Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold 2.00 to 6.00 lower. Over the course of this fall, feeder cattle buyers have been more stringent on health protocols of cattle on offer. Buyers now have orders that require calves have at least one, preferably two rounds of shots and be weaned 60 days or more. Feedlots have been content to be selective when it comes to purchasing those higher risk offerings. In the Northern Plains, cold weather with poor yard conditions and many crops still waiting to be harvested have put a damper on procuring bawling calves at this time. Buyers are glad to see a deep freeze early this week in sections of the country as ole man winter has officially arrived. Calves are getting used to the cold and won’t be subject to respiratory issues as much now. The CME Cattle Complex has struggled in recent weeks, but this week a little upswing hasn’t managed to turn around the doldrums of last week. For the week, December through June Live Cattle contracts were 0.78 to 1.92 higher, while the January through August Feeder Cattle contracts were 0.57 to 2.72 higher. This week, packers were able to ward off negotiated cash trade until Friday again. For the week ending November 9, Southern Plains live cash sales were mostly 114.00 with a few up to 115.00 while dressed sales in the Northern Plains were at 180.00. Boxed-beef values appear to have taken a pause recently. During recent weeks there has been an increase in percentage of cattle grading choice and could indicate that choice product is plentiful at the current time. At the end of October over 78 percent of fed steers and heifers were grading choice or better. For the week, the Choice cutout closed 2.29 lower at 212.91, while Select was 1.15 lower at 197.57. Harvest has been moving slow with all the moisture recently in the major grain producing states. As of Sunday, corn harvested is 84 percent complete; three percent behind the five-year average. Soybean harvest is tallied at 88 percent complete; five percent behind the five-year average. There is less than a week away before Thanksgiving tables are set, it’s safe to say that conditions have heated up in the much of turkey industry. The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 33rd annual survey showed the cost for the Thanksgiving dinner is down for the third straight year. The annual cost for this year’s feast for 10 people is $48.90 a .22 cent decrease from last year. Auction volume this week included 36 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 40 percent heifers. All of us here at the USDA-AMS-Livestock, Poultry and Grain Federal/State Market News Service wish all of you a happy and pleasant Thanksgiving.
Source: USDA Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News Division, St. Joseph, Mo.