Significant price declines for all classes of cattle were the norm across the country during July. Heat, drought and rising corn prices produced major challenges for cattle producers. Cattle-feeding profits fell to devastating levels, and the steer-corn ratio declined more than 20 percent in six weeks. Packer margins slipped modestly during July but remain well above break even. Boxed-beef prices dropped as the widespread hot weather reduced consumer desire for outdoor grilling. Supplies of market-ready cattle will decrease in the coming weeks, providing some hope for better prices. Still, rising production costs will continue to challenge all producers in the coming months.

 Economic indicators: Declining prices, devastating margins

 

Economic indicators: Declining prices, devastating margins