USDA Ratios Show September Feeding More Economical

USDA feed-price ratios show that feeding cattle, hogs, broilers and turkeys, along with milk production, became more economical in September when compared with August.

However, market egg production became less economical, and other of the feed-price ratios were less economical than a year earlier.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s feed-price ratios show the pounds of feed needed to equal a standard unit of animal or bird production.  For instance, the steer & heifer-corn ratio is the bushels of corn that would be equal in value to 100 pounds of steer & heifer on a live weight basis.  The ratios are published monthly by the USDA in its Agricultural Prices report.

The steer & heifer-corn ratio in September was 32.7, the USDA said.  This was down from 35.2 in August and from 33.9 in September 2016.  The USDA said it used an average price of $107 per cwt for fed cattle in September along with a price of $3.27 a bushel for corn.

The Hog-corn price ratio, or the bushels of corn needed to equal the value of 100 pounds of market hog on a live weight basis, was 15.0 in September, compared with 18.8 in August and 14.8 in September of 2016.

The broiler-feed price ratio, or the pounds of broiler grower feed needed to equal the value of one pound of broiler on a live weight basis, was 5.1 in September, against 5.5 in August and 4.2 in September.




Market analysts say it’s a good thing feeding livestock and poultry for food became more economical in September because the NASS’s Livestock Production Index for the month decreased 3.8% from August to 94.8, although it was up 7.0% from a year earlier.  Compared with a year ago, prices were lower for cattle and turkeys but higher for broilers, market eggs, calves, milk and hogs.

The Index is based on a 2011 base of 100.

The September Meat Animal index, at 90.0, was down 8.9% from August, but up 1.0% from a year earlier.

Broken down, the September hog price, at $48.90 per cwt, was down $12.60, or 20.5%, from August but up $1.10, or 2.20%, from a year earlier.  The September beef cattle price of $105.00 per cwt was down $9.00, or 7.89%, from August and down $3.00, or 2.78%, from September 2016.

At 109.4, the September Poultry and Egg Index was up 5.3% from August and 23.0% from September 2016.  The September market egg price, at 90.0 cents a dozen, increased 39.5 cents, or 78.2%, from August and 58.3 cents, or 183.5%, from September 2016.

The September broiler price, at 51.0 cents a pound, was down 3.0 cents, or 5.56%, from August but was up 9.0 cents, or 21.4%, from a year earlier.




About 465 head of fed cattle sold on the Livestock Exchange video auction Wednesday at $124 per cwt, up $4 from a week earlier.

Light trade was reported Tuesday in the Plains at $124 per cwt on a live basis, steady to $1 lower than the bulk of last week’s action.  More trading was reported Wednesday at $124 and at $191 on a dressed basis, down $1 from last week.

The USDA’s choice cutout Wednesday was up $0.49 per cwt at $213.13, while select was up $1.13 at $198.89.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $14.24 from $14.88 with 105 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $159.01 per cwt, down $0.03.  This compares with Wednesday’s Nov settlement of $157.32, down $2.55.