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Market Reports

Read new forecasts and indicators involving beef cattle and feed markets. Find out what factors are affecting prices.

LATEST

Click the date to see the latest Progressive Cattleman Market watch. (PDF)

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Rainfall has been abundant in most areas of the U.S. The June 30, 2015, U.S. Drought Monitor indicated very little or no drought remaining in the U.S., except in the areas west of the Rocky Mountains. In some areas, rainfall and storms have hampered wheat and hay harvests and adversely impacted other agricultural activities and commodity quality.

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The nation's beef cow herd has started down the path of the largest expansion in 25 years. The last major expansion was from 1990 to 1995 when the herd grew by 10 percent.

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Recent precipitation in the Plains states has greatly improved pasture conditions and could solidify grazing plans over the next several months. Improved pasture conditions will provide forages for the low cow inventory.

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The USDA choice-select spread is a traditional barometer of the payoff for premium beef. In recent years though, that boxed-beef price spread has varied from $15 per hundredweight (cwt) to barely positive, leading to questions about whether it pays to aim for quality.

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As of May 5, 2015, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported exceptional drought conditions for California, parts of the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma.

However, recent precipitation in much of cattle country has at least provided positive short-term impacts for forage conditions – for example, Texas has experienced slightly more rainfall than its 30-year average (Current Weather Data).

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