Timing Bred Cow & Heifer Sales


The graph above is from a recent study and publication led by Tori Marshall, a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Economics at MSU. Her research used data collected from cattle auctions in Mississippi during 2014-2015 to estimate the impact that pregnancy status has on value.
One of the interesting findings of the study is that pregnant cows or heifers sold at a discount, … Continue reading

2018 Beef Exports

December trade data was released on a carcass weight basis by USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) on March 7 and it showed the 2018 totals to be a record year for beef exports at nearly 3.2 billion pounds. Beef exports ended the year 10.3% larger than during 2017. You may recall that 2017 was also a great year for beef exports. … Continue reading

State Level Beef Cattle Inventory


 
 
The January 1 USDA Cattle report released two weeks ago is the most comprehensive inventory report for state-by-state inventories. It provides the best snapshot of the beef cattle industry over time. In this article, we are going to dig in on some of the Southeastern states and look at recent trends We’ll also discuss methodology.  … Continue reading

Slowdown in U.S. Cattle Inventory Growth

The USDA Cattle report was released last week and it showed an estimated 0.5 percent growth in all cattle and calves for a total of 94.8 million head in the U.S. on January 1, 2019. The U.S. calf crop estimate of 36.4 million head showed 644,500 (1.8%) more calves were born in 2018 than in 2017 which marked the fourth consecutive year of calf crop increases. … Continue reading

USDA Cattle Supply Reports: Round 1

USDA is catching up on lost time by releasing reports originally scheduled during the shutdown. Last week, the January Cattle on Feed report was released. This week, the annual USDA Cattle report will be released on February 28th. Then, the February Cattle on Feed report will be released on March 8th followed by the March Cattle on Feed report on March 22. … Continue reading

Heifer Price Seasonality

Last week we looked at steer price seasonal patterns in Mississippi (view that post HERE). This week, we are examining the same story but for heifer prices. The back story from last week about why seasonality matters is the same for heifers as it is for steers. Rather than repeat it, I’m going to focus on some seasonal differences between steers and heifers. … Continue reading

A Second Look at the 2018 Farm Bill

As we begin to digest the details of the 2018 Farm Bill, I was given the opportunity to provide the webinar discussing the provisions of the bill.  More details will come out over time.  We will continue work to provide timely information as the bill is implemented.
http://extension.msstate.edu/agriculture/agricultural-economicsContinue reading

Calf Price Seasonal Patterns

The fundamentals of cattle markets in 2019 do not currently send a clear higher or lower signal for calf prices this year. Larger supplies but great beef demand have kept calf prices in a pretty close range the past two years. That is still the story in early 2019. An unexpected shift could happen; but droughts, … Continue reading

Bred Cow Values Lower in 2018

The following commentary is a mix of my own commentary and that from the Livestock Marketing Information Center. 

Bred cow prices at auctions during the last quarter of 2018 were down 10-20% from a year earlier in key cattle production regions. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) reported average prices in Georgia auctions for 1200-1300# cows bred 4-6 months earlier at $912.30 per head in December versus an average price in December 2017 of $1119.89, … Continue reading

Missing Reports

This week’s article (below) comes from Dr. Brenda Boetel at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. I have lightly edited it to add more information. I found it to be an interesting example of the value of information. In the senior-level Commodity Futures Marketing course I teach at MSU, we spend a few weeks discussing how markets work and what it takes to ensure they are efficient.Continue reading