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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

We’ll Take It

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

With the brutal heat lately, we are all looking for some good news in livestock markets. All the news lately has been about heat stress on cattle, but not much on those handling the cattle or sheep. I always figured the only good to come out of handling livestock in the heat of the summer, was the opportunity to view some nice sunrises.

An update from CattleFax as of July 15 shows some good news on cattle markets. I think CattleFax is the best cattle marketing service out there. They cover everything producers need to know if they are in the cattle business.

According to the reports of the latest calf and yearling video markets from Northern Ag Network, calf and heavy yearling prices have really jumped. The price difference between heifers and steers should get closer as the fall runs come on. CattleFax has been predicting cattle prices, especially calves, to rise for some time now. Their predictions are certainly coming true.

Despite higher prices at the meat counters, demand for beef is good. As we know, exports for beef is very strong and is one of the reasons for higher cattle prices. Here in America, the slaughter numbers are staying steady for the time being, which to me shows good demand for beef. Reading the local auction markets, a great sign is the cow and bull prices are over a dollar.

Where were those prices last November and December when we needed them? The demand was there, but with the backlog of cattle at the packinghouses, the packers were getting all the profits. 

Well, now it’s the producers’ turn to reap the profits and it’s about time. We have to be careful not to toot our horns too quick as we realize anything can happen in the beef business to turn the markets south, but as the markets rise, we’ll take it.

Some of the negatives out there potentially hurting the calf markets later in the fall are the high prices of grains and drought affecting winter wheat fields in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The drought affecting other beef-producing states will have some effect, also. I feel badly for those producers in the mile-long lines to the auction barns south of us, they are really hurting.

Hopefully the water temperatures will warm up in the Pacific Ocean and the big high-pressure system south of us will move east so we can start getting some badly needed moisture. Remember, the weather always changes and hopefully for the good

As I see it, demand for beef is going to be the key factor in the coming months. A strong demand along with smaller numbers of cattle should keep cattle prices strong.

Increased acres of corn planted last spring and a large carry-over should also help those prices. Hopefully this drought will disappear. 

It is the producers’ turn to have some positives, we only hope the positives will show up along with a rain cloud. This may be a lot to ask, but if we slip a prayer in the asking, it will come true.

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