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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! We saw live cattle market prices decline toward the end of last week, with December live cattle closing the week on Friday at $169.27. This week, prices jumped up on Tuesday before experiencing a sharp decline of about $5 on Wednesday, with December live cattle contracts closing at about $163. The feeder cattle market closed out last week on a downward trend. On Friday, January feeders closed at $214.42. Despite a price boost on Tuesday, January feeders were down again on Wednesday, closing at about $210. Meanwhile, the grain market has experienced its share of market volatility over the past several days. Last week, March corn prices rose, closing on Friday at $4.84. Prices continued to rise earlier this week but dipped on Wednesday, with March corn closing at about $4.84. Finally, January soybean futures closed out in the red last week, dropping to $13.25 on Friday. This week, prices have continued to drop, with January soybeans closing at about $12.95 on Wednesday.

Market Highlights

  • After building momentum earlier in the week, the live cattle market experienced a downtrend last week. On Friday, December live cattle closed at $169.27. This week, we saw prices jump on Tuesday. However, on Wednesday, December cattle prices dropped significantly, closing at about $163, down by about $5 from the previous day.
  • Meanwhile, feeder cattle prices dropped at the end of last week, with January feeders closing at $214.42 on Friday. Like the live cattle market, feeder prices climbed on Tuesday before dropping again on Wednesday. January feeders closed at approximately $210 on Wednesday.
  • LMoving onto the grain market, corn prices rose through last week, with March corn closing at $4.84 on Friday. Earlier this week, the market remained strong on Monday and Tuesday before dipping slightly on Wednesday. March corn prices closed at about $4.84 on Wednesday.
  • Finally, looking at soybeans, the market experienced a sharp price drop at the end of last week. On Friday, January soybeans were down by about $0.17 to close at $13.25. This week, prices have continued to decline, with January soybeans closing at about $12.94 on Wednesday.

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Industry News

Market analysts predict higher prices in the near future

Over the past several weeks, cattle prices have struggled to rally. However, Andrew Griffith with the University of Tennessee states that the current prices aren’t terrible. Instead, Griffith states that prices seem high because of the amount that producers paid to put feeders on feed. As we approach Christmas and holiday demand, he predicts producers will experience strong profits in the coming weeks.   

Dry conditions impact yield on edges of corn fields

This year, specialists have reported seeing an increased number of fields that experienced the corn edge effect. This is when the outside rows produce lower yields than the interior rows. Specialists believe that this year’s cases of the corn edge effect may be due to increased exposure to drier air, which leads to more drought stress on the plants. Producers with impacted fields can use more drought-resistant plants on the edges of their fields or use cover crops to improve soil moisture.

Hybrid crops experienced good yields this year

Despite this summer’s drought that negatively impacted corn and soybean crops for many producers, some farmers in the Midwest experienced better-than-expected harvests. According to a cropping systems specialist at Iowa State University, hybrid crops played a large role in the success of these farms. As seed companies work to improve genetics and create more resistant crops, we may see improvements in crop yield, even during drought.

Drought conditions cause more limited hay supply

Drought conditions over the summer have led to a tighter hay supply for Midwestern producers. While some producers decided to sell some cattle earlier this year due to the drought to reduce the stress on their feed supplies, experts have noted that reduced hay quality is also an emerging issue. Producers are urged to test hay and cornstalks to determine quality and how to supplement cattle diets.

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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