Friday, May 15, 2015


CATTLE OUTLOOK - Ron Plain and Scott Brown

Ag Economics, MU   May 15, 2015


The May WASDE gave its first forecast of 2016 production and prices.

USDA expects 2016 beef production to be up 1.0% from this year and

they expect this year’s beef production to be up 0.1% from last year.

Slaughter steers averaged $154.56/cwt live in 2014.  They are looking

for prices to be $4-12 higher this year and about the same in 2016 as

this year.


USDA expects beef imports to decline 9.5% and beef exports to increase

2% in 2016.  This will keep the domestic per capita beef supply very

tight and support prices.  USDA is forecasting 2016 per capita beef

consumption at 53.9 pounds of retail weight; that will be the lowest

since 1952.


Fed cattle prices this week were higher on light volume.  Through

Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live

weight basis was $160.82/cwt, up $1.05 from last week’s average and up

$13.87 from a year ago.  The 5 area average dressed price this week

for steers was $256.55/cwt, up $1.51 for the week and up $22.49

compared to the same week last year.


This morning the choice boxed beef cutout value was $262.69/cwt, up

$4.49 from the previous Friday and up $35.97 from a year ago.  The

select carcass cutout was $250.52/cwt this morning, up $3.72 from last

week and up $33.52 from a year ago. The choice-select price spread is

wider than normal at $12.18/cwt.


Cattle slaughter this week totaled 569,000 head, up 0.4% from the week

before, but down 4.5% from the same week last year. Year-to-date

cattle slaughter is down 7.2% and beef production is down 4.9%.  The

average steer dressed weight for the week ending on May 2 was 865

pounds, down 1 pound from the week before, but up 25 pounds compared

to the same week last year.  Weights have been up for 46 consecutive



USDA rated 56% of pastures in the 48 contiguous states as being in

good or excellent condition on May 10.  That is up from 53% good or

excellent last week and 41% good or excellent a year ago. 


Feeder cattle prices at Oklahoma City were mostly steady to $3 higher

this week.  Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight

group were: 400-450# $295-$329, 450-500# $286-$314, 500-550#

$272-$299, 550-600# $247.50-$285, 600-650# $240-$256, 650-700#

$228.50-$242.50, 700-750# $221-$231.50, 750-800# $213.50-$225.50,

800-900# $192.50-$215.50, and 900-1000#, $189-$201.75/cwt.


Cattle futures were higher this week.  The June live cattle futures

contract settled at $152.52/cwt today, up $1.02 for the week.  August

fed cattle settled at $150.80/cwt, up 98 cents from the previous week.

October fed cattle gained 47 cents this week to settle at $151.67/cwt.


The May feeder cattle contract ended the week at $219.00/cwt, up $3.13

for the week.  August feeders ended the week 78 cents higher at


Thursday, May 14, 2015

USDA Invests $6.5 Million to Help Conserve Water, Improve Water Quality in Ogallala Aquifer Region

Release No. 0137.15 Contact: Office of Communications (202)720-4623 USDA Invests $6.5 Million to Help Conserve Water, Improve Water Quality in Ogallala Aquifer Region WASHINGTON, May 14, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $6.5 million in the Ogallala Aquifer region this year to help farmers and ranchers conserve billions of gallons of water and improve water quality. Funding will be targeted to seven priority areas to support their primary water source and strengthen rural economies.

