To the relief of livestock producers, prices for feed grains and hay have eased somewhat recently while prices for most livestock and animal products have increased. This month’s Agricultural Prices report from USDA, released August 30, shows the preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in August declined 12 points, or 6 percent, from July.
The August index stands at 188 percent, using a baseline of 100 percent for 1990 to 1992. That same index is down 5 points, or 2.6 percent, from August 2012.
The August Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates is 221 percent of the 1990 to 1992 average. The index is up 1 point from July and 5 points above August 2012. Higher prices in August for concentrates, feeder cattle, LP gas, and complete feeds offset lower prices for nitrogen, feed grains, hay & forages, and potash & phosphate.
The August index for meat animals, at 164, is up 0.6 percent from last month and 5.1 percent higher than last year. The August average price for all beef cattle, at $120 per cwt is unchanged from last month but is $3.00 higher than August 2012. The August calf price, at $165 per hundredweight, is up from $154 in July and $155 in August 2012. The August average for finished steers and heifers, at $123 per hundredweight, is up from $122 in July and $120 a year ago.
The August index for dairy products, at 148, is up 2.1 percent from a month ago and 6.5 percent higher than last year. The August price for all milk, at $19.30 per hundredweight, is up 30 cents from last month and $1.10 higher than August 2012.
The August average all-hog price, at $75.70 per hundredweight, is down 10 cents from July but up $8.80 from August 2012.
While feed prices remain high by historic standards, a downward trend this summer has helped improve margins for livestock producers. The August index for feed grains and hay, at 258, is down 9.8 percent from last month and 17 percent from a year ago. The corn price, at $6.02 per bushel, is 77 cents lower than last month and $1.61 below August 2012. The all hay price, at $180 per ton, is down $10.00 from July and $3.00 below last August. Alfalfa hay, at $200 per ton, is down from $209 in July and $203 a year ago.
View the full August Agricultural Prices report from USDA.