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Weekly Market Summary
For the week ending October 20, 2017
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The Cattle Range Market Trendlines:
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For the week, the markets were comatose in anticipation of Friday's Cattle on Feed Report with bulls hoping that September placements would come in on the lower range of estimates while bears expected the upper range.  Placements came in 13% higher than last September, solidly in the upper range.

This news will definitely put pressure on cattle but since last December, placements have been higher every month except for February, which was only slightly lower.  In spite of months of higher placements, cash cattle have made significant price gains from a year ago due to lower slaughter weights and strong demand for beef absorbing the increased supply.

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10 Day Market Trendlinelower.
Change from Previous Day: +0.69%
  Change from 10 Days Ago: +1.08%
  Change from 60 Days Ago: +9.69%
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60 Day Market Trendline
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The Trendlines are indicators of overall cattle/beef market strength and are based on daily market factors.  Each daily factor is the aggregate weighted total of the Gain/(Loss) for 12 market indicators compared to the previous trading day. 
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  • Click Here..to receive the WMS on Saturday mornings or have it sent to friends & associates.
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  • View previous Summaries in the..WMS Archives
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  • For daily market news, check Cattle Industry News or Market Reports
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    Regular Contents: 
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  • Weekly Market Overview.
  • National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary.
  • Stocker & Feeder Steers.
  • Stocker & Feeder Cattle Weekly Receipts.
  • 5 Year Moving Avg. - Stocker, Feeder, & Slaughter Steers.
  • Mexican Feeder Cattle Weekly Import Summary.
  • Selected Auction Reports.
  • Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle.
  • Representative Sales of Cow & Pairs.
  • Canadian Cattle.
  • USDA National Retail Beef Report.
  • Photo of the Week.
  • Shootin' the Bull Weekly Analysis.
  • U.S. Dollar - 6 Month Chart.
  • Choice Boxed Beef Cutout, Slaughter, & Feeder Steers.
  • Feeder Steers/Corn Correlation.
  • Slaughter Cows & Bulls.
  • Est. Weekly Meat Production Under Federal Inspection.
  • Weekly Hay Reports.
  • Weekly Feedstuffs Market Review.
  • Bullish/Bearish Consensus: Cattle & Corn.
  • Stock Markets & Economic News.
  • Weather Outlook.
  • Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss).
  • Slaughter Cattle.
  • Corn Crop Condition.
  • National Grain Summary.
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    Of Possible Interest:  The views expressed in the content below are included in the WMS because we found them to be of interest but do not necessarily reflect the views of The Cattle Range.
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    Weekly Market Overview:
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    On-Line Store
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    National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Weekly Summary:
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    RECEIPTS:  Auctions   Direct  Video/Internet  Total
    This Week     305,200     36,300        18,500        360,000
    Last Week     254,500     32,300             900        287,700
    Last Year       274,900     49,700             600        325,200

    Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold very uneven from 4.00 lower to 4.00 higher as sales were all over the board and in between with some uneasiness over the amount of cattle on feed.  With last months industry miss in the placement number, the industry was abuzz that there may be deja vu all over again.  And sure enough, the COF and Marketing numbers were relatively close to industry expectations with a 105 and 103 put up by NASS, however industry analysts were amiss with the placement  number coming in at 113 percent of a year ago.  Feedyards and ranchers were wanting to own the higher quality stock this week as evidenced by some pretty lofty prices reported in Nebraska and South Dakota this week. On Wednesday at Bassett, NE a load of 703 lb yearling steers sold at 189.75 and two and a half loads of 907 lb steers at Hub City Livestock in Aberdeen, SD sold for 165.10.  The gavel fell on two loads of 423 lb reputation unweaned steer calves on Thursday at Ogallala, NE at 235.00 while a load of 507 lbs Thin fleshed steers sold in Valentine, NE for 206.25.

    The CME Live and Feeder Cattle contracts tumbled somewhat and the front two Live Cattlecontracts settled 0.50 to 1.15 lower.  The fed cattle contracts are being kept a little honest this month with the possibility of delivering fed cattle.  There have been 78 loads of fed cattle tendered for delivery, however the cattle for the most part have not been demanded when the cash fed cattle trade continues to trade near the October Live Cattle contract.  For the week, Boxed beef cutout values were firm to higher on mostly light to moderate demand and offerings. On the Choice side, the rib and loin primals had the highest gains while the chuck and round primals were steady to weak with the Choice Cutout closing at 199.86, just shy of the elusive 200.00 mark that was last seen on August 10. The strength of the rib primal upheld on Select while the chuck, round, and loin primals were steady to weak as the Select Cutout closed the week at 191.14. 73% and 81% fed ground beef were steady to firm while 50% beef trimmings ended the week higher.

    NASS's monthly Livestock Slaughter Report was released yesterday, with the average dressed weights in September for steers and heifers both higher than the previous month.  The average dressed weight for a steer in September was 896 pounds, 12 pounds higher than August and 9 pounds lower than last year.  The average dressed weight for a heifer in September was 819 pounds, 13 pounds heavier than last month and 5 pounds lighter than a year ago.  Last month's cattle slaughter was 3 percent higher than September 2016, with a slaughter total of 2.70 million head.   Auction volume this week included 36 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 39 percent heifers.

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    Stocker Steers:
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    Feeder Steers:
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    Stocker & Feeder Cattle Weekly Receipts:
    Weekly sales of Stocker Calves & Feeder Cattle sold via auctions, direct country sales, and video/Internet sales as reported by the UDSA Market News
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    Five Year Moving Average - Stocker, Feeder, & Slaughter Steers:
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    Cattle Futures Summary: Live cattle futures settled Friday with gains of 45 to 62.5 cents in the front months. Feeder cattle futures were 12.5 to 47.5 cents higher. The CME feeder cattle index was 29 cents lower at $154.79 on October 19.Wholesale beef prices were higher in this afternoon’s report. Choice was up 29 cents at $199.86, with select boxes 38 cents higher at $191.14. Weekly FI cattle slaughter is estimated at 632,000 head through Saturday, about 10,000 larger than the previous week and 30,000 head above the same week last year. Cash trade has ended the week at $111 in most regions, even with last week. This afternoon’s Cattle on Feed report showed on feed numbers 5.43% larger than last October 1 at 10.813 million head. That came from larger than expected placements at 2.15 million head, 13.46% above last September and September marketings at 2.94% greater than last year at 1.783 million head.

    Futures Positions:




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    Mexican Feeder Cattle Weekly Import Summary
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    Receipts EST: 12,500    Week ago Act: 9,409    Year ago Act: 8,367

    Compared to last week steer calves and yearling mostly 5.00 higher, with light 300 lb calves 6.00-8.00 higher. Heifers steady to 2.00 higher. Trade active, demand good. Supply consisted of steers and spayed heifers weighing 300-600 lbs.

    Feeder steers: Medium and large 1&2, 300-400 lbs 185.00-198.00 (few 203.00 basis 300 lbs) 400-500 lbs 170.00-185.00; 500-600 lbs 155.00-165.00; Medium and large 2&3, 300-400 lbs 173.00-183.00; 400-500 lbs 155.00-167.00; 500-600 lbs 142.00-152.00.

    Feeder heifers: Medium and large 1&2, 300-400 lbs 160.00-172.00; 400-500 lbs 150.00-162.00; 500-600 lbs 140.00-152.00. 

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    Selected Auction Reports:
    "Click" on individual.auction links.for complete report
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    Green Forest Livestock Auction - Green Forest AR
    Receipts:  603    Last Week:  494    Year Ago:  831
    Compared to one week earlier, slaughter cows 4.00 to 6.00 lower, slaughter bulls mostly steady, feeder steers and feeder heifers mostly steady, feeder bulls 2.00 to 5.00 higher,

    El Reno Cattle Narrative - El Reno OK
                                Receipts         Week Ago       Year Ago
    Total Receipts:       8,511              6,871             6,673
    *** Final report *** Compared to last week:  Feeder steers sold 5.00-7.00 lower.  Feeder heifers 2.00 to mostly 3.00 lower.  Steer calves traded 4.00-8.00 lower and heifer calves sold 3.00-5.00 lower on limited comparable offerings.

