Fattest-Ever U.S. Cattle Herd Signals End to Record Beef Prices

Chicago — Cattle in the U.S. are now the fattest they’ve ever been, signaling an end to the seven-year run of record beef prices just as losses begin to mount for American feedlot owners. Tom Fanning, who manages a feedlot herd of 30,000 in Buffalo, Okla., said he loses $100 to $300 on each animal he sells to slaughtering plants, even though they are bigger and produce more meat than ever. Its worse for other producers. On average,...

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U.S. Raises Farm-Income Forecast After Crop Sales Increase

Washington — The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its forecast for U.S. farmers’ profits this year, with crop sales rising above an earlier estimate and help coming from other sources of income such machine rentals. Income will be $100.3 billion, the USDA said last week in a report, down 21 percent from 2014 and a second straight annual decline. Still, that’s 12 percent more than forecast in February. Crop receipts are increasing...

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Gold Falls to Six-Week Low

Gold futures fell to a six-week low Friday on mounting speculation that the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising U.S. interest rates. Gains in consumer confidence are helping to underscore the Fed’s outlook that drags on the economy earlier this year were “transitory.” Sentiment in April increased to the second-highest level in eight years, a private report showed Friday. An improving economy allows the Fed more to room to...

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