Livestock Economics


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Livestock Economics

BUDGETS: cow calf, backgrounding, summer grazing

LMIC: Analysis and Comments, In the Cattle Market, Livestock Monitor

MARKET REPORTS: area market reports

PRESENTATIONS: meeting presentations

LEASE PUBLICATIONS - farm and ranch

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Fall Calf Price Expectations

The feeder calf market has returned to more normal seasonal price patterns after the unprecedented increase in prices from mid 2013 to record highs in mid 2015; followed by the sharp decline in prices from mid 2015 to Oct 2016. Calf prices typically peak in April/May when demand for lightweight calves to place on grass is greatest. Then prices decline seasonally to lows in Oct./Nov. when supplies of calves on the market is highest. Much improved grazing conditions in the Southeastern U.S., Southern Plains, and California helped to fuel calf prices to a normal seasonal high in May 2017. A robust export market for  beef with higher fed cattle prices was also supportive. Calf prices are now in a normal seasonal decline. North Dakota 550-600 lb. steer prices are expected to average about $150/cwt. during the the Oct./Nov. marketing season. Corn prices this summer will be the wildcard to watch because a 10 cent/bu. change in corn prices usually causes a $1/cwt. change in the opposite direction in fall calf prices. Also keep in mind that there will be a $20 to $30 range in prices for the same weight calves at the same market due to the many factors that affect value of calves.


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