increase in the index of prices received by farmers, at 193 points compared with 182 last month and 183 for the 2011 average, means the ratio of prices received to prices paid improved to 90 percent, up from 85 percent in June and equal to the average for 2011.
Read the full report from USDA.