    Tulia Livestock Auction - Tulia TX
    Receipts:  3051    Last Week:  3211    Year Ago:  2201
    Compared to last week:  Yearling steers and heifers sold steady to 4.00 lower.  Steer and heifer calves sold 6.00 to 8.00 higher.  Trade was active on moderate to good demand.

    Cullman Stockyard - Cullman AL
    Receipts:  966    Last Week:  1066    Year Ago:  897
    Compared to last week: Slaughter cows and bulls sold 2.00 to 3.00 higher. Feeder bulls and steers sold 2.00 to 3.00 lower. Feeder heifers sold 2.00 to 4.00 lower. Replacement cows and pairs sold steady.

    Pratt Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction - Pratt, KS
    Receipts:  1103    Last Week:  2584    Year Ago:  2857
    Compared to last week: Feeder steers 750-900 lbs 9.00-10.00 lower, 900-950 lbs 3.00 lower on a light test of Medium and Large 1. Feeder heifers 6.00 lower on a light test of Medium and Large 1.

    Clovis Livestock Auction - Clovis NM
    Receipts:  4155         Week Ago:  3302         Year Ago:  3591
    Compared to last week:  Feeder steers under 600 lbs mostly 1.00 higher; instances 10.00 higher on 400-450 lb weaned offerings; over 600 lb calves steady to 1.00 higher.  No accurate comparison on yearlings.  Heifers steady to weak except 400-500 lbs 3.00 lower. 

    Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission Co. - Salina KS
    Receipts:  2305    Last Week:  3448    Year Ago:  2083
    Compared to last week: Steers 800-950 lbs 2.00-10.00 lower; 800 lbs and under lower undertone noted in a limited supply. Heifers 700-950 lbs 1.00-5.00 lower; 700 lbs and under lower undertone noted in a limited supply.

    Mitchell Livestock Wtd Avg Report - Mitchell SD
    Receipts:  1,864    Last Week:  1716    Year Ago:  867
    Compared to last week:  Yearling steers too lightly tested to make meaningful price comparison.  Yearling heifers steady to 2.00 lower. Steer and heifer calves not well tested for comparison. 

    Toppenish, WA Livestock Auction - Toppenish WA
    Receipts:  2000    Last Week:  2120    Year Ago:  1700
    Compared to last Thursday at the same sale, stocker and feeder cattle weak to 3.00 lower. Trade active with moderate to good demand. Slaughter cows and bulls steady to weak.

    Cattleman's Livestock Auction - Dalhart, TX
    Cattle and Calves: 2916      Last Week: 3025      Year Ago:  2750
    Compared to last week:  A large percentage of the calf offerings were unweaned and fleshy kinds compared to last weeks large offering of pre-conditioned calves.  Those pre-conditioned kinds were mostly steady to weak while fleshy kinds right off their mothers were 2.00-.00 lower.

    Oklahoma National Stockyards - Oklahoma City OK
                                Receipts       Week Ago        Year Ago
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    Total Receipts:       7,972            5,197              5,934
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    Feeder Cattle:  7,972(100%)  5,197(100%)  5,934(100%)
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    ***Add Close with Actual Receipts*** Compared to last week:  Feeder steers steady to 2.00 higher.  Feeder heifers mostly 1.00-4.00 lower.   Steer calves steady to 3.00 higher, heifer calves under 600 lbs fully steady with heavier heifer calves up to 4.00 lower on a lighter test.

    Joplin Regional Stockyards Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg - Carthage MO
                               Receipts        Week Ago         Year Ago
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    Total Receipts:      4,747             5,069               3,818
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    Feeder Cattle:  4,747(100%)  5,069(100%)   3,818(100%)
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    ***CLOSE***   Compared to last week, steer calves and yearlings steady to 3.00 higher, heifer calves 3.00 to 5.00 lower.  Demand moderate to good, supply moderate.  Yearling demand remains good as Feedlots are staying current and
     cost of gain is reasonable.

    Blue Grass South Livestock Market - Stanford KY
    Receipts:  654    Last Week:  335    Year Ago:  588
    Compared to last Monday:Feeder steers and heifers steady to 2.00 lower on a mostly plain quality offering,Moderate demand for feeder classes.Slaughter cows 1.00-2.00 higher,Slaughter bulls steady,Good demand for slaughter classes.

    Sioux Falls Regional Livestock wtd Avg Report - Worthing SD
    Receipts:  1761    Last Week:  3407    Year Ago:  2546
    Compared to last week:  Steer and heifer calves were too lightly tested today to provide a good comparison.  Feeder steers sold mostly steady to 4.00 higher, heifers steady to 3.00 higher. Demand moderate to good for both calves and yearlings.

    Tri-State Livestock Auction Market - McCook NE
    Receipts:  4175    Last Week:  3325    Year Ago:  2300
    Compared to last week, steers under 500 lbs were 4.00 - 18.00 higher. Steers and heifers over 500 lbs was 1.00 - 5.00 lower. Demand was good to moderate on all cattle. Steers accounted for 65 percent and heifers 35 percent of the offering.

    Winter Livestock - La Junta CO...
    Receipts:  1104    Last Week:  1819    Year Ago:  1057
    Total receipts for Mon and Tues sale: 4476 Compared with last Tuesday: All weights of steer and heifer calves and yearlings mostly steady in a light test. Slaughter cows and bulls steady. Trade and Demand moderate. Supply included 40 percent feeders, 05 percent bred cows, balance mostly slaughter cows and bulls.

    Huss Platte Valley Auction - Kearney NE
    Receipts:  1575    Last Week:  3568    Year Ago:  1610
    Compared to last week steer calves under 650 lbs sold 3.00 to 5.00 lower and heifer calves under 650 lbs sold mostly steady on a thin test. Demand was moderate to good from the buyers in the smaller than normal crowd. The grain 
    harvest is underway within much of the trade area.

    Valentine Livestock Auction Market - Valentine NE
    Receipts:  5480 Last week: 3755 Last year: 4555
    Compared with last week 500 to 600 lbs steers traded steady to 8.00 lower and 450 to 550 lbs heifers traded steady to 10.00 lower. Demand was good with several buyers and moderate internet activity.

    Russell Wtd Avg Feeder Cattle Auction - Russell IA
    Receipts:  1526    2 weeks ago:  2943    Year Ago: 1906
    Compared to the sale 2 weeks ago: Feeder strs mostly 3.00-5.00 higher except 400-450 lbs. and 500-550 lbs. mostly 3.00-5.00 lower and feeder hfrs mostly 3.00-8.00 higher.

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    Direct Sales of Feeder & Stocker Cattle:
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    WY, Western NE & Western Dakotas Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
    Receipts: 253      Week Ago: 644     Year Ago: 1536 
    Compared to last week steers sold fully steady on a thin test. Demand was moderate to good. Most feedlots continue to search for true yearling feeder cattle to buy and those offerings appear to be in short supply in the reporting regions.

    AZ-CA-NV Weekly Feeder Cattle Review (Fri)
    Confirmed: 1450 
    Compared to last week, 325 lb Holstein steers for January delivery traded steady.  Trade and demand moderate.  Supply consisted of 325 lb Holstein steers for January delivery. Cattle weighing over 600 lbs totaled 0 percent. 

    IA-South MN Direct Feeder Cattle Weekly (Mon)
    Receipts:  0    Last Week:  990     Last Year:  270
    Compared to the last week:  Feeder steers and heifers not tested. Most producers are aggressively harvesting beans this week before weekend storms come into the trade area. 

