America’s beef economy worsens despite relatively high prices for live cattle. Cash cattle prices declined further during November, leaving feedyard and stocker operators facing significant losses. Cow-calf producers, however, are enjoying a great season with weaned calves fetching more than $130 per hundredweight. Drovers’ index of economic indicators shows just one of the eight arrows pointing higher – production costs. Profitability for feedyards and packers has gone from bad to worse, and projected breakevens for feedyard replacement cattle are in the low- to mid-$90s. Cattle-on-feed numbers are higher, placements are higher, and marketings are lower – all factors that launch red flags for the months ahead. Poor fall weather in the southern Plains feeding region has also hurt performance and raised costs of gain.