“Some cow-calf operations will see 2014 as the golden opportunity to get out with record-high cow prices,” says Chris Hurt, Extension agricultural economist at Purdue University. “But the greater tendency will be for producers to hold on to the cows for the profitable opportunities that are expected over the next three or more years.”
“Live-cattle futures have jumped 10.2% so far this year, a gain that is leading to higher wholesale beef prices and is widely expected to result in record U.S. consumer prices for steaks, ground beef and other products this year,” says John Otte, Penton market analyst.
Understanding his clients’ business more completely and helping them manage those businesses beyond traditional animal health made sense to Dr. John Groves. He says he was also blessed with having producers in his practice area way smarter than him.
After moderating briefly during weather-related market disruptions the past couple of weeks, calf prices took another step forward at auction this week. Steers weighing less than 800 lbs. and heifers weighing less than 700 lbs. traded firm to $5/cwt. higher, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Friday.
“After years of tightening supplies, the cow-calf sector will again remain in the driver’s seat during 2014,” said Kevin Good, CattleFax senior market analyst, at this week’s annual CattleFax Outlook seminar.
Calf and feeder cattle prices showi signs of weakness as cash fed cattle prices and wholesale beef prices soften. “The amount of grass and the timing of the grass availability this spring will be a major factor in calf prices from March through May," says Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee agricultural economist.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association joined other mainstream livestock organizations in opposing the Agricultural Act of 2014 — the farm bill that came out of a bilateral conference committee, passed in the House last week and goes to the Senate for a likely vote next week— retains anti-competition provisions that NCBA and other groups were against.