Cattle Markets Hampered By Season's First Storm

Stocker cattle
Stocker cattle

Wide regional variations in prices for fed cattle were found this week and the cash trade was slow to develop. Iowa saw the lowest prices at $101 to $103 live and $163 dressed. Nebraska prices averaged $103 to $104, with dressed prices at $160 to $162. Cattle in Texas and Kansas sold mainly at $106, steady with the previous week.

Cattle feeders also experienced the season’s first winter storm, with feedyards and packing plants losing power for a time. High winds downed trees and sent cattle drifting across the country. Travel was impaired in many areas of the plains. Slaughter rates for the first four days of the week was well under the previous week.

CME cattle posted strong rallies this week with futures closing near weekly highs. December live cattle gained 32.5 cents on Friday to $108.30, extending this week’s gain to $4.05. November feeders were up $1.675 Friday to $137.40, rallying $7.75 this week.

Weekly cattle slaughter was estimated at 638,000 compared to 658,912 head last year. Total year to date was 26.75 million head, 3.8% below last year.

Friday’s Choice boxed beef cutout was $208.32 per cwt., $0.83 higher than last Friday. Select traded at $194.33 per cwt., $2.93 higher than last week.

Feeder steers and heifers sold uneven from $3 lower to $2 higher. AMS reported limited number of yearlings selling steady to $3 higher.

“Receipts were light in the calf and yearling producing area of the Southern Plains this week as a winter storm rolled through making transportation of livestock treacherous,” AMS said. “The Southern Plains had areas of flooding, freezing rain and snow; sometimes all of them in a short amount of time.”


Latest News

When Stress Goes Beyond Normal 

It started with a broken baler. The farmer panicked. He had recently lost his brother to cancer and his father to old age. Not to mention he had 2,500 acres to farm, 250 beef cows to attend to and his crop just froze. 

White House Drought Relief Working Group to Address Western Water Crisis

Interagency effort will coordinate resources across the federal government to bring immediate relief to irrigators, Tribes, and western communities.

Cargill, Sysco Partner On Sustainable Grazing Project

Sysco and Cargill will partner with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to help ranchers tackle the impacts of climate change and improve grasslands and wildlife habitat through cattle grazing.

Switzer Ranch Receives Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award

Bruce and Sue Ann Switzer along with their children, Sarah Sortum and Adam Switzer, own and operate Switzer Ranch, recipient of the 2021 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award®.

Profit Tracker: Spring Rally For Cattle And Hogs

Cattle and hog feeding operations are experiencing the highest market prices since before the pandemic began more than a year ago. Hog margins were positive for the 11th consecutive week.

Tyson Announces Support for U.S. CattleTrace

Beef industry efforts to develop a voluntary animal traceability system gained significant traction today as Tyson Fresh Meats becomes the first beef processor to invest in membership to U.S. CattleTrace.