    Eastern Cornbelt Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
    This week: 2,299      Last Week: 1,430        Last Year: 0
    Compared to last week:  No current FOB delivered cattle for an accurate market test this week.  Supply included 100 percent over 600 lbs; 65 percent heifers.  Prices based on net weights FOB after a 3 percent shrink or equivalent and 5-10 cent slide on calves and 4-6 cent slide on yearlings from base weights.

    Colorado Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
    Receipts: 2,981        Last Week 4,502        Last Year  1,043 
    Compared to last week:  Feeder steers lightly tested for Current FOB and few sales were steady to 2.00 lower.  Feeder heifers also lightly tested for Current FOB trades and few sales were 3.00 lower.  D

    Kansas Direct Feeder Cattle Summary (Fri)
    Receipts:  3789    Last Week:  2623    Year Ago:  2049
    Compared with last week: Steers and heifers weak to 2.00 lower in a limited test. The harvest of row crops and the planting of winter wheat is moving at a very rapid pace this past week. 

    Montana Direct Feeder Cattle Wtd Avg (Fri)
    Receipts: 0           Last Week: 76             Last Year: 110 
    Compared to last week:  No comparable receipts for feeder Steers and heifers.  Supply includes 0 percent over 600 lbs and 0 percent heifers. Unless otherwise stated prices are FOB weigh point with a 2-3 percent shrink or equivalent and with a 8-12 cent slide on calves and 4-8 cent slide on yearlings from base weights. 

    New Mexico Feeder Cattle Report (Mon)
    Receipts:  1100    Last Week:  300    Year Ago:  7700
    Compared to last week's light test:  Not enough comparable sales of steers or heifers for a market trend.  Trade activity and demand were moderate.  Supply consisted of 90 percent steers and 10 percent heifers. 

    Northwest Wtd Avg Direct Feeder Cattle Report (Fri)
    Receipts:  662    Last Week:  352    Year Ago:  1450
    Compared to last week:  Again current FOB trades not fully established for steers or heifers.  Limited trades sold with a higher undertone. Demand good this week as cattle futures opened the week higher. 

    Oklahoma Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
    Receipts: 4,123        Last Week 2,187        Last Year 3,640 
    Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers not well tested on a Current FOB basis last week for an accurate market test.  Receipts this week consisted of 100 percent over 600 lbs and 42 percent heifers. 

    Texas Direct Feeder Cattle (Fri)
    Receipts:  19,500    Last Week:  17,300    Year Ago:  29,200
    Compared to last week:  Feeder steers and heifers sold unevenly steady, from 3.00 lower to 3.00 higher which caused for some wide price spreads.  Trade was fairly active on good demand as volume increased some. 
     

  • Extensive U.S. & Canadian Auction Results are available on The Cattle Range
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    Representative Sales of Cows & Pairs:
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    Reported by.USDA Market News for the week ending October 20th
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    • El Reno, OK:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 2-3 yr old 1050-1100 lb black cow 5-6 months bred 1100.00-1250.00; 1-6 yr old 750-1300 lb cow 2-5 months bred 750.00-1000.00; 7-10 yr old 1000-1400 lb cow 3-7 months bred 700.00-1100.00 per head. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  5-6 yr old 1275-1300 lb cow w/50-125 lb calf 1325.00-1375.00 per pair. 
    • McAlester, OK:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  1-4 yr old 900-1175 lb cow 4-8 months bred 960.00-1375.00; pkg 5-6 yr old 1675 lb cow 6-8 months bred 1125.00; 5-10 yr old 1025-1325 lb cow 4-8 months bred 900.00-1125.00 per head. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  9-10 yr old 975-1375 lb cow w/125-175 lb calf 925.00-1225.00 per pair. 
    • Oklahoma City, OK:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-4 yr old 775-1425 lb cow 3-6 months bred 875.00-1100.00; 4-5 yrs old 1200-1400 lb cow 4-6 months bred 1275.00-1375.00; 7-10 yr old 1125.00-1575 lb cow 4-7 months bred 750.00-925.00 per head. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  5-9 yr old 1125-1350 lb cow w/75-200 lb calf 900.00-1250.00 per pair. 
    • Woodward, OK:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-4 yr old 1000-1225 lb black cow 3-8 months bred 1600.00-1725.00; 7-10 yr old 1175-1375 lb cow 3-6 months old, some black, 800.00-860.00 per head. 
      • Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yr old 1000-1275 lb black cow w/100-250 lb calf 1685.00-1850.00. 
    • Clovis, NM:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Young to long solid mouth 890-1450 lb cows 3-8 months bred 800.00-1300.00, per head; young to middle aged cows 945-1220 lbs 1-3 months bred 600.00-1000.00, per head; middle aged short solid mouth 1030-1450 lb cows 3-8 months bred 600.00-900.00, per head; aged 900-1395 lb cows 3-8 months bred 600.00-925.00, per head.  First Calf Heifers: 750-905 lb cows 3-6 months bred 700.00-900.00, per head. 
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2 Indiv young 1350 lb cow w/225 lb calf 1200.00, per pair; middle aged pkg 1000 lb cows w/150-300 lb calves 925.00-1100.00, per pair. 
    • Roswell, NM:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Young 850-1135 lb cows 3-6 months bred 925.00-1125.00, per head; 745-1080 lbs 1-3 months bred 825.00-925.00, per head; middle aged 935.00-1445 lb cows 3-6 months bred 800.00-900.00, per head; aged 900-1510 lb cows 3-8 months bred 700.00-975.00, per head.  First Calf Heifers:  710-1035 lb cows 1-6 months bred 825.00-1150.00, per head. 
      • Cow/Calf Pairs: Medium and Large 1-2 Young 790-1150 lb cows w/90-200 lb calves 975.00-1300.00, per pair; middle aged 1100-1250 lb cows w/90-250 lb calves 875.00-1300.00; aged 990-1240 lb cows w/100-300 lb calves 900.00-1200.00, per pair. 
    • Joplin, MO:
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yrs to short and solid mouth 2nd and 3rd stage 1050-1360 lbs most 1075.00-1500.00, few 1025.00-1050.00, 1st stage 945-1270 lbs 950.00-1025.00; short and solid mouth to aged 2nd and 3rd stage 1060-1350 lbs 640.00-885.00. Large 1-2  4-5 yrs 3rd stage 1525-1575 lbs 1200.00-1500.00, 1st stage 1500 lb indiv. 900.00; short and solid mouth to aged 3rd stage 1455-1600 lbs 970.00-1210.00, 2nd stage 1490-1575 lbs 825.00-875.00. Medium and Large 2  3-4 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 1075-1175 lbs 825.00-1075.00, 1st stage 1000 lb indiv. 775.00. Medium 1-2  4-7 yrs 2nd and 3rd stage 850-1050 lbs 800.00-1050.00, 1st stage 850-950 lbs 725.00-900.00; short and solid mouth 2nd stage 930-1000 lbs 505.00-700.00 per head. 
      • Cow/Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2 yrs to short and solid mouth 900-1285 lb cows w/babies to 350 lb calves 1350.00-1625.00, couple w/newborn calves 1150.00-1200.00; broken mouth 1300 lb cow w/baby calf 1100.00. Large 1-2  short and solid mouth to aged 1450-1525 lb cows w/baby calves 1150.00-1175.00 per pair. 
    • Springfield, MO:
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2 Few 3-7 yrs 2nd to 3rd stage 1050-1660 lbs 1110.00-1450.00; Pkg 3-5 yrs 1st stage 1198 lbs 1160.00. Medium and Large 2  3 yrs to short and solid 2nd to 3rd stage 950-1600 lbs 850.00-1050.00 per head. 
      • Cow/Calf Pairs: Medium and Large 1-2 Few 2-6 yrs 825-1365 lbs with baby to 250 lb calves 1050.00-1400.00 per pair. 
    • West Plains, MO:
      • Bred Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 yr old 810-1540 lb cows in the 2nd-3rd stage 1025.00-1375.00 per head, 1st stage 1000.00-1025.00 per head; Short-solid to broken mouth 1180-1385 lb cows in the 2nd-3rd stage 800.00-1025.00 per head.  Medium and Large 2  2-7 yr old 795-1375 lb cows in the 2nd-3rd stage 750.00-1025.00 per head; Short-solid to broken mouth 975-1460 lb cows in the 2nd-3rd stage 600.00-825.00 per head. 
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-6 yr old 950-1477 lb cows some short-bred with 200-400 lb calves 1300.00-1650.00 per pair; Short-solid to broken mouth 1080-1459 lb cows with 125-200 lb calves 1000.00-1325.00 per pair.  Medium and Large 2  2-6 yr old 880-1370 lb cows with 100-250 lb calves 1075.00-1250.00 per pair; Short-solid to broken mouth 1008-1208 lb cows with 100-200 lb calves 850.00-1075.00 per pair. 
    • Arkansas:
      • Replacement Cows:  Medium and Large 1-2  2-7 year old 850-1250 lbs second & third stage 83.00-93.00/950.00-1050.00, first stage open 73.00-83.00, 7-10 year old second & third stage 54.00-64.00/750.00-875.00 per head. 
      • Cow-Calf Pairs:  Medium and Large 1-2  3-7 yr old 800-1200 lb cow w/100-300 lb calf 1250.00-1350.00, few to 1550.00, 7-10 yr old w/100-200 lb calf 900.00-1000.00 per pair.
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    Canadian Cattle:
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    Alberta Beef Producers: Alberta direct cattle sales so far this week have seen light trade develop with most of the dressed sales marked at 232.00 delivered. Initial sales are positioned at the top end of last week's trading range. Live sales and bids have been reported from 137.00-138.00 FOB lot which is right inline with last week's weighted average price. Tentatively cash to futures basis levels did strengthen and remain stronger than the five-year average.
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    Canadian Cattle Prices:
    Prices have been converted to U.S. $/CWT. Grades changed to approximate U.S. equivalents
    Exchange Rate: Canadian dollar equivalent to $0.8023 U.S. dollars
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    Prices for the week ending October 13th:
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    The "Nord Fork"

