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Today's Prices (Bookmark Channel 14 for the latest updates on your smart phone)  

CME LIVESTOCK:   Live Cattle: $140.525 (-0.675); Feeder Cattle: $165.025 (-1.325) Hogs: $85.40 (+1.20); Milk: $22.41 (+0.21)   (Wed pm)

CME GRAINS:   Corn: $5.99 (-2.00); Soybeans: $13.9925 (+12.75); Wheat: $7.5775 (-12.50); Cotton: $117.64 (+1.62)  (Wed pm)

STOCK FLASH:  Dow 30: 36,290.32 (+38.30); Nasdaq: 15,186.45 (+33.00); S&P 500: 4,727.31 (+14.24)   (Wed pm)

MEATBOARD:   Boxed Beef Choice: $279.93 (+1.71); Pork Carcass: $84.46 (+2.84); Chicken Breast: $223.97 (-1.85)    (Wed pm)

BOXED BEEF:   Choice: $279.93 (+1.71); Select: $270.98 (+2.35); Ch/Se Spread: 8.95; Total Loads: 152 compared to 150 on Tuesday  (Wed pm)

United States Cattle on Feed Down Slightly

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on December 1, 2021. The inventory was slightly below December 1, 2020.   Placements in feedlots during November totaled 1.97 million head, 4 percent above 2020. Net placements were 1.91 million head. During November, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 565,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 485,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 405,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 296,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 130,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 90,000 head.

Cattle Trade:   Cash trade at $135

Thus far for Wednesday negotiated cash trading has been slow on light demand in Kansas with a few live purchases 1.00 lower at 135.00 compared to the last reported market on Tuesday. In Nebraska, negotiated cash trading has been slow on light demand with dressed purchases 2.00 lower compared to last week at 218.00. Not enough live purchases for a market trend. Last week in Nebraska live purchases traded from 138.00-140.00. Negotiated cash trading in the Texas Panhandle and the Western Cornbelt was limited on light demand. The last reported market in the Texas Panhandle was last week with live purchases at 138.00. In the Western Cornbelt last week live and dressed purchases traded from 138.00-140.00 and at 220.00, respectively.

National Drought Monitor

2022 begins with drought still entrenched in most of the Lower 48. The West has improved but is still largely in drought. The Central/Southern Plains into the South are steadily worsening. As of January 4, 2021, 45.8% of the U.S. and 54.8% of the lower 48 states are in drought.

CATTLE SLAUGHTHER:   USDA estimates daily cattle slaughter at 114K head, compared to 113K last week and 118K last year. WTD slaughter at 341K head, compared to 337K last week and 350K last year (Wed)

THE BEEF READ:  Quiet Inside Day... Reduced processing plant throughput in January has raised fear and allowed packers to purchase cattle cheaper than expected the first week of January and cheaper still this week. It’s also allowed packers to purchase fewer cattle than they would if plants were running full strength (The Beef)

DAILY DROP:   The hide and offal value was estimated at $14.01, up 7 cents from Tuesday

Rob Cook,