Drought Monitor Update November 12
Periods of snow and moisture arriving in early November have significantly improved drought conditions across much of Montana during the past few weeks. However, one-third of the state, mostly west of the Divide remain in drought conditions. Areas where drought was more entrenched will need abundant precipitation to continue much farther into the wet season before any notable improvement could evolve.
After significant winds during the past few days, some gusts reaching 90+ mph east of the Divide, conditions should calm into the week ahead. Weather forecasters are predicting the first push of arctic air moving into the state as early as next weekend. Many NRCS SNOTEL sites are reporting below average for this time of year.
View the most current Montana conditions from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Montana Weekly Auction Report – Week of November 15
Montana Weekly reports are now released on Mondays. Read more in USDA’s latest Montana Weekly Market Report.
National Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary – November 13
Receipts This Week: Total 344,900 – 286,600 (Auctions); 23,400 (Direct); 34,900 (Video/Internet)
Compared to last week: the bulk of the feeder supply consisted of calves which traded mostly 10.00-20.00 lower, instances 25.00-30.00 lower. Yearlings on a light supply traded mostly 5.00-15.00 lower. Direct trade was mostly 5.00-12.00 lower. Last week’s CME “Sky is Falling” attitude continued into this week, keeping stomachs turning and cattle prices hard to manage and resentful to say the least. Buyers became noticeably price cautious and conscious on calves and yearlings.
Cattle futures have remained very volatile, as volatility appears to be out of control. CME cattle futures rebounded on Wednesday with limit moves higher and added to their positions on Thursday but closed Friday with sharp triple-digit losses as the agony and the ecstasy continues. Prices for futures and cash seem to fall faster and further than expected or as one would suggest. Before last week the market had tried to hold the line and continue to wait day by day to see what the next move would be. We have had tremendous weather to feed cattle that have performed very well and a packer who hasn’t had to chase the market; adjusting their kill schedules and having plenty of cattle bought forward. The heavy weight fed cattle situation is improving but not over, U.S. beef exports are near 13 percent lower year to date.
Auction volume included 35% weighing over 600 lbs and 37% heifers.
Weekly Montana Hay Report – November 13
Compared to last week: Alfalfa was generally steady on light to moderate. Weather conditions have been mostly in cattlemens favor over the last few weeks as many cows and calves remain out on pasture. Demand for hay remains mostly light as a result. Producers needing to move hay have been forced to do so at weaker prices over the last few weeks as demand for hay has lightened. Many cattlemen purchased large quantities of hay late in the summer and as a result they are sitting well on feed needs. A mild fall and limited snow fall totals have limited feed use only adding to demand issues.
Demand for dairy quality, 3rd cutting hay remains limited. Dairy producers continue search for deals and many have already purchased hay for the year. Producers continue to price hay at 1.00 per RFV point, however demand for hay is very limited above 185.00 per ton at any quality level. Grass hay saw light to moderate movement and mostly light demand this week. Prices for grass hay were steady to weak as pressure continues to be seen from from neighboring states.
- Supreme: Small Squares, 200.00; Large Squares 150.00-185.00
- Premium: Large Squares, 140.00-180.00
- Good: Large Squares, 150.00-170.00
- Fair: Large Squares, 80.00-135.00
- Utility: Large Squares, 100.00
- Alfalfa Mix Premium: Large Squares: 170.00; Good Large Rounds, 125.00-140.00
- Good: Large Squares, 135.00; Large Rounds, 115.00-120.00
- Fair: Large Squares, 80.00-100.00; Large Rounds, 80.00-110.00
- Timothy Grass:
- Premium: Small Squares, 180.00-225.00
- Good: Large Rounds, 120.00; Small Squares, 150.00
- Barley Straw:
- Large Squares, 35.00
- Wheat Straw:
- Large Squares, 25.00; Large Rounds, 50.00