Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, based on USDA reports, but had a firm to higher feel.
For one thing, there were some early live trades in the Texas Panhandle at $120/cwt., which was $1 higher than last week.
Earlier in the day, there were three Southern Plains lots (422 head) offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, and no takers. One lot was passed out at $119.75/cwt.
Up North, Choice steers and heifers sold $1.75-$2.25 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA Wednesday. There were 91 Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,434 lbs. and bringing an average of $123.15/cwt. Country trade in the western Corn Belt was $119 last week.
Similarly, slaughter steers also sold $2-$3 higher at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, where 184 Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,447 lbs. brought an average of $120.74.
Feeder Cattle futures gained more ground Wednesday on strong fundamentals, and perhaps positioning ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report due out Friday. That helped underpin Live Cattle.
Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed and mostly higher, from unchanged to an average of 11¢ lower in three contracts to an average of 20¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 75¢ higher (47¢ to $1.47 higher in spot Mar). That makes for an average of $5.87 higher over the last five sessions.
Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 56¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $205.57/cwt. Select was $1.97 lower at $201.76.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Except for 5¢ and 3¢ higher in the front two contracts, Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Wednesday, buoyed in part by various reports suggesting China is containing novel coronavirus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 115 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 15 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 84 points.
America’s ranchers and farmers took another step toward collectively telling agriculture’s positive sustainability story to consumers and policy makers Wednesday with announcement of Farmers for a Sustainable Future (FSF), a coalition of agricultural organizations committed to environmental and economic sustainability.
“Today’s launch of the Farmers for a Sustainable Future is a defining moment,” said Ethan Lane, Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), who spoke at the FSF rollout event in Washington. “Twenty-one agricultural groups—which represent the vast majority of the agricultural industry in our country—are standing side by side in unity to correct a false narrative that has haunted us for as long as I can remember. We’re here because we support incentivizing innovation, science-based research, resilient infrastructure, and focusing on outcomes.”
Along with NCBA, other founding FSF members include the American Farm Bureau Federation, USA Rice, American Sugar Alliance, the National Corn Growers Association, and the National Pork Producers Council.
“We know that consumers care how beef is produced, and they want to know that it’s done in a way that’s environmentally and socially sustainable,” Lane explains. “In fact, the U.S. is the leader in sustainable beef production, with a carbon footprint 10 to 50 times lower than the rest of the world. And while we’ve already made a lot of progress, American cattle farmers and ranchers are committed to continuous improvement by producing high-quality beef even more sustainably for generations to come.”
NCBA is also a founding member of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, a multi-stakeholder organization composed of more than 220 ranchers, feed yard operators, packers, food service companies, research institutions, and NGOs that share a mission to advance, support, and communicate about beef’s sustainability.
The coalition will share with elected officials, media and the public U.S. agriculture’s commitment to sustainability and the incredible strides already made to reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint. As policy proposals are developed and considered, the goal is for the coalition and its guiding principles to serve as a foundation to ensure the adoption of meaningful and constructive policies and programs affecting agriculture.
FSF’s guiding principles call for policies that support science-based research, voluntary incentive-based conservation programs, investment in infrastructure, and solutions that ensure vibrant rural communities and a healthy planet.