An Agriculture Department survey reported a record high cattle inventory for the beginning of May, but feedlot placements are declining and could be showing the early days of a contraction in the cattle cycle.
Drought conditions that have been concentrated in the West and southern Plains are likely to spread in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota this summer, according to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook.
Farmers in the Corn Belt are behind on planting spring crops this year, with cool and wet weather keeping them out of their fields. Many are now racing to get their corn and soybean acres planted before they reach the cutoff dates for federal crop insurance programs.
The House Agriculture Committee is split along partisan lines over a Democratic bill that would create a special investigator in the Agriculture Department to look into allegations of unfair practices by meat and poultry processors.