Regional Feed Barometer

Click Here for an Explanation of the Methodology Behind Our Feed Barometer

A critical component in maximizing the profitability of beef feeding programs is being able to identify feeds that provide the required nutrients at a good price. These reports are a good tool for that. They provide estimates of feed values based on the feeds’ nutrient content and current market prices, and independent of any reference feeds such as corn or soybean meal.

Feed Market Synopsis

Perspective on Beef Feed Markets & Nutrient Costs
March 2017

In March, prices stayed about the same in the North Central, Northwest, and Southern Plains regions, but increased in all regions except the Southwest where prices increased by $17.15/ton. The cost per mcal NEg stayed about the same in the North Central and Southeast regions; while it increased in the Southwest. However, a significant decrease was seen in the Southern Plains and Northwest regions. Price per pound CP stayed about the same or slightly decreased in all regions but the Northwest. Price of effective fiber has also stayed about the same in all regions (Table 1). Hay movement is moderate to steady in all regions. In most cases, fair quality hays are a good buy in all regions, but good quality hay is overpriced in the North Central, Southern Plains and Southwest regions. Corn continues to be overpriced in most regions, but some relief is seen. Meanwhile, all of the corn byproducts (DDGS, corn gluten feed, hominy), continue to still be extremely good buys in all regions. Similarly, wheat midds are still a good buy in all regions except the Southern Plains; while high protein soybean meal shows to be a good buy in only the North Central and Southern Plains regions. Cottonseed meal is a good buy in all southern regions.

Table 1. March predicted nutrient costs and average price of feeds for beef cattle.

North Central



Southern Plains


NEg $/Mcal




 0.071  0.098
CP $/lb




 0.553 0.458
e-NDF $/lb




0.000 0.005
Average price of Calibration Feeds $/T




$176.62 $178.81

Keep in mind that you cannot formulate a balanced diet using these reports alone. The “bargain” feeds represent savings opportunities and can be utilized in rations to reduce feed costs within the limitations of providing a balanced nutrient supply to the beef animal, while the use of “over-priced” feeds should be minimized. Prices represent wholesale commodity prices, and generally do not include freight or added value from a feed manufacturer.

Select a Region to View Specific Reports


north-centralOH, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN, ND, SD, NE, IA
Click Here to View the North Central Region
south-eastLA, MS, AL, VA, KY, GA
Click Here to View the Southeast Region
south-plainsTX, AR, OK, MO, KS, CO, East NM
Click Here to View the Southern Plains Region
northwestWA, OR, ID, MT, WY
Click Here to View the Northwest Region
southwestCA, NV, AZ, Western NM
Click Here to View the Southwest Region