    Replaces Flankers at Branding
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    October 20th Cattle on Feed Report:
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    United States Cattle on Feed Up 5 Percent
    • Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.8 million head on October 1, 2017. The inventory was 5 percent above October 1, 2016. The inventory included 6.93 million steers and steer calves, up 2 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 64 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.88 million head, up 13 percent from 2016.
    • Placements in feedlots during September totaled 2.15 million head, 13 percent above 2016. Net placements were 2.09 million head. During September, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 405,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 340,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 490,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 515,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 285,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 115,000 head.
    • Marketings of fed cattle during September totaled 1.78 million head, 3 percent above 2016.
    • Other disappearance totaled 58,000 head during September, 38 percent above 2016.
    Complete October Cattle On Feed Report
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    Cattle on Feed Inventory in 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots as of October 1st
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    Number of Cattle Placed on Feed in 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots in September 
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    Number of Cattle Marketed from 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots in September
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    Cattle on Feed by State as of October 1st
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    USDA Livestock Slaughter Report
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    Record Total Red Meat & Pork Production for September

    Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.40 billion pounds in September, up 2 percent from the 4.33 billion pounds produced in September 2016.

    • Beef production, at 2.22 billion pounds, was 2 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.70 million head, up 3 percent from September 2016. The average live weight was down 11 pounds from the previous year, at 1,359 pounds.
    • Veal production totaled 6.1 million pounds, 1 percent below September a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 43,600 head, up 3 percent from September 2016. The average live weight was down 10 pounds from last year, at 241 pounds.
    • Pork production totaled 2.16 billion pounds, up 2 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 10.3 million head, up 1 percent from September 2016. The average live weight was up 2 pounds from the previous year, at 282 pounds.
    • Lamb and mutton production, at 11.2 million pounds, was down 7 percent from September 2016. Sheep slaughter totaled 175,600 head, 9 percent below last year. The average live weight was 128 pounds, up 3 pounds from September a year ago.
    January to September 2017 commercial red meat production was 38.4 billion pounds, up 4 percent from 2016.

    Accumulated beef production was up 5 percent from last year, veal was down 1 percent, pork was up 3 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 5 percent.

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    Canadian Cattle on Feed Report
    CME Group
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    The Canadian monthly Cattle on Feed report was published last Friday by Canfax, which is a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Canfax provides market data, analysis, and timely newsletters; their website is here. Two provinces are included in the on-feed count, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. We cite/use their report with permission. 

    Canada is an important and closely intertwined component of the North American cattle/beef industry. As of September 1, 2017, together Alberta and Saskatchewan had just over 607,000 cattle-on-feed. For comparison purposes, in the U.S. monthly reported data for August, Iowa was the fifth largest cattle feeding state and had 640,000 head on-feed in lots with more than 1000 head capacity.

    As of October 1st, the Canadian on-feed count showed a year-over-year increase, continuing a trend that began as of June 1, 2017. Cattle on feed were up 9.6% compared to a year ago (an increase of over 55,000 head), but remained below the prior 5-year average (2011-15).

    The number of animals placed into feedlots has remained above 2016’s each month this year since January. From January through September cumulative placement’s were 1.1 million head, which was 178,000 above 2016’s. Some areas of dry conditions along with strong calf and yearling prices have recently pulled more animals than last year into feedlots. Midyear survey results by Statistics Canada put the 2017 national calf crop only slightly above a year ago (up 0.2% or 8,500 head).

    Larger placements have been achieved mostly by declining feeder cattle exports to the U.S. Preliminary weekly Canadian animal export data to the U.S. by Canada are collected by USDA’s Animal Health Inspection Service and reported by the Agricultural Marketing Service (Market News Division). Year-to-date, U.S. imports of Canadian feeder cattle have dropped by nearly 57,000 head (down about 1,500 animals per week). Canadian cattle feeders have bid-up prices to levels that made exports to the U.S. less attractive than normal.

    As in the U.S., fed cattle marketed have been aggressive, especially in May through August. During September, head sold was down slightly compared to 2016’s (slipping 1,000 head which was well less than 1%). Animals marketed so far in 2017 was 53,000 head more (up 4.3%) than during the same months in 2016. According to the weekly preliminary data from USDA, year-to-date U.S. imports of Canadian slaughter steers and heifers were above a year ago by about 14,500 head (6.4%). So, most of the year-over-year increase this year has been harvested in Canadian plants.

    Looking ahead to 2018, Canfax forecasts that domestic output (production plus live exports) will increase about 2%. To achieve that, they expect a 2.6% rise in Canadian production and a 2.0% decrease in live fed animal exports to the U.S.

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    Bankers Expect Increased Foreclosures
    Successful Farming @ Agriculture.com
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    For the next five years, bankers expect an increase in farm loan foreclosures, due to a slumping ag economy, according to a Midwest survey released Thursday.

    The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) is a monthly rating of a survey of community bank presidents and CEOs in nonurban agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of a 10-state area.

    Bankers in the following states are involved in the survey: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

    On Thursday, Creighton University released its index’s results for October. It rose from September’s reading, but remained below growth-neutral.

    IMPACT OF LOW COMMODITY PRICES

    The index, like all indices in the survey, ranges between 0 and 100, increased to 45.3 from 39.6 in September. 

    “As a result of weak farm income and low agriculture commodity prices, approximately 9.5% of bank CEOs expect farm loan foreclosures to pose the greatest threat to banking operations over the next five years,” said Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister chair in regional economics at Creighton University’s Heider college of business, according to a press release. 

    The farmland and ranchland-price index for October slipped to 39.3 from 39.6 in September. This is the 47th straight month the index has fallen below growth-neutral 50.0, the press release stated.

