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by Susan Allen, click here for bio
Program: Open Range
Date: July 20, 12
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The drought while devastating to much of the nation is helping to keep wheat and cattle prices high here in the Northwest. I’m Susan Allen reporting for Open Range back after the break. The last couple of weeks have been full of intermittent rain storms at my place in Eastern Washington making it difficult to understand the magnitude of the deteriorating pastures in over half the nation and how their crisis impacts the cattle market. According to a recent USDA report: This year’s drought is more detrimental overall because areas affected by last year’s drought have not been able to recover. As a result, corn prices have moved sharply higher and cattle prices have begun to drift lower. The drought will have the largest impacts on prices for corn and feeder cattle through the rest of 2012 and into much of 2013.” Without adequate pastures ranchers are forced to send cattle to slaughter earlier and that impact the already low inventory of beef cattle. Another fall out is that dairy cow slaughter is up and has been higher then last year for most of 2012. Yet the USDA reports that dressed cow beef prices have dropped only 3 percent. Ranchers were hoping for a burst over the 4th of July not in fireworks but in retail beef sales. Possibly because it fell mid- week the 4th failed to meet expectations according to USDA Market News reporter Corbitt Wall ” Nothing good happened for the feeder cattle market over the holiday break.” One positive note , monthly retail prices for all-fresh beef, which includes ground product, continue to set successive record highs.
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