While many producers are eyeing livestock markets with skepticism these days, Shane Ellis, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management specialist, is cautiously optimistic.

“There’s a lot of underlying positive pressure,” says Ellis. “We have to continue to do what we’re good at – producing a finished product – and not disrupt ag trade.”

Ellis sees an uptick in beef markets as the spring and summer grilling season approaches.

“We’ve had some softness in recent weeks, but mostly markets are what we expect going into April and May,” he said.

Prices are above last year: a good thing....