Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington DTN Livestock Analyst

Tuesday 02/02/16

The Blinding Truth About Cattle Futures
Cattle futures are seriously broken, at least as a meaningful risk-management tool for cow-calf producers, feedlot managers and beef processors.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:09PM CST 02/02/16 by John Harrington | Post a Comment
Comments (5)
I couldn't agree more
Posted by Dean Hunt at 7:41PM CST 02/04/16
You're a little bit late to the party. I was California Cattlemen's Assn pres in 1983, when CCA officially took on futures for exactly the same reasons you state. I hate socialism, but Bernie's right in one issue: some entities are too big and monopsonistic, and thus need to be broken up. But your saying so would threaten the advertising base, and the same goes for most other advertiser supported publications; same, even, for a lot of cattle associations. So, been there, tried to do that; just live with it!
Posted by H. Clay Daulton at 8:21AM CST 02/05/16
Let's be honest about this. the idea of futures in the 60's was to even out the swings and promote discovery-- and for quite awhile it has worked, but no longer! Look at today on the DOW- down 200 plus and "the hottest game in town -- feeder cattle --get slammed! Why do all the traders want to be cowboys? all they are doing is screwing up our business to where price discovery no longer works. A true tale of the tail wagging the dog!! Yes, there is now so much dependency on futures that getting rid of them is a question I can't answer.. Hopefully, we can have an honest discussion about this mess1 Skip Wright- Clark
Posted by peter wright clark at 4:02PM CST 02/05/16
Gambling is correct. Buying and selling chips and paper, rather than grain and meat.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 8:17AM CST 02/07/16
The disconnect between cash and futures has been inevitable since the 1980's, when Paul Engler and Cactus Feeders decided to let his neighbors determine the price of his cattle. With the minimal cash trade in fed cattle today, with Texas the poster child for lack of price discovery, it is inevitable that the cattle futures became the playground of those with enough money to push the market where they want it to go. If we really want to fix this market there are three things that need to happen ASAP. 1. Start negotiating prices for fed cattle. I don't care if it is for live cattle, dressed carcasses or Choice YG2's with premiums and discounts for off spec, we cannot have a viable market and true price discovery if pricing 100% of the cattle is left up to 20% of the total volume of cattle available. 2. Make it painful for noncommercial longs to take delivery, or noncommercial shorts to make delivery, of both fed and feeder cattle. The cash settlement of the feeder cattle futures certainly accelerated the demise of the viability of futures as a method of laying off risk for cattle producers. Making it easier for commercials to make or take delivery would go a long way to bring convergence during delivery months. 3. Stop blaming the specs, they are simply taking advantage of the situation that cattle producers brought on themselves. Commodity funds, hedge funds, daytraders etc. would not be able to cause the havoc we currently have in the cattle markets if cow-calf producers, backgrounders, stockers, feeders and packers had not turned price discovery over to a tiny handful of crotchety old-school feedlot managers and a bunch of cowboys that ride nothing more than a desk chair. Let's get back to old fashioned price discovery, where buyers and sellers agree on a price before product changes hands, at least until we can come up with a new way of ensuring adequate price discovery.
Posted by CURTIS RUSSELL at 7:21PM CST 02/10/16
 

Friday 01/22/16

Occupy Cattle Country?
As far as protests and demonstrations go, the occupation of an Oregon bird sanctuary has worn out its effectiveness.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 12:34PM CST 01/22/16 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Friday 01/15/16

Recovery in a War Zone?
If the bearish rumbling of outside markets seen over the last two weeks proves to be just the vanguard of a much bigger storm, the cattle trade could all too easily slip back into the intensive care unit.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:32PM CST 01/15/16 by John Harrington | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
Anyone know why replacement calves have been higher since the first of the year? The feeder price has come down with the board, but for some reason calves have gotten higher with "grass fever bullishness?" It's not like feeder sales have produced anything but red ink! Looks like calculators should have been to grazing interests for Christmas presents! Backgrounders need to pass a portion of these losses back to cow calf producers. Don't know why we need to dig our own holes!
Posted by Rock at 8:57PM CST 01/16/16
 

Monday 01/04/16

The 2016 Placement Backlog
One of the big questions to be posed in the first quarter of 2016 involves Jan-Mar placement potential.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:51PM CST 01/04/16 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Thursday 12/24/15

Yes Cowboys, There Is a Santa Claus
Should cattle producers than Santa for recent board up-moves? Couldn't hurt.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:22PM CST 12/24/15 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Monday 12/14/15

Please Congress, No Insult to Injury
With live cattle prices currently slumping nearly 30% below late 2014 and beef exports struggling 12% behind last year's pace, ignoring the retaliatory tariff threat by allowing mandatory country-of-origin labeling to remain the law of the land would be equivalent to rubbing salt in an incredibly painful wound.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:19PM CST 12/14/15 by John Harrington | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
How can labeling, grown in the US, be unfair to Canada and Mexico? Almost every thing has a label of where it is made or grown ,cloths, fruit, fish, cars, electronics, steel, paper products, you name it, its has a label. Why are Canada and Mexico ashamed of their beef?
Posted by FRANK FULWIDER at 10:35PM CST 12/21/15
 

