GFM Network News


Drought in the winter wheat grazing area of the southern Plains caused early movement of calves from wheat pastures into feedlots.

Forced liquidation a cause of volatility in beef cattle prices

There are record meat supplies in the U.S., but demand has been boosted by the strong economy

Several producers recently expressed their frustration with the volatility in cattle prices. Price movements of several dollars can occur from one day to the next, and cash and futures market prices even seem to move in opposite directions at times. Of course, uncertainty causes market volatility, and a number of supply-and-demand challenges are adding to



U.S. cattle herd declines but northern states see increases

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released the much-anticipated “Cattle” report on Feb 1. The semi-annual inventory report confirmed what many cattle market observers had expected: The record-setting drought in the southern Plains in 2011 that expanded into much of the country, including the Corn Belt in 2012, caused lower cattle numbers.

North/south split in U.S. cattle trends

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released the much-anticipated “Cattle” report on Feb. 1. The semi-annual inventory report confirmed what many cattle market observers had expected: The record-setting drought in the southern Plains in 2011 that expanded into much of the country, including the Corn Belt in 2012, caused lower cattle numbers.

Lamb Price Outlook For 2011

Lamb prices set a record high in 2010, which is welcome news for producers after the last several years of depressed prices. The last record-high year for slaughter-lamb prices was 2005. The 2010 prices exceeded that old record by more than 15 per cent. Slaughter-lamb prices were 25 per cent higher than the depressed prices


Lamb Prices Strengthen On Lower Supplies

Lamb prices have shown a strong seasonal price improvement during February and March. Prices at northern Plains markets for fed lambs have increased from about $100 per hundredweight (cwt) in early January to more than $120 per cwt in mid-March. The strength in prices was due to both lower supplies of lambs and stronger ethnic

Cattle, corn and the credit crunch

NDSU EXTENSION SERVICE Since midsummer, new-crop December corn futures prices have declined more than US$4 per bushel from the $7.88-per-bushel high. During the same time, November feeder cattle futures prices declined more than US$20 per hundredweight (cwt) from highs of more than $119. My previous columns have emphasized the usual opposite relationship between feeder cattle