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The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its semiannual Cattle report on Feb. 28, which provided a snapshot of the U.S. cattle inventory on Jan. 1, 2019. The number of cattle and calves was estimated at 94.8 million head, about 0.5 percent above a year ago.

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Producers in the Midwest are still tallying the damages from the mid-March “bomb cyclone” storm that left a trail of destruction across the Midwest. Rain and snow combined with winds of 65 mph shut down operations in parts of the Dakotas and created catastrophic flooding throughout much of Nebraska and Iowa, inflicting untallied damage throughout the four states.

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The latest USDA-NASS Cattle on Feed (COF) report pegged April 1 feedlot inventories at 11.96 million head – 102 percent of last year and a record April level for the data series, which started in 1996.

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1. Corn will be king (again)

The USDA Prospective Plantings report was released at the end of March and showed estimates of corn regaining the crown from soybeans as the crop with the most planted acreage in the U.S. Prospective corn planted area is estimated at 92.8 million acres, which is 4 percent or about 3.66 million acres above last year.

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The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB) has named Gregory Hanes of Colorado as their new chief executive officer, effective June 17, 2019.

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