Feeder cattle prices at Texas auctions were mostly steady to $5 higher per hundredweight with some to $8 higher. Fed cattle prices were sharply higher on continued tight supplies and higher wholesale beef prices, which in turn helped push feeder cattle markets higher. Cotton prices were lower for the week, but showed some strength on Thursday after USDA reported lower than expected planting intentions. Wheat and corn were higher after reports showed lower than expected corn inventories. As for futures markets, feeder cattle, fed cattle, wheat and corn were higher while cotton and lumber were lower. Very little rainfall was recorded anywhere in the state during the week with amounts over one-half inch limited to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and a few other widely scattered locations. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated short to very short in most areas and crops and pastures need rain statewide. Ten percent of the winter wheat acreage is headed with the crop reported in mostly fair to very poor condition. Spring planting is ahead of the normal pace with planting progress at 54 percent complete for corn, 10 percent for cotton, 50 percent for grain sorghum and 67 percent for rice. Pastures were reported in mostly fair to very poor condition.
All cash prices above are market averages for locations covered by the TDA Market News program and do not reflect any particular sale at any specific location. Feeder cattle prices are for 500-600 pound medium and large No.1 steers. Futures prices are quoted for the nearest month contract on the last trading day of the week. For additional information, contact TDA Market News at (800) 252-3407 or visit our website, www.tdamarketnews.com.