LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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Analysts Warm to Tyson in Absence of Plant Fires -- Market Talk

10:04 ET - "There have been no plant fires this quarter," Vertical Group analysts note as they upgrade meatpacker Tyson Foods' (TSN) stock to buy after a series of mishaps in some of Tyson's typically most stable and highest-profit businesses dragged on profits in recent quarters. Besides no fires at processing plants, the analysts also look forward to the anticipated completion of withdrawing antibiotics from its chicken barns--a move that's in keeping with consumer desires. Tyson's beef and pork businesses are strengthening and poultry demand is robust, the firm says. TSN up 0.3% at $61.48. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Senate Appropriators Pan Trump's USDA Budget to Perdue -- Market Talk

12:00 ET - US Senators take their turn whacking at Trump's proposed budget for USDA, piling concerns over cuts at the feet of the agency's Secretary Perdue during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "This is a tough time in the farm patch," says Sen. John Hoeven (R., N.D), echoing House lawmakers' worries that the burden of balancing the federal budget will be placed on the backs of farmers and rural communities during a multiyear slump. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) calls proposed funding cuts for nutrition programs "short-sighted and heartless," slams Trump for gutting vital rural development programs and says the budget shows "rural families and farming are not a priority for this president." (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

STORIES OF INTEREST

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Spring Wheat Futures Hit Two-Year High on Crop Concerns

CHICAGO--Spring wheat futures leaped to a two-year high on Tuesday as traders bet that a poorer crop would squeeze supply.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported late Monday that 45% of the spring wheat crop was in good or excellent condition, a decline of 10% for the week. Drought-like weather in the northern Plains last week stressed the crop in states like the Dakotas and Minnesota, pushing ratings to the lowest in years.

Grain Traders Aim for Diversity -- Market Talk

12:00 ET - The US agriculture industry's struggling to attract a new generation of workers, not just to dairy farms and slaughterhouses, but to corporate offices and R&D labs as well. Two of the sector's biggest players say they're working to expand workplace diversity to help address that. Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) this week sign onto CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, with Cargill pledging to have "sometimes difficult" workplace conversations on diversity and inclusion, while expanding "unconscious bias education" and sharing results with one another. ADM says the effort should help the agriculture industry fill jobs that are "outpacing available workers." (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Traders Shrug Off U.S.-China Beef Progress

CHICAGO--Cattle futures slumped on Tuesday, despite recent progress in a deal to reopen the Chinese market to U.S. beef.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture outlined on Monday requirements for American exporters to start selling meat to China, the world's fastest growing beef market, including the need to trace cattle back to their birth farm or point of origin into the U.S.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $1.00 Higher At $49.00 - Jun 13

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are $1.00 higher at $49.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $35.00-$37.00, 400-450 pounds are at $35.00-$37.00, 450-500 pounds are $35.00-$37.00 and those over 500 pounds are $39.00-$41.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 100 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jun 13

This report reflects U.S. pork packer processing margins. The margin indices

are calculated using current cash hog or carcass values and wholesale pork

cutout values and may not reflect actual margins at the plants. These

estimates reflect the general health of the industry and are not meant to

be indicative of any particular company or plant.

Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jun 13 +$24.88 +$ 73.18

Jun 12 +$24.04 +$ 68.81

Jun 9 +$25.33 +$ 67.65

* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production.

A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of

production of the animals.

Beef-O-Meter

This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite

values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices.

Beef

For Today Choice 110.3

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 108.4

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday fell $1.33 per hundred pounds, to $251.19, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 32 cents per hundred pounds, to $221.45. The total load count was 141. Wholesale pork prices rose $2.17, to $94.58 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 13, 2017 17:30 ET (21:30 GMT)