No impact on supply chain from recent JBS fire

Jeff Swenson

Prepared and written by Jeff Swenson, DATCP Livestock and Meat Specialist. The Market Update draws information from several sources, including trade publications, radio broadcasts, agricultural news services, individuals involved in the industry as well as USDA NASS and AMS reports.

Jeff Swenson

The Labor Day holiday led to a smaller weekly cattle harvest of 577,000 head. The supply chain held its collective breath when news of a fire at the JBS Grand Island facility broke last week. The plant harvests about 6,000 head per day. Harvest operations resumed on Tuesday. Tyson also experienced a brief shut down due to computer issues.

Last week’s weekly harvest estimate was 577,000 head. Prices were mostly steady with strength in some areas as packers bid on cattle for what was expected to be a full work week. Wholesale beef prices continue to be lower. Margins are still attractive for packers.

Recent reports have also pointed to improved drop credits led primarily by fat and hides. Dr. Scott Brown, associate extension professor of ag economics at the University of Missouri, told Brownfield Ag News recently that the January USDA Cattle Inventory Report could see a 1 to 1.5 percent decrease in beef cow inventory.

The implications of the current drought and increased beef cow culling rates will have long-term implications resulting in lower feeder cattle supplies.

Conflicting views on hog supplies

Pork cutout values started the week by dropping over $4.50 on Monday and finished the day at $100.57, but managed to erase those losses Tuesday. It appears there is support for the cutout around the $100.00 level.

There are conflicting opinions about hog supplies in the future, but hog harvest for the remainder of the year is expected to grow beyond current weekly totals. With a shortened week due to the holiday, last week’s harvest was estimated at 2.274 million hogs.

China announced it will be buying pork for its reserve due to low hog prices there. The country was, however, a buyer of U.S. raised pork according to the most recent weekly export report. A total of 33,800 metric tons of pork was sold to foreign buyers, with China accounting for 15,000 metric tons of that total.

Reports indicated market lambs were higher last week nationally. Wooled and shorn lambs ranging from 118 to 150 pounds ranged in price from $215.00 to $273.40 with a weighted average of $250.32.

25% of corn silage harvest complete

The 2021 harvest season has begun with reports of combines rolling to our south. It’s estimated that 25 percent of corn silage is complete in Wisconsin. Corn condition in the state is rated 74 percent good to excellent. That’s six days behind last year, but two days ahead of the five-year average.

Twenty-two percent of Wisconsin soybeans are dropping leaves, two days ahead of average. Soybeans in Wisconsin are rated 73 percent good to excellent. Potato harvest is 40 percent complete.  Third crop alfalfa is 96 percent complete with 68 percent of fourth crop reportedly completed. Wisconsin pasture conditions dropped three percentage points to 60 percent rated good to excellent.

State livestock markets

Choice beef breed steers and heifers at Wisconsin and surrounding state auction markets were lower. High-yielding, high-grading cattle brought $108.00 to $126.00/cwt with highs to $130.00/cwt and some above. Choice and Prime Holstein steers were mostly steady, bringing $92.00 to $115.00/cwt.

There were some packages of Holstein steers selling to $120.00/cwt. Silage fed, under finished, or heavy dairy breed steers brought $70.00 to $92.00/cwt. Dairy x beef steers were mostly $90.00 to $122.00/cwt. Cows were steady to higher at $38.00 to $59.00/cwt.

Blemish free cows in fleshier condition were selling to the upper $70.00s/cwt. Doubtful health and thin cows were bringing $39.00/cwt and down. Dairy breed bull calves were steady to higher at $40.00 to $100.00/cwt with heavier, well cared for calves up to $140.00/cwt.  Beef and beef cross calves brought up to $300/cwt. Market lambs sold to $250.00.cwt.