The ongoing human health issue, known as COVID-19, serves as a reminder to cattle ranchers about the importance of sound, common sense biosecurity measures that can aid in reducing the risk of a disease outbreak in the new 2020 calf crop.

Wholesale beef prices typically increase seasonally from February into March but have showed only scant improvement from the February low three weeks ago. Last week, the Choice boxed beef cutout was $206.94 per hundredweight, up $1.23 per hundredweight from the February low, but 8 percent be…

On March 2, the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture Grain Crushing report provides an estimate of corn used for ethanol production in January. In the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report, the USDA raised corn used for ethanol production by 50 million bushels, to 5.…

Global markets are being roiled by coronavirus (known as COVID-19) and cattle markets are no exception. The combination of broad-based market fears and current market impacts have taken a big toll. One of the functions of futures markets is to anticipate the worst and, not surprisingly, futu…

Old crop corn basis and futures spreads continue to signal a smaller crop scenario than the price levels in the futures market suggest. Futures price levels reflect the uncertainty associated with the coronavirus and the potential weaker growth its continuation promises. Producer grain holdi…

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture Cattle on Feed report shows feedlot inventories totaled 11.928 million head on Feb. 1, up 2.2 percent year over year and the highest total for the month since 2008. January marketings were 101.1 percent of last year, close to pre-report expectations.…

Latest weekly steer carcass weights were 897 pounds, down 4 pounds from the prior week but 12 pounds heavier than the same week one year ago.  Heifer carcass weights in the latest weekly data were 833 pounds, up 1 pound from the previous week and 13 pounds heavier than the same week last yea…

Soybean prices put in a moderate rally last week. An outlook for a large South American soybean crop and uncertainty of the impact on economic growth associated with the evolving coronavirus situation hang over U.S. soybean demand scenarios moving forward.  Expanding soybean acreage in 2020 …

Despite our best efforts at bull selection and heifer development, cows or heifers occasionally need assistance at calving time. Every baby calf has a certain degree of respiratory acidosis. Acidosis is the result of the deprivation of oxygen and the accumulation of carbon dioxide that resul…

According to Mary Drewnoski, University of Nebraska beef systems specialist, cold stress increases a cow’s energy requirement and can pull down her body condition. We think many cow-calf producers will experience this issue this winter. While we don’t know what Mother Nature has in store for…

Weather challenges in 2019 led to many questions about the quantity and quality of hay production and supply heading into 2020. Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture reports provide a summary of 2019 hay production and the status of hay stocks as of Dec. 1.

The ongoing wildfires in Australia represent the latest in nearly a decade of environmental challenges the country has faced. This has prompted questions about the impact of the fires on Australian cattle and beef production and trade. This article was compiled from several Australian report…

The New Year brings with it several changes in ongoing market dynamics, some new opportunities, and some new risks and continuing challenges for cattle and beef markets. The watch list of beef and cattle market factors includes the typical suspects including trade, domestic demand, supply dy…

A major winter storm disrupted Thanksgiving travel last week and will have a variety of impacts for some time. The latest snow and cold hampers an already difficult crop harvest. Though frozen conditions may increase access to muddy fields, deep snow in some areas will add additional delays …

Cattle producers employing wheat pasture as a supplement for pregnant replacement heifers expected to calve in January and February need to use the nutritional resource judiciously.

The U.S. beef and cattle industry has increased production and productivity in many respects in the past several decades. Total beef production in 2020 is projected at a record 27.3 billion pounds. Cattle carcass weights have increased an average of 5 pounds per year for the past 25 years. B…

Soils across most of Kansas are now cool enough to allow producers to apply anhydrous ammonia for their 2020 corn crop (Figure 1). This practice has some appeal to producers. For one thing, fall fertilizer application spreads out the workload so there’s more time to focus on corn planting in…

The fall calf run is in full swing in Oklahoma. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service reports combined volumes for seven Oklahoma auctions are up 7 percent year over year over the past six weeks. Prices for most weight classes of feeder cattle increased last wee…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s October Cattle on Feed report contained no big surprises.  The feedlot inventory on Oct. 1 was 11.3 million head, down 1.1 percent from one year ago.  This is the second consecutive month of year-over-year decline in feedlot totals.  Placements in Septemb…

Last week was a busy travel week as I attended and presented at three very different conferences. First was the Global Protein Summit in Chicago, followed by the Rural Economic Outlook Conference at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and ending the week with a series of seminars at the…

Most soybean and corn likely will yield less than normal this year due to late planting and unfavorable weather during critical grain-fill periods, said University of Missouri Extension soybean specialist Bill Wiebold.