    Bankers were asked to compare current spot prices for a bushel of corn to break even. Only 2.4% of bankers indicated that prices between $3.50 and $3.75 were above breakeven. Approximately 45.2% reported current spot prices were below breakeven.

    Jeffrey Gerhart, president and chairman of the Bank of Newman Grove in Newman Grove, Nebraska, says the break-even prices vary from farmer to farmer. “It depends upon the debt carried by the farmer. It’s all about their cash flow,” Gerhart stated in the Creighton RMI press release.

    However, Fritz Kuhlmeier, CEO of Citizens State Bank in Lena, Illinois, stated in the RMI press release, “Where can I find a spot price for corn of $3.50 or above today? Try $3.00 to $3.20, which is below the breakeven, by all means.”

    The October farm equipment-sales index increased to 29.3 from September’s 27.4. This marks the 50th consecutive month the reading has dropped below growth-neutral 50.0.

    BANKING

    Borrowing by farmers was strong for October as the loan-volume index fell to a still strong 67.9 from 73.2 in September. The checking-deposit index was 54.8, up from September’s 51.2, while the index for certificates of deposit and other savings instruments sank to 44.1 from 46.6 in September. 

    “Rural main street bankers have been generally supportive of Federal Reserve rate hikes. Approximately, 64.3% anticipate one more 2017 rate increase,” said Goss in the RMI press release.

    CONFIDENCE ON ECONOMY

    The confidence index, which reflects expectations for the economy six months out, increased to a weak 37.0 from 36.1 in September, indicating a continued pessimistic outlook among bankers, according to the press release. “Concerns about trade, especially current NAFTA  negotiations, and low agriculture commodity prices impaired bankers’ economic outlook for the month,” stated Goss in the RMI press release.

    The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) focuses on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. It gives the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy, according to the Creighton RMI press release.

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    USDA National Retail Beef Report:
    Advertised Prices for Beef at Major Retail Supermarket Outlets
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    This week in beef retail, the Feature Rate charted a 10.9 percent decrease, the Special Rate was 3.8 percent lower, and the Activity Index posted a 4.5 percent decrease. As cooler weather approaches, consumers turn to indoor cooking and are looking to ground beef as a convient protien source. Cuts from the Chuck, Brisket, and Ground Beef saw more ad space while cuts from the Rib, Round, and Loin saw less. Cattle slaughter under federal inpsection saw a 1.6 percent increase when compared to last week.
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    Retail Pork Prices Performing Better Than Beef
    CattleFax
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    Monthly U.S. retail meat prices were released this past week. Choice retail beef price declined $.19 in September. It is now $.425 lower in the last three months. Retail pork prices rose $.05 in September. The highest monthly retail pork price since January 2015. Bacon prices set an all-time record high for the second consecutive month at $6.37 - that is $.885 higher than a year ago at this time.

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    Photo of the Week:
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  • 160 Angus Cross Cows... Central MO*.
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    "Shootin' the Bull" Weekly Analysis:
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    In my opinion, this is what I foresee.  Currently, supply and demand appear to be equaling out.  This may last for another 3 to 5 weeks.  With today's on feed report still suggesting increases, coupled with thoughts that there are some animals being backed up, leads me to anticipate a weaker next couple of weeks.  When I look down the road from the perspective of increased heifer placement, increased cow kill, and potentially some percentage of disruption of breeding practices due to drought, floods, and fire, I don't see the 2018 calf crop elevated to any extent.  I actually believe it could well be even with 2017 or potentially under. 

    Now, lets back track.  From October '16 to May of '17, the cattle market is perceived to have created a major wave 1 rally.  From May '17 to August '17, a major wave 2 marked time.  From August of '17 to present, some fat and feeder futures set new contract highs and the feeder cattle index a new high for the year.  These pieces of information suggest that the major wave 2 is complete and major wave 3 in progress.  Major wave 3 will be subdivided into 5 intermediate waves.  Intermediate wave 1 is perceived from the August '17 low to the current contract high on those months that made a new contract high.  Currently an intermediate wave 2 is perceived in the works.  Intermediate wave 2 is anticipated to unfold over the next few weeks of a weaker seasonal tendency.  Upon completion of the intermediate wave 2, an intermediate wave 3 of major wave 3 rally will be anticipated. 

    This rally will be anticipated to produce a significant rally.  How?  First will be if evidence begins to confirm my analysis on the '18 calf crop or expansion being mitigated.  This would be a strong under tone for bears to have to overcome.  What may produce the thrusts higher will be the anticipated string of lower placements that are anticipated.  The hard pull on inventory is anticipated to show up at some point in time.  At first, I thought it would be in September.  Clients were adamant that it would not happen in September and after seeing the trade guess for the on feed report, I capitulated to their thinking.  So, maybe it will be the October?  Most come at me and say probably not, but maybe.  Then, there is November.  Several suggest this is where the lower placements may start with potentially 2 to 4 months of lower placements. This is nearly a mirror image of what transpired this year.  So, long way around the barn, this scenario is what I will use to create my marketing plans. 

    Currently, I have recommended to clients to be short hedged going into the report.  What ever happens Monday, I would prefer to be losing money on the hedge instead of the physical inventory.  Lastly on the fats.  All of this year's performance is due to elevated demand from both domestic and exports.  As I feel 2018 won't be any more burdensome with inventory than '17 was, the demand picture could weaken slightly and still not cause a train wreck.  I will be watching employment and interest rates to get clues on the potentials for consumer consumption.  Barring anything out of left field, or a slow down in employment, I anticipate demand to stabilize domestically and improve greatly in exports. 

    Feeder cattle will feel the pull instantly the placements begin to drop.  Elevated cow kill and heifer placement, coupled with reduced returns this year of cow/calf operators over their shorter term counterparts, is anticipated to keep expansion at bay for another year.  For now, the wave count is the same as in the fats.  All but the September and October futures set a new contract high in this most recent rally along with the feeder cattle index posting a new high for the year.  So, major waves 1 & 2 are perceived complete and major wave 3 in progress.  Of major wave 3, intermediate wave 1 is perceived complete with intermediate wave 2 in the works. This leaves the intermediate wave 3 of major wave 3 looming in the back ground.  Once this intermediate wave 2 is complete, feed yard managers will want to be long hedged feeders in anticipation of a move towards the $170.00 area for feeders. 

    With there little to discuss from corn's perspective, I'll reiterate my analysis on diesel fuel.  Diesel fuel has been moving higher.  Today, it has begun to break out of this weeks minor congestion band.  At today's high, it is less than $.03 from this years high.  Unleaded gasoline already set a new high for the year on Friday.  Energy is anticipated to be in greater demand going forward due to reconstruction of damage from two hurricanes, massive wild fires and a horrible drought.  Plus, with the employment elevated, more folks are moving around.  So, while you may have no interest in hedging fuel needs, I would urge you to continue to keep farm tanks topped off until at least after harvest.

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    Christopher B. Swift is a commodity broker and consultant with Swift Trading Company in Nashville, TN. Mr. Swift authors the daily commentaries "mid day cattle comment" and "Shootin' the Bull" commentary found on his website @ www.shootinthebull.com

    An investment in futures contracts is speculative, involves a high degree of risk and is suitable only for persons who can assume the risk of loss in excess of their margin deposits.  You should carefully consider whether futures trading is appropriate for you in light of your investment experience, trading objectives, financial resources and other relevant circumstances. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS.

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    October 19th:  USDA Livestock Slaughter Report
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    Record Total Red Meat & Pork Production for September

    Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.40 billion pounds in September, up 2 percent from the 4.33 billion pounds produced in September 2016.

