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Market and Industry News

Stay up to date with this week's industry news and market highlights. Also, learn more about what we're up to at Stockguard.

What's new this week?

Good morning and happy Friday! Last week live cattle prices fluctuated, closing the week slightly higher at $176.675/cwt, a marginal drop of $0.125/cwt. Feeder cattle exhibited more significant decreases, and corn ended the week up 10 cents on the active July contract. Soybean prices faced a downturn, with significant price reductions, particularly in the latter part of the week. This week saw live cattle prices starting at $176.975/cwt and closing slightly lower at $175.950/cwt, reflecting a net decrease amid a mix of minor gains and more noticeable losses. Feeder cattle prices have dropped notably from $241.400/cwt to $238.650/cwt, marking a challenging week with persistent declines. Looking at crops, Corn prices opened the week at $4.5700/cwt and exhibited an upward trend, though with slight fluctuations, ending slightly lower at $4.4275/cwt, while soybean prices have trended downwards this week, from an opening of $12.3475/cwt to closing at $11.9275/cwt, reflecting a broader market correction and selling pressures. Market anticipation surrounded the Friday release of the WASDE report. Overall, while live cattle prices showed some stability, feeder cattle faced challenges, and grains exhibited positive momentum. The upcoming WASDE report adds an additional layer of anticipation and volatility to the market, as traders await updated information on supply and demand dynamics for corn and soybeans.

Market Highlights

  • During the week, the live cattle futures market displayed notable fluctuations amid varying demand signals. The week commenced with the futures priced at $176.975 per cwt, initially holding steady with minor gains reflecting cautious optimism among traders. As the week progressed, prices encountered downward pressure, driven possibly by a combination of market uncertainties and shifts in consumer demand. By the week’s end, the closing price had settled at $175.950 per cwt, marking a decrease of $1.025 per cwt from the opening. This downward movement suggests a market adjusting to both domestic consumption patterns and broader economic indicators that may influence future demand.
  • Feeder cattle futures were more sharply affected, reflecting concerns over feed prices and market supply dynamics. Opening the week at $241.400 per cwt, the futures initially seemed stable but soon began a steady decline amidst market recalibrations. By Thursday, prices had dipped to $238.650 per cwt, a drop of $2.750 per cwt. This decline could be attributed to several factors, including rising feed costs and uncertainties in the meat supply chain, which may be influencing buyer strategies and market sentiment. The week’s activity underscored the volatility of feeder cattle prices in response to changes in the agricultural and economic landscapes.
  • Corn futures opened the week robustly at $4.5700 per bushel, buoyed by initial market optimism and perhaps speculative buying. However, as the week unfolded, the prices saw a gradual pullback to close at $4.4275 per bushel. This decrease of $0.1425 per bushel could be linked to market reactions to the USDA’s latest reports on planting progress and weather conditions affecting key growing regions. Investors and farmers alike are closely monitoring these factors, as they directly impact yield forecasts and supply expectations. The fluctuation in corn prices reflects the complex interplay of market dynamics, including export demand and domestic biofuel production levels.
  • Soybean futures also trended downward during this period, opening at $12.3475 per bushel and closing at $11.9275 per bushel, a significant reduction of $0.4200 per bushel. The decline was primarily driven by technical selling and adjustments in market expectations following global supply chain updates. Factors such as the pace of planting in the U.S., alongside international developments in soybean markets, particularly in major producers like Brazil, influenced trader sentiment. Additionally, changes in trade policies and currency fluctuations may have played roles in the pricing dynamics observed. The week’s end price reflects a cautious market, wary of overextending in a climate of ongoing agricultural and economic uncertainty.

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Industry News

$123 Million in Agricultural Losses from Texas Panhandle Wildfires

Recent wildfires in the Texas Panhandle have led to unprecedented agricultural damages, totaling $123 million, making this event the costliest in Texas’s history, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economists. The devastation spans over 1.2 million acres, with substantial losses including over 12,000 cattle, significant fence damages, and loss of grazing land. This disaster has prompted extensive recovery efforts, with AgriLife Extension providing critical support to affected landowners and livestock producers.

Updates on Animal Identification and Traceability in the U.S. Cattle Industry

Callahan Grund, Executive Director of U.S. CattleTrace, delves into the complex world of Electronic Identification (EIDs) and traceability within the cattle industry. Highlighting recent federal amendments and funding initiatives, Grund clarifies the transition to new identification requirements for interstate cattle movement. With the USDA APHIS finalizing a rule for visually and electronically readable IDs, and significant funding allocated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2024, these changes aim to enhance disease traceability and support producers during the transition.

Winter Canola Emerges as a Promising Crop for Mid-South Farmers

Brandon Whitt’s venture into winter canola cultivation in central Tennessee signifies a growing trend in the mid-South, traditionally dominated by staples like corn and soybeans. This shift is supported by a collaborative effort between Bunge, Chevron, and Corteva Agriscience, aiming to diversify agricultural production and tap into the renewable fuels market. With initial trials showing potential, winter canola offers new income avenues for farmers while contributing to sustainable farming practices and biofuel production.

USDA Confirms Beef Free from H5N1, Bolstering Market Confidence

The USDA’s recent negative test results for H5N1 in beef have reinforced market stability and consumer confidence in the safety of U.S. beef products. Former USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, Mindy Brashears, now a professor at Texas Tech University, expressed no surprise at these findings, citing the sterility of muscle tissues where the virus is unlikely to be present. These reassuring results come amid ongoing tests and heightened precautions against cross-contamination, further solidifying the safety of beef and other animal products like milk and eggs through stringent processing standards.

Why Should You Use Livestock Risk Protection?

Uncertain feed costs, extreme weather, interest rates, and limited cattle inventory are only a few causes of market volatility. Unexpected market price drops can negatively impact your bottom line and shrink your profits. But there are ways to manage risk and protect your operation. 

Unfortunately, no one can predict exactly what tomorrow’s market may bring. With LRP from Stockguard, you can create a safety net for your investment. Lock in your minimum price guarantee, but rest assured that the ceiling remains open and you’ll benefit if the market is up when you’re ready to sell your herd. Learn more today at

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