Steer and heifer slaughter last week, at 673,000 head, ran about even with the previous week, although 5.6 percent lower than one year earlier. With slaughter weights also about the same as a week ago and year ago, beef production was steady on a week-to-week basis but down about 6 percent from the same week last year.

USDA reported a national average live-cattle price of $80.74 per hundredweight, down about $1 from the previous week. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association meanwhile, reported prices in their region averaging $81.96, again matching that of a week earlier.

The Choice beef cutout price, at just under $140 per hundredweight, was even with a week earlier but down significantly from a year earlier when it averaged $164.

Corn prices in Omaha dropped a bit more, averaging $3.62 per bushel last week compared with $3.74 the previous week and $7.16 a year ago. The grain markets will be paying close attention Tuesday when USDA releases its current acreage estimates. There is some concern that corn acreage could decline from prior estimates due to late planting and acreage shifted to soybeans. Unless the decline is dramatic, it is unlikely to cause a big rally in corn prices as demand continues to slip. Corn exports are down and ethanol production is flat. Domestic feed use also has declined on lower hog, dairy and cattle-on-feed numbers.

A summary of last-week's livestock markets is available here from the Livestock Marketing Information Center.