Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were sharply lower last week. Live trade was $3-$4 lower at $122-$123/cwt. in the Southern Plains; mostly $124 in Nebraska and $123-$127 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was mainly $4-$6 lower at mostly $200.
Feeder Cattle futures continued to lead Live Cattle lower on Friday. Declining wholesale values at a time seasonality suggests a boost from grilling demand, as well as the continued unwinding of long-held long positions continue to weigh.
Except for 25¢ and 42¢ lower at either end of the board, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.10 lower. From the previous Friday through Thursday, open interest declined by 14,124 contracts.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.30 lower.
Wholesale beef values were lower on light demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.44 lower Friday afternoon at $227.36/cwt. Select was $1.79 lower at $213.29.
Except for 1¢ higher in spot May, Corn futures closed mainly fractionally mixed.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ lower to 1¢ higher, except for 4¢ higher in the back three contracts.
Major U.S. financial indices bounced back Friday, fueled by the monthly national employment report.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased 263,000 in April, compared to the previous month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate declined 0.2% to 3.6%, the lowest rate since 1969.
In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 6¢ cents to $27.77. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 197 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 28 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 127 points.
The clock is ticking, but there’s still time for producers to get corn in the ground without impairing yield.
For instance, Bill Wiebold, agronomist with the University of Missouri (MU) Extension Service explains, “Our data provide some optimism that reasonably high yield can be obtained when corn is planted in mid-to-late May. However, yield potential is very strongly dependent on weather conditions in summer. For this reason, it is difficult to predict in any specific year what will happen to corn yield if planting is delayed.”
According to a 5-year MU study, yield potential in the state declines when corn planting is delayed through the first three weeks of May: -5% by the first week of May; -20% by the end of the month; -40% by the end of June.
Likewise, University of Minnesota studies show that corn yield is typically maximized when planting occurs from late April through mid-May.
“Minnesota corn growers have achieved good yields in the past several years even when the average corn planting date (50% of the corn planted in the state) has been April 29 for the years 2014-2016 and May 7 in 2017,” according to Minnesota Crop News.
“…in central Iowa from 2014-2016, the highest yield potential was attained with early May planting dates. Planting in mid-April resulted in 95% yield potential and planting in early June resulted in 81% yield potential,” according to Iowa State University.
By the way, according to the Iowa Farm Bureau, farmers in that state can plant up to 1.4 million acres in a day; more than 60% of the crop in a week.
USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates are due out Thursday.