Sort & Cull

Herding Cats

ShayLe Stewart
By  ShayLe Stewart , DTN Livestock Analyst
(DTN photo by ShayLe Stewart)

Last week already felt more like a year in. The cattle market traded into expanded limits multiple times, boxed beef prices made history and the cash cattle market was less than undesirable. Looking back on the different events that took place last week, it kind of felt like herding cats!

Cattle producers have been through the wringer in the last two months, and the frustrating part for many producers is that the market seems to have forgotten what fundamentals are. Supply and demand are the basic building blocks for economic classes, and yet last week when boxed beef prices skyrocketed and cash cattle prices were hardly affected -- the board couldn't have cared less.

Cattle producers grew extremely frustrated with the matter and called upon their local working groups to do something about the dysfunction in the market. After many phone calls, cattlemen associations took the matter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and pleaded that he look into the situation.

Thankfully, Perdue saw the need to investigate the cattle market. He asked the Department of Justice to begin an immediate investigation. Come late Friday afternoon last week, Tyson announced that it would add $5/cwt to live cattle and $7.94/cwt to dressed and grid cattle (on top of whatever they were initially bought at) for all cattle that are to be killed this week. How cash cattle will trade this week will be especially interesting to watch.

To hear more details about last week, tune into the latest Cattle Market News update on the DTN/Progressive Farmer Facebook Page or click the link below:…

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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