Cattle Auction Receipts

Approximately 323,000 head of cattle ran through Mississippi auctions in 2018 according to data from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. This was down about four percent from 2017 but about four percent higher than the 2012 to 2016 average. Sales in the early months of 2018 were lower than during the same months of 2017 as shown in the graph. … Continue reading

Beef Cattle Market: Year in Review and a Look Ahead. Pt. 2: Demand

Happy New Year! This week’s article is part two of a two-part Supply and Demand series that began before Christmas. You can find Part 1 by clicking HERE
Domestic Beef Demand
While the larger supplies discussed in Part 1 will remain the biggest headwind to stronger prices in 2019, … Continue reading

A First Look at the Farm Bill

So we have a new Farm Bill if, as all signs suggest, the President signs the new legislation.  The bill is estimated to cost $428 billion over the next 5 years and $867 over the next 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  Over 76% of the cost is estimated to be for the Nutrition title of the bill.   … Continue reading

Beef Cattle Market: Year in Review and a Look Ahead. Pt. 1: Supply

Large supplies, record exports, and trade concerns are just a few of the topics that have dominated the headlines in 2018. Amidst all of these factors, calf prices have shown relatively consistent strength throughout the year. 2019 will likely bring a flat year in national herd growth which will position the industry at a pivotal point for supplies and prices moving forward. … Continue reading

Cull Cow Market Struggles to Find a Bottom

This week’s article comes from Dr. Derrell Peel at Oklahoma State University. I wrote about the cull cow market a few weeks ago (available here) and I found Dr. Peel’s comments today to be valuable info to add to the ongoing narrative on cull cow markets. Above is a seasonal index for cull cow prices.Continue reading

Low Cull Cow Prices and Complex Culling Decisions

Cattle markets overall have shown impressive strength despite larger supplies during 2018. Feeder steer market averages have been near level or slightly stronger than 2017 levels in many markets over the past few months even in the face of larger calf supplies. USDA-AMS reported national feeder and stocker receipts were around 15 percent higher during August-October 2018 as compared to the same three months during 2017. … Continue reading

Strong Summer Meat Demand

Now that summer is fully behind us, we can get a picture of how strong meat demand was during this time. In short, it was a good quarter for the U.S. economy in general and also for beef and other meat demand. Consumer confidence continued to grow during this time and that boosts consumer spending. The following is a mix of my commentary and that of my colleagues at the Livestock Marketing Information Center. … Continue reading

2019 Forage Insurance Deadline Approaching

The deadline for a relatively new (for Mississippi) subsidized forage insurance program is November 15th for the 2019 year. Forage production is a primary source of grazing and hay for livestock producers and forage production is highly dependent on rainfall. The uncertainty of rainfall amount and timing is a risk all forage producers face. To address this risk, … Continue reading

So What Does an Average American Want in a Farm Bill?

I am really proud of our undergraduate research program at Mississippi State. This past year Alba Collart and I mentored Shea Gould an undergraduate researcher who has now joined our Department as a grad student.  In her undergraduate research she asked a representative sample of 465 U.S. adults their preferences for allocating funds to the programs authorized in a farm bill.  … Continue reading

Meat Prices at the Grocery Store

It is no secret that the price at which retailers can ultimately sell beef and other meats has an enormous impact on the price of cattle. Beef demand is contingent upon quantity sold and the price at which it was sold. The prices of other proteins, namely pork and chicken, have an indirect impact. If pork price gets cheaper compared to beef, … Continue reading