While producers have enjoyed a period of smooth sailing during the first half of 2000, Drovers' index of economic indicators reveals that the industry has ran into some choppy waters and will have to push forward to get clear of the storm. Record cattle on feed numbers have driven fed-cattle prices down and pressured average feeder margins as low as $62 below breakeven. Movement of boxed beef slumped during July and retail beef prices increased. Higher volumes of competitive meats will make clearing the current glut of beef more difficult. The good news is the industry can get through this if feeders keep marketings current and don't allow carcass weights to increase to much. Feedlot placements have declined for the first time in months indicating a lower beef supply by fall.