Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 1/14/2022
Hay Production, Stocks, and Prices

The recent USDA NASS Crop Production report gave valuable information on hay production and hay stocks. As of December 1, 2021, the reported U.S. total hay stocks were 79 million tons, down 6.0% from 2020. Drought stricken Western states saw the most notable declines in hay stocks. Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Arizona all posted declines in hay stocks over 40% from the prior year. Minnesota was down 35% while Wyoming, Utah, and California reported declines between 20%-27%.

Meat Prices and Consumer Price Index

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached 278.8 in December, the highest on record and 7.0% above the prior year. The 7.0% year-over-increase is the fastest rate of growth for the CPI in nearly four decades when it rose 7.1% in June 1982. The annual increase in the Food CPI was 6.3%, the highest since October 2008, nearly thirteen years ago. The Poultry CPI climbed 9.5% from a year ago, which is the fastest growth rate since September 2004.

Cattle Feeding Returns End 2021 with a Bang

Average returns to cattle feeding in the Southern Plains, as calculated by LMIC jumped to $200 per steer in December, capping off the year with two months well over $100 per steer returns. This boosted the 2021 average for the year solidly in positive territory, about $40 per head for the year.  Positive returns would not have been possible without the astounding rally in the fed cattle market. Kansas Choice steers averaged over $130.44 per cwt, propelling returns to over $100 per head in both months.