Economics and Marketing

link opens in new window/tab pdf file opens in new window/tab

ISU information and research

Ag Decision Maker
Link to the livestock information files of the Ag Decision Maker publication. Contains updated information on livestock costs and returns, budgets, marketing and risk management. Specific publications from Ag Decision Maker highlighted below.

Estimated Livestock Returns
Estimated returns for farrow to finish, farrow to wean, wean to finish, wean to feeder, and feeder to finish presented in either chart form or Excel file format. Additional information is also available.

Iowa Farm Outlook News
Monthly newsletter and updated headline news for crop and livestock industry.

ISU Livestock Crush Margins
Managing the crush margin between the hog revenue and the major input costs, weaned pigs corn, and soybean meal that change with market conditions is very important. This tool allows you to view potential profits or margins for your operation.

ISU Livestock Crush Margin App
The ISU livestock crush margin app is a web based app that can be accessed through the link above by phone, tablet or computer, or by saving the URL on your phone. Internet access is needed to use the app and access futures market prices used in the app. The app will help you with price risk management by calculating a margin that could be hedged for fed cattle or market hogs placed on feed at a future date. It uses basis adjusted futures prices from the previous trading day’s close to calculate a fed cattle finishing margin (Live Cattle – Feeder Cattle – Corn) or a market hog finishing margin (Lean Hogs – Weaned Pig – Corn – Soybean Meal).

To use, select either cattle or hogs and the date they will go on feed, and the app will use the futures price and Iowa historical basis to calculate the potential margin above the cost of the feeder and estimated partial feed cost. This app complements the ISU livestock crush margin that is calculated and posted every Wednesday. That app allows users to select placement day and adjust input prices or basis if they choose.

For additional information or questions contact Russ Euken ISU Extension Livestock Specialist or 641-923-2856, or Lee Schulz ISU Extension Livestock Economist or 515-294-3356.


Additional information sources

Kansas State University Livestock & Meat Marketing

National Pork Board Economic Impact of Swine Operations
The Economic Impact of Swine Operations spreadsheet tool is designed to highlight the dynamic income and expense activities created by pork production farms. An Excel tool allows you to input and determine economic impact of swine operations.

Pork Information Gateway information on business management

Pork Information Gateway information on marketing

Weekly Livestock Market Video Update with Scott Brown, University of Missouri (provided by Brownfield AgNews)

Market Links

Daily state and region Weekly state and region

Iowa-Minn A.M.
Iowa-Minn P.M.
Market Summary
Western Cornbelt A.M.
Western Cornbelt P.M.

Iowa-Central U.S. feeder
Daily national Estimated meat production

Base Carc. Slaughter Cost
Est. Livestock Slaughter
National Carlot Pork Report
Prior Day Purchase Swine
Prior Day Slaughter Swine
USDA Livestock Slaughter

Actual Livestock Slaughter
Estimated Red Meat Production


Questions? Contact an IPIC specialist

Lee SchulzLee Schulz



Other ISU specialists


Farm Management




Questions? Contact