Iowa Farm Outlook & News

Headlines
  • Jan. 2017 Cattle: Inventory of All Cattle & Calves:
       U.S. 93.585 million head, up 1.8% from last year
       IA 3.850 million head, down 2.5% from last year
  • Jan. 2017 Cattle: Inventory of Beef Cows:
       U.S. 31.210 million head, up 3.5% from last year
       IA 965,000 head, up 2.7% from last year
  • Jan. 2017 Cattle: Cattle on Feed:
       U.S. 13.067 million head, down 0.7% from last year
       IA 1.160 million head, down 5.7% from last year
  • Mar. 2017 Prices for 2016/17 Crops:
       Corn $3.40 per bushel, steady with last month
       Soybean $9.60 per bushel, up 10 cents from last month
  • Jan. 2017 Yield Estimates for 2016/17 Crops:
       Corn 174.6 bushels per acre, down 0.7 bushels from last month
       Soybean 52.1 bushels per acre, down 0.4 bushels from last month
Livestock
Cattle on Feed (3/1/17)

The United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service released their monthly Cattle on Feed report on Friday, February 24, 2017. New placement weight categories were available in this report. The light-weight and medium-weight categories stay the same--under 600 lbs, 600-699 lbs, and 700-799 lbs. The largest weight group on previous reports, 800 lbs and over, has been split into 800-899 lbs, 900-999 lbs and 1,000 lbs and over for the national data. For individually reported states, the data will detail 800-899 lbs and 900 lbs and over. Knowing whether the aggregate placements figure is comprised of relatively more heavy-weight or light-weight feeder cattle is useful in timing when cattle will be marketed, i.e., when cattle will be slaughtered and the supply available in the market. On average and assuming a 1,400-lb slaughter weight, steers placed on feed weighing 500-599 lbs will be marketed for slaughter in about 240 days, 600-699 lb steers in 212 days, 700-799 lb steers in 188 days, 800-899 lb steers in 164 days, 900-999 lb steers in 141 days, and 1,050 lb steers in 118 days.

Crops
The Final Numbers Gave the Markets Some Breathing Room (1/14/17)

The final yield and production estimates were released earlier this week and the estimates provided a little bullish news for the markets. For both corn and soybeans, planted area, yields, and production were adjusted downward. And while the U.S. still produced record crops, the reduction in supplies, coupled with still relatively strong demand, was welcomed by the crop markets. Corn plantings were lowered by 500,000 acres, yields dropped by 0.7 bushels, and production declined by 78 million bushels. While feed and residual use was lowered by 50 million, ethanol usage rose by 25 million and exports held steady. The new midpoint of USDA's price range in $3.40 per bushel, up 5 cents from last month. For soybeans, plantings were reduced by 300,000 acres, yields lowered by 0.4 bushels, and production dropped by 54 million bushels. Soybean demand projections were left unchanged, while the midpoint of price range moved up 5 cents to $9.50 per bushel.

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