Friday 12/04/15

Severely Wounded Feedlots Restock
For those brave producers still upright , the task of restocking with cheaper replacements and radically lower breakevens is absolutely essential, the outcome of which for many could dictate whether or not they remain in the feeding game.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:27PM CST 12/04/15 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 
Severely Wounded Feedlots Restock
For those brave producers still upright , the task of restocking with cheaper replacements and radically lower breakevens is absolutely essential, the outcome of which for many could dictate whether or not they remain in the feeding game.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:27PM CST 12/04/15 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Wednesday 11/25/15

Damning With Faint Praise
Tyson CEO brings good news on poultry; not so much for beef.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:44PM CST 11/25/15 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Monday 11/23/15

FDA Approves Genetically Engineered Salmon as Groups Quickly Move to Sue
FDA approves the sale of the first genetically engineered animal for food (salmon) and some people are concerned.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:22PM CST 11/23/15 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Friday 11/06/15

Here We Go Again?
Just when producers and analysts seemed to be gaining confidence that the mysterious cattle price implosion of September was set to be erased by the return of fourth-quarter sanity, the wheels of the cattle market have suddenly resumed a dangerous wobble.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:02PM CST 11/06/15 by John Harrington | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
Do you really think the Bears care about John???? Beef is priced to high for the consumer with a normal paycheck. jJBS loves this and acquired Cargill pork also now? They can manipulate there exports and imports of production using the dollar in their favor? Can you comment?
Posted by Unknown at 3:20AM CST 11/11/15
 

Friday 10/30/15

Seller's Remorse?
The last business day of October marks the official transfer of pork assets from Cargill to JBS. DTN Livestock Analyst John Harrington wonders if Cargill didn't feel a tinge of seller's remorse when the final hand was put to paper.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:35PM CDT 10/30/15 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Monday 10/26/15

Researchers Create Headlines Tying Processed and Red Meat to Cancer
Headlines came out early Monday. "Processed Meat Causes Cancer; Red Meat Probably Does, Too."[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 11:09AM CDT 10/26/15 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (3)
Most people that do eat red meat consume about at best 8oz of meat per day and that wood be a high number. My guess wood be that these claims are just what they say claims. the fact of the matter is prob more likely to die in a accident than from eating red meat. Sounds like a Political push to drive cattle market further south.
Posted by Jerome Burkel at 7:22AM CDT 10/28/15
The EPA has declared many things cause cancer and they have been outlawed or their use drastically reduced. Just think of how the rate of cancer being found in people changed when freon was outlawed. It has always gone up and up. The number of things outlawed has not changed the cancer rates at all in people. The game goes like this. When your patent runs out have the EPA outlaw it so everyone can buy your new product.
Posted by DAVID KRUKOW at 7:51PM CDT 10/28/15
In the feedlot we call it BS. It is the same old corporate political games. Being an election year, corporations need to ante up the coffers of the political candidates, and the best way to do that is to beat down the price offered to producers, but have you seen the price of bread and milk and cereals decrease at the retail point of sale. With corporate new found margins, it is very easy to make these political contributions. With the meat cancer research, I will ask one question, who funded the meat research? In my life I have seen eggs and dairy fat go from good to bad and back to being good foods. Is this the new fad of food research? I will take it wirh a grain of salt. Oops, I need to check my blood pressure!
Posted by Gerald Kurtz at 5:53AM CST 11/14/15
 

Friday 10/16/15

COLA Oblivious To Beef Lovers
Cattlemen may feel the pinch when consumers look at their meat budget in the coming year.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:45PM CDT 10/16/15 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Friday 10/09/15

It's Good To Be Pork
Was it good planning, good timing or just a fluke? Doesn't really matter, says DTN's John Harrington, it is good to be pork.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:34PM CDT 10/09/15 by John Harrington | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
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Recent Blog Posts
  • The Blinding Truth About Cattle Futures
  • Occupy Cattle Country?
  • Recovery in a War Zone?
  • The 2016 Placement Backlog
  • Yes Cowboys, There Is a Santa Claus
  • Please Congress, No Insult to Injury
  • Severely Wounded Feedlots Restock
  • Severely Wounded Feedlots Restock
  • Damning With Faint Praise
  • FDA Approves Genetically Engineered Salmon as Groups Quickly Move to Sue
  • Here We Go Again?
  • Seller's Remorse?
  • Researchers Create Headlines Tying Processed and Red Meat to Cancer
  • COLA Oblivious To Beef Lovers
  • It's Good To Be Pork
  • Second Thoughts on Second Thoughts
  • Red Ink Dangerously Close To $10,000 Per Pot
  • A Tale of Two Discounts
  • Feeding Behemoths
  • Scrapping a Cutting Edge Gone Rusty