    • Beef production, at 2.22 billion pounds, was 2 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.70 million head, up 3 percent from September 2016. The average live weight was down 11 pounds from the previous year, at 1,359 pounds.
    • Veal production totaled 6.1 million pounds, 1 percent below September a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 43,600 head, up 3 percent from September 2016. The average live weight was down 10 pounds from last year, at 241 pounds.
    • Pork production totaled 2.16 billion pounds, up 2 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 10.3 million head, up 1 percent from September 2016. The average live weight was up 2 pounds from the previous year, at 282 pounds.
    • Lamb and mutton production, at 11.2 million pounds, was down 7 percent from September 2016. Sheep slaughter totaled 175,600 head, 9 percent below last year. The average live weight was 128 pounds, up 3 pounds from September a year ago.
    January to September 2017 commercial red meat production was 38.4 billion pounds, up 4 percent from 2016.

    Accumulated beef production was up 5 percent from last year, veal was down 1 percent, pork was up 3 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 5 percent. 

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    U.S. Dollar - 6 Month Chart:
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    Over the last 5 years, an average of around 10% of U.S. beef production has been exported, making exports an extremely important factor affecting beef and cattle prices.  A strong dollar depresses export demand.
  • U.S. Dollar Index
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    Choice Boxed Beef Cutout, Slaughter, & Feeder Steers:
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    Boxed beef cutout values firm on moderate demand and light offerings. Select and Choice chuck, round, and loin cuts steady while rib cuts steady to firm. Beef trimmings firm on moderate to good demand and moderate offerings.

    US beef export commitments are now 9.1% larger than this time in 2016 and absorbing part of the extra production.

    The average value of hide and offal for the five days ending Fri, Oct 20, 2017   was estimated at 10.20 per cwt., down 0.15 from last week and down 1.35 from last year.

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    Brazil's JBS Shuts 7 Plants
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    SAO PAULO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA shut down seven slaughterhouses in Mato Grosso do Sul after a court-ordered asset freeze affected its operations in Brazil's second largest cattle-producing state, a press representative said on Wednesday.

    The world's largest meatpacking company said in an emailed statement that the plants would stay closed until the matter is resolved.

    The asset freeze, which affects JBS SA and the group's holding company J&F Investimentos, is related to an investigation intoalleged tax irregularities. According to JBS financial statements, the case revolves around tax benefits given to the company by the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

    The company, whose owners face corruption and insider trading charges, said a combined 730 million reais ($230.64 million) had been frozen by a lower court in the state.

    JBS said it was working to restore operations and maintain 15,000 direct and 60,000 indirect jobs in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. It will continue paying employees normally, the statement said.

    Laucidio Coelho Neto, president of cattle ranchers association Acrissul, said there would be oversupply in the state as other meatpackers there are not big enough to purchase the available animal stock.

    Still, he did not expect the shutdown to affect beef flows to export markets, explaining Brazil was a large supplier and production can be redirected, including by JBS, to plants in other states.

    Brothers Wesley and Joesley Batista, owners of JBS, were arrested last month in connection with insider trading and other offenses related to their plea deal.

    Wesley, the elder of the brothers and also JBS's former chief executive, quit his position and has been replaced by his fatherJosé Batista Sobrinho.

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    USDA Withdraws New GIPSA Rule
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    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a filing on Tuesday said it will dismantle Obama-era rules for buying and selling livestock, a move that has divided the U.S. meat industry.

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue withdrew an interim final rule and a proposed regulation of the Farmer Fair Practices Rules under USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

    The interim rule, proposed late last year by the administration of former President Barack Obama, would have made it easier for meat producers to file lawsuits against major processors if the farmers believed their operations had been harmed by potentially unfair or non-competitive business practices.

    In its filing, USDA said it was withdrawing the proposal over “serious legal and policy concerns.”

    The rule had been scheduled to go into effect on Thursday.

    While some of the biggest meat companies opposed the rule, smaller producers fought to keep the regulation in place. Some felt intimidated by the larger processors, who control large segments of the country’s meat industry.

    Tyson Foods, the biggest U.S. meat company, said the proposal was overreaching.

    Ken Maschhoff, an Illinois hog farmer and National Pork Producers Council president said: “We’re very pleased that the secretary will withdraw these bad regulations, which would have had a devastating impact on America’s pork producers.

    “Eliminating the need to prove injury to competition would have prompted an explosion in lawsuits by turning every contract dispute into a federal case subject to triple damages,” Maschhoff said.

    National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president for government affairs, Colin Woodall, called USDA’s decision to terminate its final rule a victory for the country’s cattle and beef producers.

    “The proposed rule would have crippled cattle producers’ ability to market their products through the value-added programs,” said Woodall.

    Conversely, Sally Lee, program director at Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, said USDA chose to “side with ‘Big Meat'” to the detriment of farmers.

    “President (Donald) Trump pledged that he would take a stand for them, but is instead taking another step in the opposite direction by canceling the fair practice rule.”

    Bill Bullard, spokesman for U.S. cattle producers’ group R-CALF USA, said Perdue has now deprived producers of legal protections while helping corporate meatpackers to gain control over the cattle supply chain.

    “Secretary Perdue must not have received President Trump’s memo about draining the swamp,” in granting multinational meatpackers the ability to “retaliate against cattle producers and engage in unfair and deceptive business practices with impunity.”

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    Feeder Steers/Corn Correlation:
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    Historically, the value of 25 bushels of corn is approximately equal to the price per cwt. for feeder steers.
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    Slaughter Cows & Bulls:
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    Slaughter cows sold mostly 1.00-4.00 lower, few sales steady. Slaughter bulls traded steady to 1.00 lower. 

    Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value Friday was 169.90 -- Down 4.08 from last Friday. 

                    Weight       Colorado       Oklahoma     Alabama 
    Breakers 1100-1600  65.00-67.00  58.00-61.00  50.00-51.50
    Boners    1000-1450  64.00-68.00  58.00-61.00  52.00-59.00
    Lean       1000-1300  54.00-59.00  56.00-59.00  45.00-50.00
    Bulls       1300-2500  81.50-86.00   79.00-82.00  74.00-79.00

                     # Head Week Ago Year Ago  YTD   Year Ago
    National     7,984     7,854       7,652     44,651   43,662
    S Central   2,758     2,664       2,159     14,870   13,213
    N Central     379         557          749       2,039     2,738
    East          2,227      1,919       2,204     13,154   10,800
    West         1,402      1,129       1,166       6,739     8,892
    Midwest    1,218      1,585       1,374       7,849     8,019 


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    Est. Weekly Meat Production Under Federal Inspection:
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    Total red meat production under Federal inspection for the week ending Saturday, October 21, 2017 was estimated at 1048.3 million lbs. according to the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Marketing Service. This was 0.0 percent higher than a week ago and 0.6 percent higher than a year ago.  Cumulative meat production for the year to date was 3.3 percent higher compared to the previous year.
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    Weekly Hay Reports: "Click" on links for detailed report
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    Weekly Feedstuffs Market Review:
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    The USDA Market News Service reports feed ingredient prices for the week ending October 17, 2017 were mixed.
    • Soybean Meal was steady to 15.40 higher, mostly 5.40 higher. Cottonseed Meal was mixed, 10.00 lower to 5.00 higher, mostly steady. Canola Meal was mixed 0.40 lower to 10.40 higher. Linseed Meal was steady Sunflower Meal was steady to 5.00 higher. 
    • Whole Cottonseed was steady to 45.00 lower.
    • Crude Soybean Oil was 48 points higher. Crude Corn Oil was steady. 
    • Ruminant Meat and Bone Meal was mixed, 40.00 lower to 10.00 higher, mostly steady to 30.00 lower. Ruminant Blood Meal was steady to 50.00 lower. Feather Meal was steady to 15.00 lower. Menhaden Fishmeal was steady. 
    • Corn Hominy was mixed, 3.00 lower to 2.00 higher, mostly steady. Corn Gluten Feed was steady. Corn Gluten Meal was mixed, 13.00 lower to 20.00 higher. 
    • Distillers Dried Grain was mixed, 5.00 lower to 21.00 higher. 
    • Wheat Middlings were mixed, 17.00 lower to 11.00 higher. Wheat millrun was steady.
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    5 Year Bullish/Bearish Consensus Charts:
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    The theory behind the "Bullish/Bearish Consensus" indicator is when the public reaches a consensus, they are usually wrong:
    • They get too bullish after prices have risen and too bearish after they have already fallen.
    Because of this tendency, there are often extremes in opinion right before major changes in trend:
    • When the public reaches a bullish extreme, i.e., a great majority thinks prices will keep rising, then prices often decline instead. 
    • And when they become too bearish, then prices tend to rise.
    So when Public Opinion moves above the red dotted linein the chart, it means that compared to other readings over the past year, you're seeing excessive optimism. You also want to look at the absolute level of Opinion, too - if it's at 90%, then there's no question we're seeing an historic level of bullish opinion.  Watch for readings above 80% (or especially 90%) to spot those dangerous times when the public is overly enthusiastic about a commodity.

