Positive Pasture Conditions Boost Cattle Prices

May 10, 2010 07:00 PM
 

By Kim Watson-Potts

Late winter and spring moisture conditions have been good for pastures across the United States, giving a positive start to grazing season. The latest USDA Pasture and Range conditions report showed 64% of the U.S. reporting conditions as good to excellent. And only 7% report poor to very poor pasture conditions.

Northern Minnesota is one area that continues to struggle with drought like conditions, according to the latest drought monitor, but moisture has improved conditions there too. In the western states, there are pockets of dry to moderate drought-like conditions. And Hawaii continues to struggle with severe drought.

"In general, forage conditions are good in most of the country and that has been one of the factors pushing feeders, especially stockers higher this spring," says Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist. If the pasture conditions continue to hold out, then expect stockers to stay on pastures as long as possible through summer.

Peel also has heard some accounts that good pasture conditions are also supporting replacement heifer demand in places like Texas and California. So expect to pay higher prices if you are looking to buy quality replacement females right now in those areas. That, however, could change if moisture isn't adequate to maintain pasture conditions.

Scroll down to view pasture and range conditions...



                Pasture and Range:  Crop Condition by Percent,                
                                Selected States,                               
                            Week Ending May 2, 2010                            
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 State : VP  :  P  :  F   :  G  : EX  ::  State : VP  :  P  :  F   :  G  : EX  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
       :           Percent            ::        :           Percent            
       :                              ::        :                              
AL     :  0     1     52    42     5  :: NJ     :   0     0     10    60    30 
AZ     :  7    13     27    22    31  :: NM     :   7    25     41    26     1 
AR     :  0     3     39    51     7  :: NY     :   0     2     27    52    19 
CA     :  0     0     10    80    10  :: NC     :   3     9     29    48    11 
CO     :  0     4     22    64    10  :: ND     :   2     4     39    52     3 
CT     :  0     2     11    47    40  :: OH     :   0     4     20    56    20 
DE     :  1    19     50    26     4  :: OK     :   2     7     29    53     9 
FL     :  0     5     35    55     5  :: OR     :   0     5     19    62    14 
GA     :  1     6     30    54     9  :: PA     :   3     3     22    61    11 
ID     :  0     3     30    63     4  :: RI     :   0     0      0    20    80 
IL     :  0     1     17    63    19  :: SC     :   3     7     44    46     0 
IN     :  0     1     21    56    22  :: SD     :   0     3     22    65    10 
IA     :  1     3     21    56    19  :: TN     :   1     6     24    58    11 
KS     :  2     3     23    63     9  :: TX     :   2    11     36    41    10 
KY     :  1     2     22    53    22  :: UT     :   0     7     30    61     2 
LA     :  6    17     44    28     5  :: VT     :   2     2     54    33     9 
ME     :  0     1     24    49    26  :: VA     :   1    11     40    44     4 
MD     :  0     4     20    62    14  :: WA     :   1     9     33    54     3 
MA     :  0     0     22    70     8  :: WV     :   0    18     52    28     2 
MI     :  1     4     28    50    17  :: WI     :   3     5     25    53    14 
MN     :  5     3     29    53    10  :: WY     :   0    14     26    57     3 
MS     :  0    14     39    44     3  ::        :                              
MO     :  1    11     34    46     8  :: 48 Sts :   1     6     29    54    10 
MT     :  2     9     49    37     3  ::        :                              
NE     :  0     1     12    75    12  :: Prev Wk:   1     6     30    53    10 
NV     :  0    14     63    19     4  :: Prev Yr:   5    13     29    43    10 
NH     :  0     5     29    42    24  ::        :                              
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VP-Very Poor, P-Poor, F-Fair, G-Good, EX-Excellent.
National crop conditions for selected States are weighted based on 2009 
planted acreage.
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