Slow start to grilling season hurts beef demand

The unseasonably cool, wet weather to start the summer has had a negative effect on beef demand, according to Oklahoma State University marketing specialist Derrell Peel.

Peel reported this week that after early beef buying in April for Memorial Day, boxed beef cutout values weakened, averaging 3.8 percent lower year-over-year for the last six weeks.

The weakness has been most pronounced in the higher value middle meats, like loin and rib primals. Chuck and round have fared somewhat better, with the ground beef market actually pricing out a bit higher compared to last year, he said.

Regardless, the upcoming Independence Day holiday will be critical to overall summer beef demand, he said.

Kansas predicted to remain cooler, wetter

The Climate Prediction Center is out with a new long-term forecast that indicates Kansas could remain cooler and wetter than average this summer.

According to the 30-day outlook, July temps will be below normal and precipitation above normal across most of Kansas, with the exception being far western Kansas, where normal temperatures are expected. The prediction of lower than normal temps covers most of Oklahoma and Nebraska along with all of Missouri, Iowa and a good portion of the Corn Belt.

That same trend is also expected to remain in place for the 90-day outlook, which extends through September. Colorado is predicted to have near normal rain and temps during that time.

Sluggish wheat harvest finally has favorable weather

Wheat harvest in Oklahoma and Kansas has remained well behind normal, but conditions are improving. Oklahoma's crop was only half harvested as of mid-week.

According to the Kansas Wheat Commission, May was the wettest month ever recorded in the state. Southern and central areas that are normally finished cutting by late June had been delayed by continued storms.

However, harvest activity was expected to pick up this week, with the arrival of hot, dry, windy conditions across the Central Plains.

Trade dispute could inflate crop input prices

The pesticide industry is asking the Trump administration to exempt chemical imports from any new tariffs.

Many of the chemicals that would be subject to newly proposed tariffs are not available from American sources, industry leaders say.

President Donald Trump was expected to meet this week with China's President Xi Jinping during the G-20 summit in Japan. While a long-awaited breakthrough in the stalled trade talks is not expected, some observers are hoping the Chinese leader will talk Trump out of putting additional tariffs on Chinese imports, including crop protection products.