    Conversely, when Public Opinion moves below the green dotted line, then the public is excessively pessimistic about the commodity's prospects for further gains compared to their opinion over the past year.  Looking for absolute readings under 20% (or especially 10%) often indicates an upturn in the market.

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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus: Cattle
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    Bullish/Bearish Consensus: Corn
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    Stock Markets & Economic News:
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    Stocks recorded solid gains and continued their advance into record territory as the flow of major third-quarter earnings reports picked up and entered its second week. Stronger-than-expected results from IBM helped the stock surge nearly 9% on Wednesday, providing a particular boost to the narrowly focused Dow Jones Industrial Average. Johnson & Johnson also beat expectations, giving another lift to the Dow as well as the overall health care sector. Financials also outperformed as higher interest rates boded well for bank lending margins. Consumer staples gave back some of their previous week’s gains, while energy stocks fell alongside oil prices late in the week as data showed an increase in U.S. inventories.

    As evidenced by a steep (if temporary) decline in General Electric’s stock following its report of a drop in earnings on Friday, not all of the week’s earnings reports were greeted favorably on Wall Street. It also appeared likely that the overall pace of earnings growth was likely to slow considerably in the third quarter, following double-digit advances in the first half of the year. Data and analytics firm FactSet is currently anticipating earnings for the S&P 500 as a whole to have grown under 2% for the quarter on a year-over-year basis. Disruption from hurricanes in August and September seems to have been at least partly to blame for the slowdown, however, and investors appeared to look forward to a rebound in profits growth in 2018.

    As has often been the case in recent months, political developments also swayed markets. The anticipation that Congress would pass a budget resolution boosted sentiment as early as midweek, and the Senate’s passage of legislation on Thursday evening seemed to give a boost to the market when trading opened Friday. The nonbinding legislation had no immediate impact on the budget, but it did open the way for Senate Republicans to eventually pass tax reform along party lines.

    Expectations for stronger economic growth also appeared to fuel the week’s equity gains. Manufacturing signals remained solid in the face of the recent hurricanes, and weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level since 1973, when the U.S. labor force was roughly 60% of its current size. Housing permits and starts declined more than expected in September, but existing home sales rose and surprised on the upside. 

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    U.S. Stocks:
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    The Role of Reason in Economic Decision Making
    Ag Center Cattle Report
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    Economists remind us that underlying all decisions in matters regarding money, human rationality is the prime motivator. People respond to impulses designed to reflect their own selfish economic best interest. Those impulses are vetted in the human mind where human reason sorts through available information to conclude and resolve conflicts with the ultimate goal of a carefully reasoned economic decision.

    Last week the Nobel prize for economics was given to Richard Thaler who upended the notion of rational man in the economic field. The award recognizes his contribution in the field of behavioral economics establishing that people are predictably irrational in their economic decision making. He showed that people depart from rationally predictable ways that can be modeled and anticipated. He reminded government policy makers that people are often unlikely to join voluntary retirement plans but if they are automatically enrolled and required to opt out, enrollment is greatly increased.

    Irrational economic decision making is no surprise to those of us in the beef business. Examples abound in our routine daily observations both of our own behavior and that of others. Why would an cattle operator order another load of high risk calves from the south when the death loss on the last load was 25%? Why would a feedlot operator purchase a new set of feeder cattle with a negative $75/head loss forecast from all the latest data? Why would a hedge fund manager go long October feeder cattle – a month recognized as the heaviest marketing month of the year?

    Professor Thaler help us understand ourselves explaining irrational decisions regarding money that confront us every day. He reminds us of the endowment effect created when we come in possession of a prized possession.  The breeder who is offered a 25% profit the day after buying a prize bull and refuses to sell. He also points out a sense of fairness that is built into our psyche. The rancher with a stockpile of fenceposts is approached by a neighbor who has recently suffered a loss of land to a wildfire. Rather than jump the price, the rancher will offer the fencepost at fair value.

    We all know people endowed with “market sense” not born of analytic analysis or data driven but ingrained in their person much the same as their genetics. They demonstrate over and over the ability to engage and survive non sensical markets. At the same time the data freak who assembles and analyzes every data point available in the public realm -- yet can barely get it right 10% of the time. Beef producers often live in a “group think” world. All industry participants receive the same information and draw the same conclusions leading often to the same erronous results.

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    "Click Here" to view a Slide Show of Drought Monitor maps for the last 12 weeks
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    Looking Ahead:
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    For the week of October 17-23, the extreme Northwest and the South/Southeast are likely to receive above-average precipitation, very heavy in the Northwest and up to 3 inches in parts of the South. Less than half an inch of precipitation is forecast across the mid-Atlantic states, the Northeast, and the High Plains into Montana. 

    Looking a bit further to the October 22-26 timeframe, above-normal temperatures are expected over the western U.S, while parts of Texas may see below-average temperatures. Below-normal precipitation is also forecast for the western U.S. Looking even further out to the week of Oct 24-30, most of the contiguous U.S. is favored to see below-average precipitation, while above-normal precipitation is favored across the Appalachians and eastward. The Great Lakes region is also favored to receive above-normal precipitation at this time.

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    Fed Cattle Prices 14% Higher Than a Year Ago
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    Solid meat protein demand was the general theme for livestock markets this past spring and summer and the trend has continued into early fall. Total cattle slaughter last week was 622,000 head, down about 10,000 head from a week ago but still as much as 3.6% higher than the previous year. We don’t have the final USDA numbers on fed and non fed slaughter but expect fed slaughter for the week at 498,000 head, 3.6% higher than a year ago. 

    Fed slaughter has exceeded year ago levels for all of this year and this is likely to continue in the coming months. On feed supplies continue to increase and higher placements in August and likely September should continue to bolster supplies through much of next year. However, some of the increase in slaughter has been offset by lower carcass weights. Beef packers have been able to easily market beef both into domestic and export channels, which in turn has allowed feedlots to remain current. 

    Steer and heifer carcass weights are reported with a two week lag but the data reported for week ending September 30 shows steer weights averaged 894 pounds/carcass, 15 pounds (-1.7%) less than a year ago. The average heifer carcass was 821 pounds, 1.3% less than last year. So even as slaughter runs well above last year, total beef production for this latest week (10/14) is just 1.6% higher than a year ago. 

    Fed cattle prices gained 1.5% compared to the previous week and they are now almost 14% higher than a year ago. Last year prices collapsed into the fall but it appears that now product markets have adjusted to the larger supply availability. For several years end users adjusted their merchandising in order to deal with an ever shrinking beef supply. Now that supplies have started to consistently increase, feature activity has increased and the consumer is once again starting to incorporate more beef in their weekly purchasing decisions. 

    The choice beef cutout is currently up 8% compared to a year ago. Prices for end cuts are higher than a year ago but the increase has been in single digits. On the other hand, the value of ribeyes, which last spring hit all time record highs, once again is running well ahead of last year. Seasonally rib prices spike in late November and early December on strong rib roast demand for holiday parties. Higher rib prices could once again lift fed cattle values into December.

