This Friday should have been the publication of USDA’s January Cattle on Feed report. (Maybe read the title in the voice of Johnny Cash singing Ghost Riders in the Sky). The report will not be released due to the government shutdown. Like other market analysts I am doing my pre-report estimates this month. The importance of doing pre-report estimates is not necessarily in the comparison to the actual report, but in using them to develop production and price projections. With that in mind, the following are my estimates for the “ghost” report.
I have December feedlot marketings at 99.6 percent of a year ago. That is slightly larger than the sum of daily slaughter, which was 99.3 percent of a year ago. Slaughter estimates are using estimated daily slaughter because daily actual slaughter data is not available. December 2018 had the same number of work days as 2017 meaning that daily average slaugher should be only slightly less than the year before, so no evidence of backed up cattle.
I have estimated December placements to be 102 percent of the year before. December saw an increase in cattle imports from Mexico and larger calf and feeder sales. Placements in December are typically much lower than in November, as much as 500,000 fewer in some years. As usual, there will likely be a relatively large range of placements in the pre-report estimates.
The combination marketings and placements results in an estimate of cattle on feed at 102.3 percent of a year ago. That represents a relatively large number of cattle on feed, as have the last several reports. It also continues to represent a narrowing of the growth in on-feed numbers compared to months earlier in the year.
Hopefully, the shutdown will end allowing for publication of the February Cattle on Feed report. While we may do pre-report estimates it will get increasingly difficult without the January report as a base. Estimating near term ready supplies of cattle will get trickier also, as winter storms effect market ready cattle, animal performance, placements, and population center demands.
Cull cow prices remain low at around $0.40 per cwt in the Southern Plains. Local auction markets have seen older cow prices in the teens. The Choice-Select spread has narrowed, as it usually does seasonally this time of the year. Recent increases in fed cattle prices are providing some needed support to feeders in the face of winter storms affecting performance.
Friday is the day the USDA releases a mountain of grain reports all at one time because of a delay caused by the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Those reports will include Crop Production
U.S. Farmers are seeing some movement when it comes to soybeans this week but what about U.S. beef exports?The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) hasn’t released its November numbers past October d
While the government reopened this week, the 35-day shutdown caused some issues for farmers applying for Farm Service Agency programs. This week, USDA released a list of FSA program deadline extension
All USDA county Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices reopened today amid the partial government shutdown now in its fifth week.USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that more than 9,700 FSA emplo
This Friday should have been the publication of USDA’s January Cattle on Feed report. (Maybe read the title in the voice of Johnny Cash singing Ghost Riders in the Sky). The report will not be r
A sale barn in South Dakota recently saw a larger than normal amount of cattle go through the auction ring and the influx is being attributed to the government shutdown.The Jan. 18 and 21 cattle sales
Updated at 2:08 p.m. CST on Jan. 22. Several USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county-level employees who work in multiple states told AgWeb.com on Monday night that they are reporting back to work this
Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen amid the partial government shutdown to provide loan and payment assistance for farmers and ranchers according to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.From a USDA
The longest government shutdown in history is seeing no reprieve yet this week. As the fight over President Donald Trump’s border wall continues, USDA reports are at a standstill. University of Mis
USDA has delayed the deadline for applications for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments. Farmers had until Jan. 15 to apply for the tariff relief payments, but applications were stopped by t