If there was ever a year to focus on hay quality over quantity, weather permitting, this has to be it. Most of the reasons should be obvious. Perhaps a few are less so.
The latest USDA-NASS Cattle on Feed report pegged April 1 feedlot inventories at 11.96 million head, 102 percent of last year and a record April level for the data series, which started in 1996.
R-CALF USA has filed a class action lawsuit against America's four largest packing companies claiming their actions since 2015 have depressed prices paid to ranchers.
In an ironic twist, the BLM hopes cattle from Dwight and Steven Hammond – ranchers prosecuted for starting range fires – can reduce a fire risk on the high desert of eastern Oregon.
The steer by-product price is currently trading just over $9 per hundredweight which is one of the lowest values dating back to 2009.
Conditions were significantly different in April, 2018 with 34.85 percent of the state in extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4) drought conditions and just 41.72 percent of the state with no drought conditions.
The 2017 Census of Agriculture was released April 11. While the lag between collecting and reporting the information seems like a long time, the breadth and depth of information is substantial.