Compared to last week, feeder cattle and calves sold generally 1.00-4.00 higher with the exception of some major auctions near the Southern Plains feedlot area early in the week, like Oklahoma National Stockyards, which sold slightly lower. However yearling markets in these areas have been running ahead of other areas. Calf prices in some the worst drought stricken areas, like Missouri, saw gains as much as 10.00 higher from out of state buyers.
At the St. Joe, Missouri Stockyards on Wednesday, three pot loads of black-hided yearling heifers from one consignment weighing 690-700 lbs with an empty weighing condition sold from 143.50-145.85. The good cattle markets we have had the last two weeks have been made by good demand as cattle buyers have been aggressive to buy feeder cattle.
Silage choppers are running at a brisk pace throughout the Corn Belt as farmers are looking for an outlet for all their drought damaged corn. The last couple of weeks have seen the live and feeder cattle futures for the most part trending higher and with last week’s fed cattle selling 3.00-5.00 higher the cash feeder cattle market is trending upward.
Boxed Beef also moved significantly higher this week as Choice product advanced over 6.00 closing Friday at 184.95 for the week.
The corn market remains the wild card as the last two weeks the corn market has taken to the sidelines for the most part awaiting direction from the USDA’s Supply and Demand report released on Friday. On Friday morning, the USDA dropped corn production to 10.77 billion bushels down from 12.9 billion bushels last month, with yield estimates at 123.4 bushels per acre down from 146 bushels per acre in July. Interesting to note that after these reports were released corn for September closed 18 1/4 cents lower at 8.00 on Friday.
In this week’s weekly crop progress report the USDA revised its corn fields rated poor to very poor to 50 percent compared to 48 percent last week and 16 percent last year. Despite large plantings of corn, this will be the third year in a row of declining corn production. The scorching heat last month couldn’t be beat as July was the hottest month in the U.S. since records began in 1895, beating out the Dust Bowl record in the summer of 1936.
Pastures in the U.S. are rated 59 percent poor to very poor with the state of Missouri in dire straits with 99 percent of its pastures rated poor to very poor as Missouri has a little over 6 percent of the overall beef cows in the U.S. Liquation has and will continue to occur in the cattle markets as what started out the year with early grass now has brought us to a point of no grass. Supply included 55 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 41 percent heifers.