Winter feeding of cattle is a necessary part of nearly all cow-calf operations. The feeding site is the area where a producer will feed the cattle regularly, providing hay and sometimes grain or other supplements to supply the nutrients cattle need.

In the last two or three years, China has replaced the U.S. as the leading beef importer in the world. Chinese beef imports in 2018 exceeded total U.S. beef imports. If Hong Kong is included along with mainland China, total China/Hong Kong imports were larger than U.S. beef imports beginning…

There is likely going to be a lot more silage chopped this year. Many acres that were enrolled in prevented planting with their insurance or Farm Services Agency after the last planting date needed a cover crop. The original rule was that nothing could be harvested, including a cover crop, u…

Soil organic matter is one of the oddest components of soil. Although it comprises a small percentage of total soil volume and weight, it completely changes the color, nutrient transfers, cation exchange capacity and water-holding capacity.

A Kansas State University row crop specialist says he’s happy — even if surprised — by the low incidence of disease he’s finding in the state’s corn fields so far this summer.

Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension, was in a fescue field June 7 near Mount Vernon and he found a few sclerotia (ergot) of the parasite fungus growing in place of the seed on fescue plants.

The calendar says it is summer but it really isn’t acting like it in some places and in some respects. I’m currently in Montana where the longest day of the year is impressive with sunrise shortly after 5:30 a.m. and sunset after 9:30 pm. The long days help but hay production here in the sho…

Fed cattle prices matched March seasonal peaks with another peak in late April but appear to be declining seasonally now. From the April peak just over $128 per hundredweight, fed cattle prices this past week dropped to around $120 per cwt., the lowest fed prices since last December. Choice …

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Cattle on Feed report pegged April 1 feedlot inventories at 11.96 million head, 102 percent of last year and a record April level for the data series, which started in 1996. The 12-month moving average of fe…

The March Cattle on Feed report brings the feedlot data up to date and back on schedule following the federal government shutdown. February feedlot placements were 102.2 percent of last year. This was significantly larger than expected with year over year increases in placements of cattle we…

Total U.S. beef imports were 3 billion pounds in 2018, up 0.2 percent year over year and essentially unchanged for the last three years. Table 1 summarizes the 2018 rank and share of countries from which the U.S. imports beef.

The Jan. 1, 2019, inventory of all cattle and calves in the U.S. grew to 94.76 million, head, up 0.5 percent from one year ago. This puts the number of cattle in the country just slightly higher than 2009 levels after dropping to a low of 88.53 million head in 2014, with an increase of 6.23 …

Despite our best efforts at bull selection and heifer development, cows or heifers occasionally need assistance at calving time.

With U.S. Department of Agriculture data flowing again, the final numbers for 2018 will begin to emerge soon as well as current numbers for 2019. The annual Cattle Report will be released after a one month delay in late February. The January Cattle on Feed report is scheduled to be released …

Wholesale beef markets are starting 2019 with a continuation of generally strong prices seen last year. For the first three weeks of the year, boxed beef cutout prices are up 2.9 percent for Choice and 3.4 percent for Select compared to the same period last year. In 2018, weekly boxed beef p…

With cattle numbers still growing, cattle feeders have continued to move larger supplies of cattle through feedlots in a very timely manner. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's December Cattle on Feed report showed Dec. 1 feedlot inventories at 11.739 million head, 101.9 percent of one year…

This article discusses two sides of the tax planning. First, the situation some farmers may discover is that more income is desired to reach the long-run taxable income target for the business. Second, a farm or ranch may have had a better-than-average year and the goal is to reduce taxable …

November Choice retail beef prices were $5.911 per pound, up from $5.840 per pound in October and 1.8 percent above the November 2017 price of $5.807 per pound. However, the all-fresh beef retail price dropped to $5.603 per pound from the October price of $5.68 per pound. The all-fresh price…

The latest meat trade data shows that exports are continuing to help offset record meat production in 2018.