Slow Corn Planting Caused by Recent Rains Dampen Spirits in Cattle Industry, Derrell Peel ExplainsThu, 09 May 2019 10:43:19 CDT
Weather is on the mind of a lot of people this spring, especially beef producers as well as their counterparts in the grain industry, who have suffered one extreme weather event after another since the start of the year it seems. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays was joined by Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel recently to talk about the weather and how it might impact the beef market. The big concern right now is the large amount of moisture that has accumulated not only in our neck of the woods but across the Corn Belt where the hope is that farmers will have enough time to plant a big corn crop to keep feed costs down for our beef producers.
“In Oklahoma, obviously we have had a lot of rain. We’ve got a lot of wet, sloppy conditions that are a management headache for producers,” Peel said remarking on the grazing and haying challenges the weather has instigated. “But then in a little broader context, for cattle markets, feedlots around the country are really dealing with a lot of wet, sloppy conditions that are probably impacting performance.”
The final consideration that Peel points out, is that the US corn crop is well-behind its planting schedule. The latest USDA Crop Progress report pegged the crop at just 23 percent planted, half its normal rate for this time of year. Peel says that if farmers go another 10 to 14 days without making any significant progress in planting, we could see some weather markets start to impact corn prices. As a result, livestock producers might be compelled to adjust their feed purchases and bring more attention to the crop market than usual.
According to Peel, cattle markets overall have followed a fairly seasonal pattern in spite of the bad weather, with feeder and fed cattle prices moving up to a peak in the first quarter of 2019. Fed prices have since dropped sharply in the last several days on the backside of that seasonal peak. Feeder cattle prices are softening too, though Peel expects they will continue to grind on to an eventual peak later this summer. Beef demand has continued to perform well, domestically in particular. Boxed beef prices peaked in April, reflecting a lot of early buying in preparation for the summer grilling season. These prices have also started to drop off signaling that market’s peak as well as some mounting seasonal supply pressure that has begun to weigh on the market currently.
Listen to Peel’s full analysis of the current beef market and how recent weather has factored into its performance, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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