Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 8/7/2020
Trends. . . CATTLE FEEDING RETURNS

July cattle feeding returns posted the bleakest month yet in 2020.  Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) estimated losses were about $200 per head for cattle marketed in July.  That was the fifth consecutive month of red ink.  LMIC has been estimating monthly cattle feeding returns since the mid-1970s. Those estimates assume feeding-out a 750-pound steer in a commercial Southern Plains feedlot and include all costs of production. The estimates are not survey-based and presume normal weather conditions.


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DROUGHT UPDATE

Drought conditions have continued to worsen through the summer.  The latest drought map showed more than 50% of the continental U.S. covered in some level of unusual dryness.  The bulk of conditions are in the first drought category of abnormally dry, over 20% of the U.S.  The next largest category is D1, accounting for about 18% of the U.S. and is considered in a moderate drought. About 12% is listed as Severe and another 3% of the U.S. is in extreme drought.


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TURMOIL IN THE SHEEP AND LAMB INDUSTRY

The U.S. sheep industry is facing another challenge from the bankruptcy, sale, and subsequent closure of the Mountain States Rosen (MSR) slaughter facility located in Greeley, CO.  As a result, the plant was sold to neighboring, and prior owner, JBS USA Holdings, Inc., which plans to use the site for further processing of beef.  The MSR plant reportedly had the ability to process 6,000 head per week and about 350,000 head annually but had been operating at a lower throughput.  As the second largest lamb processing facility in the U.S.


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