Corn Conundrum Fuels Speculation About Future Profitability in the Cattle MarketsWed, 07 Aug 2019 11:55:16 CDT
According to Katelyn McCullock, director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center, there will be several factors impacting cattle prices in the months to come. At the top of her list is the uncertainty of the corn and soybean market, especially the corn market. The question most pressing right now amid all that uncertainty is just exactly how many acres of corn are really out there?
“This has been a really interesting year in that we don’t have a really clear picture of what feed grains really look like and it’s pretty late in the season,” McCullock said. “Typically by this time we have a very good idea of what corn acres are looking like and we might even be talking about yields. This year it still remains very much up in the air. It’s highly variable.”
The root of the issue of course is the fact that farmers across the Corn Belt got such a late start planting this year due to unforgiving weather complications. In fact, USDA-NASS intends to resurvey farmers as the previous acreage report released in June was simply seen as baseless as there was hardly any information available to collect at that time because of the planting delays. The results of that secondary survey will be released next week on August 12th so by then the industry should have a better handle on how many corn acres actually have been planted. What will remain unknown after that date however, is the total prevent planting number. With multiple potential outcomes regarding that number, McCullock says it still leaves a lot of uncertainty up in the air. One year ago, the US had planted 89 million acres of corn planted for grain. McCullock says the general thought is that the number this year will be at least a million acres short of that, but stands the potential of being significantly lower than that given how late planting actually was and how wet conditions were at the time it occurred. Either way, this information will have a profound impact on what cattle will have available to eat and how much it will cost to keep them fed - obviously a big driver in the overall cattle profitability picture going forward, she says.
“We’re just waiting to see where corn acreage number sorts out,” she said. “But all in all, I think everyone is thinking that it’s definitely going to be below a year ago. The question is just how much?”
Listen to McCullock sort through the current uncertainty that exists in regard to the feed grain market and its potential impact on cattle profitability with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, 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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