Iowa Farm Outlook & News

  • Oct. 2016 Cattle: Cattle on Feed:
       U.S. 10.266 million head, up 0.4% from last year
       IA, 1,000+ head feedlots, 570,000 head, down 5.0% from last year
       IA, <1,000 head feedlots, 470,000 head, down 7.8% from last year
  • Oct. 2016 Cattle: Placements in Feedlots:
       U.S. 1.905 million head, down 1.9% from last year
       IA, 1,000+ head feedlots, 79,000 head, down 7.1% from last year
       IA, <1,000 head feedlots, 70,000 head, up 18.6% from last year
  • Oct. 2016 Cattle: Marketings of Fed Cattle:
       U.S. 1.732 million head, up 5.5% from last year
       IA, 1,000+ head feedlots, 87,000 head, down 13.9% from last year
       IA, <1,000 head feedlots, 93,000 head, up 50.0% from last year
  • Nov. 2016 Prices for 2016/17 Crops:
       Corn $3.30 per bushel, up 5 cents from last month
       Soybean $9.20 per bushel, up 15 cents from last month
  • Nov. 2016 Yield Estimates for 2016/17 Crops:
       Corn 175.3 bushels per acre, up 1.9 bushels from last month
       Soybean 52.5 bushels per acre, up 1.1 bushels from last month
Cattle Marketing (12/1/16)

For years the number of cash cattle traded on a negotiated basis kept falling. Percent of cattle produced that traded on a negotiated basis dwindled as well. Some of the reduction in negotiated cash trade volume in 2014-2015 was simply due to fewer fed cattle to trade after years of industry contraction. Now the industry is expanding. Producers are also forward contracting fewer cattle because of the steeply discounted futures market and wide basis levels. As a result, more cattle are trading on a negotiated basis once again. So far in 2016, negotiated transactions have represented 28% of the national market. This compares to 22%, 24%, and 25% in 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively. The last time the percent of cattle produced that traded on a negotiated basis was this high was in 2012. It's true some areas, most notably Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, do not trade many negotiated cattle. But even this region is up to 5% negotiated transactions compared to 2% in each of the last two years. In other states, negotiated trade is larger and appears to be on the rise. In Nebraska this year, almost 60% of the transactions have been negotiated, up from 49% last year. With negotiated volume on the upswing, reliability is improving. Time will tell if the rise in negotiated volume will continue.

Big Crops Got Bigger, But So Did Prices (11/10/16)

When USDA updated this month, it found reasons to raise both yields and prices, which is not that usual. The national corn yield was raised 1.9 bushels per acre to 175.3 bushels, mainly based on higher yield estimates from the northern Corn Belt. Projected corn usage was increased for ethanol and other food, seed, and industrial uses. On balance, projected ending stocks rose by 83 million bushels, but the midpoint of USDA's season-average price range moved 5 cents higher to $3.30 per bushel. For soybeans, the national yield ballooned to 52.5 bushels per acre, adding another 92 million bushels to the production mix. Domestic crush use was lowered 20 million bushels as soybean meal and oil export projections were reduced. However, direct soybean exports were increased by 25 million bushels. But as with corn, projected ending stocks were higher, up to 480 million bushels. Despite the growth in available supplies, the midpoint of the season-average price range was raised 15 cents to $9.20 per bushel.