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    Feedyard Closeouts: Profit/(Loss)
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    Slaughter Cattle:
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    Slaughter Cattle: Thus far Friday negotiated cash trade and demand was moderate in the Southern Plains and Nebraska. Compared to Wednesday in the Texas Panhandle live purchases trade 1.00 higher at 111.00. In Kansas compared to last week, live purchases traded steady at 111.00. In Nebraska compared to last week, dressed purchases traded steady at 175.00. A few live purchases were reported from 110.00-111.00 however not enough for an adequate market trend. Last week live purchases in Nebraska traded at 111.50. Trade was light on moderate demand in Colorado and the Western Cornbelt. In Colorado a few early live purchases traded at 111.00, however not enough for an adequate market test. Last week in Colorado live purchases traded at 111.50. In the Western Cornbelt compared to last week, dressed purchases traded steady at 175.00. A few live purchases were reported at 110.00 however not enough for an adequate market trend. Last week live purchases in the Western Cornbelt traded from 110.00-111.00.

    Negotiated Sales: Confirmed: 42,896   Week Ago: 10,534   Year Ago: 1,846

    Formula Purchases: Net - Dressed
    Head count priced today: 13,800
    Weighted avg weight:           874
    Weighted avg net price:   176.39

    The FCE On-Line Auction offered 919 head total on Wednesday with 230 head sold.
    Live Weight Offering:

  • 1-9 Day Delivery: 768 head total, 230 head sold, weighted average price $ 109.00
  • 1-17 Day Delivery: 151 head total, no sales.

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                                        CATTLE      CALVES    HOGS            SHEEP
    Friday   (est            112,000     2,000      460,000         5,000
    Week ago (est)      105,000     2,000       458,000        7,000
    Year ago (act)        102,000     3,000       435,000        6,000
    Week to date (est) 574,000   10,000    2,290,000       36,000
    Last Week (est)     574,000    10,000   2,310,000       37,000
    Last Year (act)       556,000   12,000    2,203,000       38,000

    Saturday   (est         58,000        0            195,000         0
    Week ago (est)        48,000        0            206,000         0
    Year ago (act)         45,000        0            321,000         0
    Week to date (est) 632,000    10,000    2,485,000      36,000
    Last Week (est)     622,000    10,000    2,516,000       37,000
    Period Last Year*  602,000    13,000    2,524,000       38,000
    2017 YTD           25,568,00  402,000  96,206,000  1,542,000
    2016 *YTD         24,176,00  372,000  93,563,000  1,612,000
    Percent change       5.8%        8.0%        2.8%           -4.3%

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    Hay Production & Supply Prospects
    Daily Livestock Report
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    Hay production and forage supply prospects for cattle producers are finishing the growing season in better shape than might have been expected at mid-year. Drought conditions across the Northern Plains that began in late May and worsened into the early summer forced abnormally high numbers of cattle to be moved out of that region to feedlots or areas with better forage. Dry weather also became a bigger issue for the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West as the summer progressed, leading to major wild fire challenges.

    USDA-NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) estimated that hay production will be close to 132 million tons in 2017, down 3 million tons from last year. Meanwhile, range and pasture conditions have traced a typical seasonal pattern, declining from the spring to the fall as summer heat and dryness take a toll. In 2016, range and pastures rated in good to excellent conditions at mid-year was at 59%, declining to 46% by mid-October. This year, mid-year range and pasture conditions were 57% good to excellent, with a decline to 40% in the most recent week. Better range and pasture condition in the Southeast and Southern Plains this year have been a counterbalance to problems in the West and Northern Plains.

    Total hay supplies for the 2017-2018 crop year (May 2017-April 2018) are down almost 2% from the prior year, given the smaller hay production this year. This matches up with a 2% increase in roughage consuming animals in the US compared to 2016, due mostly an expanding beef cattle herd. Hay prices had been tracking above year earlier values since the Spring based on the combination of less hay supply versus more animals.

    Grass hay values were surprisingly weak in August, mostly due to a 25% price decline in Oklahoma, the third largest non-Alfalfa hay producing state. Grass hay prices were down 5% in Texas, the largest producer of non-Alfalfa hay. California, Minnesota, and Ohio also recorded double-digit percentage declines in non-Alfalfa hay prices from July to August.

    Carryover hay supplies from last year in Oklahoma were at the highest levels since 2008 at the end of April and triple the inventory on hand in April 2012 when Oklahoma experienced its last drought. These large supplies, coupled with favorable weather in August for pastures in Oklahoma put pressure on hay prices even though current year grass hay production is about the same as last year. Also, alfalfa hay production in Oklahoma is up more than 40% from 2016.

    Cattle producers in the Southern Plains are looking at a much improved situation compared to a year ago. Calf prices this August are up 8% from the prior August while grass hay prices (non Alfalfa type) were 12% lower than a year earlier. The ratio of Oklahoma City steer calf prices (500-550#) to grass hay prices this August was 2.61:1, compared to 2.12:1 in August 2016 and 3.69:1 in August 2015. The current forage situation is encouraging for the beef cattle industry in the Southern Plains.

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    Weekly Corn Crop Condition Report:
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    National Grain Summary:
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    Compared to last week, cash bids for grains were mixed with soybeans trading lower.  In NASS’s Crop Progress Report for the week ending October 15, 2017, corn harvest was estimated at 28 percent complete.  This is 16 points behind last year and 19 points under the 5-year average.  Soybean harvest was estimated at 49 percent complete, 10 points below last year and 11 points under the 5-year average.  On Monday, the NOPA crush report for September was released.  In September, a total of 136.4 million bushels of soybeans were crushed, which was 1.7 million bushels below estimates.  As harvest continues, farmers are being faced with the decision to store or sell their new crop bushels.  Farmers are faced with this decision every year; however, this year’s debate is gaining more attention as terminals have more inventory than in previous years and may not be able to take delivery of new crop bushels.  This may have farmers utilizing non-traditional storage methods throughout the interior marketplace. 

    Weekly export sales and shipments for wheat totaled 22.6 million bushels (mb) and 11.6 mb, respectively.  For corn, weekly export sales totaled 50.0 mb, with shipments at 13.4 mb.  Weekly export sales for soybeans totaled 46.9 mb and shipments totaled 68.0 mb.  These numbers, for wheat, corn, and soybeans, may be viewed as bearish, as all of the numbers are below the previous marketing year.  Wheat was 2 to 28 cents higher.  Corn was mixed from 5 cents lower to 3 cents higher, mostly steady.  Sorghum was steady.  Soybeans were 4 1/2 to 15 1/2 cents lower.

    Corn futures ended Friday with most contracts 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cents lower. The USDA announced private export sales of 125,000 MT of corn to Unknown Destinations, with an additional 120,000 MT to Spain for 17/18 delivery through their daily reporting system. The CFTC Commitment of Traders report showed spec traders adding another 7,747 contracts to their net short position during the week that ended 10/17. Their net position on that date totaled -170,684 contracts in corn futures and options. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange sees planting progress at 27.7% complete, 5% above this time last year. Acreage intentions are larger. On Friday, China sold 1.95 MMT of the total 3.767 MMT offered at an auction of state reserves.

    Wheat futures fell 4 to 7 cents in most contracts to end the week. Managed money spec funds in KC wheat futures and options went 5,505 contracts more bearish last week. They went home net short 4,662 contracts on October 17. In Chicago wheat futures and options, they increased the size of their CFTC net short position another 9,963 contracts to -77,692. The USDA Ag attach in Australia sees the 2017 production at 20 MMT, 1.5 MMT below the current WASDE supply and demand table, mainly due to dry weather impacts on yield. The Ukraine Ag Ministry estimates that winter wheat planting is 90% complete, while AgriMer projects the French wheat crop is 47% planted.

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    Five Year Moving Average - Corn & Wheat:
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    Your Suggestions:
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