Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow to moderate on light to moderate demand in Nebraska through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Dressed delivered prices were $2.00 to $2.50 lower at $292-$292.50/cwt. There were a few FOB live trades at $184-$186 and a few delivered live trades at $189.50, but too few to trend. FOB live prices there last week were $185-$188.
Trade was limited on light to moderate demand in the western Corn Belt where FOB live prices were $1-$3 lower $185. There were a few dressed delivered trades at $292, but too few to trend; $290-$295 last week.
In the Southern Plains, trade ranged from inactive on very light demand to a standstill. FOB live prices last week were $178-$179 in the Texas Panhandle and $179 in Kansas.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 58¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $317.63/cwt. Select was 32¢ higher at $291.91/cwt.
Cattle futures closed higher Thursday, helped along by increasing open interest.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.97 higher ($1.47 to $2.37 higher).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.47 higher ($1.22 to $2.05 higher).
Corn futures closed narrowly mixed, from mostly fractionally lower to 1¢ higher.
KC HRW Wheat closed mostly fractionally lower to 5¢ to lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 8¢ to 12¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed sharply lower Thursday amid renewed worries about high Treasury yield rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 373 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 59 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 257 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed narrowly mixed through the front six contracts.
Cow-calf production became more specialized from 1996 to 2018, according to a recent report from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), entitled Structure, Management Practices and Production Costs of U.S. Beef Cow-calf Farms.
Increased specialization or decreased diversification was revealed across several measures.
* 78% of beef cattle operations produced only cattle in 2018 versus 66% in 2008 and 43% in 1996.
* 78% of beef cow operations producing other crops produced hay in 2018 versus 63% in 2008.
* 63% of cow-calf operations were cow-calf only in 2018 versus 47% in 2008; 29% were cow-calf and stocker in 2018 versus 44% in 2008.
Although more specialized, technology adoption remains low and static across cow-calf operations as a whole.
* 8% of cow-calf producers utilized artificial insemination in 2018, the same as in 2008. Likewise, 2% of producers utilized embryo transplant and/or sexed semen both years.
* 50% of cow-calf producers kept individual cow-calf production records in 2018, which was 4% more than in 2008. 28% used an on-farm computer for cow-calf information in 2018, versus 20% in 2008.