Cattle in Nebraska feedlot DarcyMaulsby/iStock/Thinkstock.

LIVESTOCK MARKETS: Cattle finishing prospects much brighter

Current breakeven and fed cattle price projections create optimistic environment.

With the exception of May 2016, Purdue University agricultural economist Michael Langemeier noted in “farmdoc daily” that monthly fed cattle net returns were negative from December 2014 through November 2016. However, he said prospects for 2017 appear much brighter.

Feeding cost of gain, which is important to cattle finishing net returns, averaged $85.16/cwt. in 2015 and $77.20/cwt. in 2016. In the first three months of 2017, Langemeier noted that feeding cost of gain rang

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