Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 10/23/2017
HAY PRODUCTION DOWN 2% BUT GRASS HAY PRICES WEAKER

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimated that U.S. hay production would be close to 132 million tons in 2017, down 3 million tons from last year. Alfalfa hay production is pegged to be down 4%, and all other hay production is down 1%. Average alfalfa yield per acre is down 5% from a year ago, explaining all of the declines in output, as alfalfa area harvested increased 1% from 2016. As would be expected, states experiencing severe drought conditions in the Northern Plains suffered the biggest declines in alfalfa yields.


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GROCERY STORE BACON PRICES RECORD HIGH, OTHER MEATS STABLE

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey of retail prices across the U.S. for September highlighted the rapid escalation of pork prices. Meanwhile, grocery store beef and chicken prices remained close to values of prior months.


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FED CATTLE MARKETINGS ARE KEY

As of October 1, NASS reported that the U.S. inventory of cattle in feedlots (1,000 and more capacity) was 5.4% above a year ago. Cattle placed during September were up 13.5% year-over-year. In September, cattle marketed by feedlots were 2.9% above 2016's. In the last two Cattle on Feed reports by NASS, the focus has been on many more animals than anticipated being placed into U.S. feedlots.


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