Revamped NC-MRS Offers Vital Market Information
Volunteer leaders and state and national association staff of the U.S. cattle industry – from north to south – are currently putting forth an incredible amount of time and effort to ensure that the cattle marketing chain’s lynchpin market (the fed cattle trade) maintains regionally sufficient amounts of negotiated trade to provide for robust price discovery. It is imperative that these efforts are successful, as the “bid and offer” fed cattle trade remains (1) the primary pillar of price discovery and determination for fed cattle transactions of all types, (2) an essential barometer in the valuation of calves and yearlings throughout the United States (and even in neighboring countries), and (3) the “anchor” for the industry’s most widely utilized risk management mechanism – the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group’s Live Cattle futures and options markets. I say that only to point out that a lack of adequate price discovery in the negotiated fed cattle market and/or lack of confidence on behalf of market participants in the existence thereof can have far-reaching effects for the beef industry. It can also have tentacles that extend well beyond the perimeter fence of the feedyard – in many directions.
While the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) platform provides very valuable benchmark data for many different facets of the fed cattle and beef industries, the structure of the program has significant limitations in its use as a real-time price discovery/determination and market transparency tool. For all of these reasons, Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) has recently committed a considerable amount of time and funding to upgrade the NC Market Reporting Service (MRS) platform, building new, modern and streamlined infrastructure in the NC-MRS smartphone app to provide producers a depth of up-to-the-minute cash market news and additional marketing information resources in a faster, cleaner and more secure format than ever before.
Real-time negotiated trade (including both cash and negotiated grid sales) reporting remains the foundation and primary focus of the NC-MRS information package. Subscribers receive instant notifications on reported sales from within the NC-MRS regional footprint (now including Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Illinois) and breaking updates on market activity in other major cattle feeding areas, as well. The NC-MRS app also includes a CME/ Chicago Board of Trade futures quotes module; Nebraska fed steer and heifer basis tables that are updated on a weekly basis; links to USDA’s LMR fed cattle reports and weighted average feeder cattle reports; and local and national weather forecasts and radar.
NC-MRS staff also summarizes and publishes pertinent and widely used USDA-LMR data such as daily and weekly regional fed cattle volume and weighted average prices, and morning and afternoon USDA Choice and Select boxed beef indices and load counts. Other information put at NC-MRS subscribers’ fingertips upon release includes USDA’s daily cattle slaughter estimates; weekly actual slaughter totals and slaughter weights data; weekly beef and total red meat production estimates; and weekly comprehensive boxed beef cutout values and volume totals.
NC continues to show a commitment to robust price discovery for the fed cattle industry and the entire beef cattle marketing chain, and NC’s MRS stands ready to provide timely, accurate and detailed market information and analysis for producers, not only within the regional midwestern footprint, but on a nationwide basis. Anyone interested in a 30-day trial subscription to the NC-MRS information package should contact Jeff Stolle or John Roberts at (800) 234-2025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Jeff Stolle, NC Vice President of Marketing