Sort & Cull

Happy Thanksgiving, Cattlemen!

ShayLe Stewart
By  ShayLe Stewart , DTN Livestock Analyst
Cattle and calves on feed were up 1% in the last Cattle on Feed report. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

I wanted to take the time this week to wish you all a happy thanksgiving and share the different options you have when it comes to staying up to date on the cattle market.

Each week I post a Cattle Market News video that is available on DTN/Progressive Farmer's Facebook homepage, which breaks down the nitty-gritty of what happened in the previous week's cattle market. In these videos you'll hear about fat cattle prices, feeder cattle trends, slaughter projections and any relevant cattle report that has market implications.

Cattlemen considered last week to be a win in their books. The December live cattle contract lost 43 cents on the board while trading $1 in cash markets in the South at $116, and $2 higher for dressed cattle in the North at $184. Cash cattle trade happened early in the week on Wednesday, compared to the normal Thursday or Friday trade. Cattlemen were quick to accept bids last week as they assumed that the market would be weaker Friday leading up to an expected bearish Cattle on Feed report.

Whenever a Cattle on Feed Report comes out, there's always some level of anxiousness and nervousness that floats throughout the countryside. Cattlemen chew on thoughts like, "they say the report is going to be bearish ... but how bearish will it really be? The markets have already begun to retract this week ... oh, heck, that's a bad sign. We are entering into a holiday season ... no one is going to want to buy cattle if a bearish report roars through the market place."

It's nerve-twitching thoughts like these that race through cattlemen's minds while they await to see how Friday's market closes, what the Cattle on Feed report unveils and how Monday's market absorbs all of the aftermath. Cattlemen lucked out this time around as the report could be best described as a bullish surprise in a bear's world. Cattle and calves on feed were up 1%, placements were up 10% and marketings were down 1%.

Right about now you may be rolling your eyes as you fall off your stool, broke your glasses and bumped your head while gasping that placement numbers are up 10%. But hold on there, cowboy, let's put things into perspective! Analysts guessed that placements would be up anywhere from 10% to 20%. Seeing that placements came in on the lesser side of that projection is most certainly a bullish indication.

Check out the latest video here:…

You can keep an eye out Mondays for my weekly videos on our main DTN/Progressive Farmer Facebook homepage at….

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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