Iowa Farm Outlook & News

  • November 2014 Cattle on Feed:
       U.S., 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 10.633 million head, up 0.5% from last year
       Iowa, 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 590,000 head, no change from last year
       Iowa, <1,000 Head Feedlots: 475,000 head, down 29.1% from last year
  • October 2014 Placements in Feedlots:
       U.S., 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 2.357 million head, down 0.9% from last year
       Iowa, 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 132,000 head, up 0.8% from last year
       Iowa, <1,000 Head Feedlots: 75,000 head, down 54.3% from last year
  • October 2014 Fed Cattle Marketings:
       U.S., 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 1.685 million head, down 7.8% from last year
       Iowa, 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 100,000 head, up 12.4% from last year
       Iowa, <1,000 Head Feedlots: 66,000 head, down 27.5% from last year
  • November 2014 Yield Estimates for 2014/15 Crops:
       Corn 173.4 bushels per acre, down 0.8 bushels from last month
       Soybean 47.5 bushels per acre, up 0.4 bushels from last month
  • December 2014 Price Estimates for 2014/15 Crops:
       Corn $3.50 per bushel, held steady from last month
       Soybean $10.00 per bushel, held steady from last month
A Quiet Report (12/10/14)

There were very few changes in this month's USDA report. As is typical in December, the supply side estimates were left unchanged from the November numbers. And the demand changes were minor, but in a positive direction. Corn use for sweeteners was increased 10 million bushels. That was enough to lower 2014/15 ending stocks to just below the 2 billion bushel mark. For soybeans, exports continue to lead the demand charge. Soybean exports were raised 40 million bushels, to a record 1.76 billion. That reduced soybean ending stocks to 410 million bushels. However, for both crops, the midpoints of the season-average price ranges remained at last month's levels, $3.50 for corn and $10 for soybeans. It was a quiet report for the holiday season.

Tight Supplies (12/1/14)

Most of the cattle and beef industry understands that supplies are tightening. In recent years the declines have been most extreme at the cow-calf and stocker levels. The 2013 calf crop was 33.9 million head, down 1.6% from 2012 and the smallest annual calf crop since 1949. Now these supply reductions are reaching the feedyard and end-user segments. Commercial beef production in 2014 decreased 5.2% compared to a year ago. Livestock Marketing Information Center forecasts suggest a 1.1% year over year decrease in beef production in 2015 and a 0.05% year over year pull-down in 2016. The inventory reductions have created a market place that passes higher relative prices down the supply chain. The largest incentives are often passed on to the owners of calves, feeder cattle, and fed cattle to encourage additional production. This trend can be seen in the price ratios for beef and cattle among the different supply segments.