Both cattle and hog production offer profit potential this summer, although red ink is expected to return by the fourth quarter of 2017.

"Demand has been strong for beef, and pork exports have set a strong pace," said Lee Schulz, an Iowa State University Extension livestock economist. "There’s uncertainty ahead, however, so now’s the time to look at risk management."

Beef demand has been the big story of 2017, along with some of the largest supplies at the lowest prices in years.

"Buyers continue to come back for...