"This funding assists conservationists and agricultural producers in planning and implementing conservation practices that conserve water and improve water quality," said Vilsack. "This work not only expands the viability of the Ogallala Aquifer but also helps producers across the Great Plains strengthen their agricultural operations." Underlying the Great Plains in eight states, the Ogallala supports nearly one-fifth of the wheat, corn, cotton and cattle produced in the United States. It has long been the main water supply for the High Plains' population and is being depleted at an unsustainable rate. The reservoir was created more than a million years ago through geologic action and covers about 174,000 square miles; mainly in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas (also known as the High Plains). The aquifer also covers part of South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Through the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative (OAI), USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is directing funding in fiscal 2015 to support targeted, local efforts to improve the quality and availability of this vital water supply. This year's work is planned in seven priority areas in five states and will continue for up to four years. It will conserve billions of gallons of water per year, extending the viability of the aquifer for multiple uses. This conservation investment builds on $66 million that NRCS has invested through OAI since 2011, which helped farmers and ranchers conserve water on more than 325,000 acres. The Secretary noted that much of the funding invested by USDA has been matched or supplemented by individual producers. The fiscal 2015 priority areas include: • Northern High Plains ground water basin in Colorado: NRCS will focus on helping producers install new technologies on irrigated operations to more efficiently use water. These technologies include weather stations, sensors and telemetry for soil moisture and nutrients and advanced irrigation systems. Water and conservation districts are also developing incentive programs for producers. This conservation work will conserve 2.1 billion gallons of water over four years. • Priority areas in Kansas: NRCS will work with producers to reconvert irrigated cropland to dryland farming in high priority areas. The state identified these areas in the Kansas Water Plan as Priority Ground Water Decline and Quick Response Areas, meaning they are the ones most in need and where conservation can have the biggest impact on recharging the aquifer. The conservation work will conserve 1.8 billion gallons of water over four years. • Priority areas in eastern New Mexico: NRCS will work with producers to convert irrigated cropland to dryland cropping systems and restore grasslands. NRCS will work with producers to reduce pumping on 1,190 acres each year over four years. This conservation work will conserve 1.56 billion gallons of water over four years, helping ensure water for agricultural lands, cities like Clovis and Portales, N.M. and Cannon Air Force Base. See full list of priority areas. "Water is a precious resource, and the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative helps our farmers and ranchers use it wisely," NRCS Chief Jason Weller.

"This is especially important in a place like the Ogallala, where drought conditions have prevailed in recent years. We know we can't change the weather, but we can help producers be ready for it." Many western states were affected by a historic drought earlier in the decade, and that drought continues in areas including California and the southwest. NRCS works with producers to provide innovative, field-based conservation technologies and approaches, leading to improvements like enhancing soil's ability to hold water, evaluating irrigation water use and installing grazing systems that are more tolerant to drought. For more on technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit or a local USDA service center. #

Monday, April 6, 2015

National Hay Situation and Outlook!

Click on the link below to have look at the National Hay Situation and Outlook

National Hay Situation & Outlook

Monday, March 30, 2015

USDA Finalizes Procedures for Sorghum Referendum!

Release No.: 021-15
Sam Jones-Ellard (202) 660-2268
WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing procedures for the upcoming referendum regarding the continuation of the Sorghum Checkoff Program and is announcing the dates it will conduct the referendum.

The Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order requires that a referendum be conducted no later than seven years after the start of assessments, which began on July 1, 2008. For the program to continue, a majority of those voting must favor the continuation of the order.
USDA will conduct the referendum beginning on March 23, 2015, through April 21, 2015, at county USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for producers and the Agricultural Marketing Service office for importers. Ballots may be obtained in person, by mail or facsimile at county FSA offices, or via the Internet.
Any eligible person engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2014, is eligible to participate. Individuals are required to provide documentation such as a sales receipt or remittance form that shows they engaged in the production or importation of sorghum.
The Sorghum Checkoff Program, and its 13-member board, is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996. The Sorghum Checkoff is intended to be a national, coordinated, self-help marketing program designed to strengthen the position of sorghum in the marketplace, maintain and expand existing domestic and foreign markets and uses for sorghum, and develop new markets and uses for sorghum.
The final procedures were published in the Nov. 18, 2010, Federal Register. The notice announcing the dates of the referendum was published in the Feb. 19, 2015, Federal Register.
For more information, contact Craig Shackelford, Marketing Specialist, Research and Promotion Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, 22 Jamesport Lane, White, GA 30184; Telephone: (470) 315-4246; Procedures and additional information about the referendum can be found at:
Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at or follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS. You can also read about us on the USDA blog.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).