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BeefTalk: Cow size and success in the beef business

What do you do with a group of 98 heifers in which 5 percent have a frame score of 1 and 2, 11 percent have a frame score of 3, 21 percent have a frame score of 4, 28 percent have a frame score of 5, 27 percent have a frame score of 6 and 8 percent have a frame score of 7 and 8?


Premium beef markets, let's plan for the future

We celebrate Beef Month with near record highs of cattle and the beef product values. We have been accustomed to strong consumer demand and near shortages in fed beef supplies. This has led to increased carcass weights to make up for supply shortfalls and a resultant trend in carcass quality with the percent of cattle grading USDA Choice and Prime at historic levels. This trend will likely continue until beef cow and feeder cattle numbers are rebuilt and supplies of cattle on feed increase.


Natural gas prices fall modestly

Prices fall modestly through the week at most locations. Prices at most market locations outside of the Northeast fell this week, generally by less than 10%. The Henry Hub spot price began the week at $2.99/MMBtu, fell through the week, and settled yesterday at $2.82/MMBtu. Prices at other major trading hubs moved in a similar pattern; the PG&E Citygate price, serving Northern California, fell from $3.34/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.19/MMBtu yesterday. Prices at the Chicago Citygate fell from $3.01/MMBtu last Wednesday to close the week at $2.76/MMBtu yesterday.


Morning Farm Report: Livestock prices jump to end the week

Live cattle prices rose on Thursday from $152.48 on Wednesday to $153.50 on Thursday. The $1.02 change brought the 27-day average price to $153.36. Feeder cattle prices saw a large increase on Thursday of $3.52 to hit $224.95.

Lean hogs also increased by 82 cents to $84.60, bringing the 27-day average price to $83.78.

Corn prices fared well with a four cent increase, with wheat also increasing one cent on Thursday.


Crude by rail receipts continue to be an important source of supply for West Coast refiners

This week in Petroluem has previously examined crude oil supply patterns on the West Coast, noting the increase in unaccounted-for supply, and then linking the increase to movements of crude by railroad. EIA’s recently launched crude-by-rail data enable a more detailed analysis of emerging crude oil supply patterns on the West Coast. The data indicate that most crude-by-rail deliveries into PADD 5 are destined for refineries in Washington state, and that despite recent delays in crude-by-rail projects in California, refineries in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas are not entirely without access to domestic crude oil from other regions.


Wheat ends Thursday on a mixed note

Traders seemingly thought Wednesday’s grain losses were overdone today. Corn and wheat futures tumbled yesterday in apparent response to forecasts for drier weather next week, with the yellow grain decline putting the market at its lowest levels since last October. Talk of firm spot quotes as farmers work fields and ignore old-crop sales seemed to spark renewed bullishness. July corn futures rallied 4.0 cents to $3.535/bushel at Thursday’s close, while December added 3.25 to $3.70.


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