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Friday, April 4,2014

Cold and wet spring adds to cattle management, marketing challenges

by WLJ
A myriad of factors are at work in cattle and beef markets now. Spring has arrived, according to the calendar, but it isn’t obvious yet in many parts of the country. Cold weather continues to delay grass greenup in many regions in a fashion that is reminiscent of last year.

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Friday, April 4,2014

Planned corn acres down for 2014-15

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Every year, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects surveys from a large number of American farmers and ranchers asking what they plan to plant. This information is collected into the Prospective Plantings report, and the information is invaluable to the markets and subsequent reports.

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Friday, April 4,2014

Restaurant performance rises, despite slowdowns

by WLJ
Although challenging weather conditions in many parts of the country continued to impact customer traffic in February, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained above 100 for the 12th consecutive month. The RPI—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.

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Monday, March 31,2014

Cash and live futures rally strong mid-week

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
It is such an alien thing to report these days, but cash fed cattle trade was wrapping up Wednesday last week, with the prices paid surprising even bullish analysts. Live cattle went for $150-154, with most volume in the $152-154 area—up $4 in the Southern Plains and steady to up $1 in the Corn Belt—and $242-245 dressed.

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Friday, March 28,2014

Politics, weather boost wheat prices

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
Wheat Association, strong export demand supported markets, including a soft red winter (SRW) cargo purchase by Egypt. Worries about how political tensions in the Black Sea region might disrupt grain shipments helped push futures even higher, the association said.

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Friday, March 28,2014

Current high beef prices make great time to own cattle

by WLJ
One thing making economics brighter for cattle producers is a change in the price of corn, a major feed for market cattle. “Corn at $4.50 per bushel looks better than corn at $7.50. Recall, we didn’t think $4.50 corn looked so good on the way up.”.

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Monday, March 24,2014

Packers need cattle for the grilling season

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Cash fed cattle trade was slow to develop last week, but by Thursday afternoon a light trade had taken place at $150 live and $240 dressed. These prices were mostly seen in the Texas Panhandle and Kansas. Comparatively, the prior week had seen prices at $148- 148.

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Friday, March 21,2014

Expectations play a role in beef industry

by WLJ
Cattle and beef prices are at record levels in every industry sector, from cow/calf to retail beef prices. These record prices are obviously supported by a very unusual set of supply and demand circumstances.

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Monday, March 10,2014

Heifers OKed for futures delivery

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
“Effective with the August 2015 delivery month, the amendments will allow heifers to be deliverable against the Live Cattle Futures contract but be subject to additional eligibility requirements,” noted the CME announcement of the decision. The additional restrictions are as follows:.

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Monday, March 10,2014

Live futures see sharp downward correction

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Cash fed cattle prices drifted lower last week as the live cattle futures took a nose-dive and packers seized on the opportunity to buy cattle cheaper. Compared to the $150-152 live and $240 dressed prices seen in the previous week, last week saw the bulk of trade happen at $150 live and $237-240 dressed.

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