What’s benefitting corn and soybean farmers right now is starting to cause increasing pains in the beef cattle marketplace. Steers and heifers sold at $4 to $7/cwt lower at auction last week, with prices trending lower as the week went on. Livestock market reporters say both the limit-up corn market and growing drought conditions in a large portion of the U.S. are major contributors to the price decline. The latter factor is forcing some ranchers to market replacement heifers earlier than normal in an effort to match herd numbers to dwindling pasture and forage supplies. As corn futures continue to close at or near daily trading limits, live cattle futures and feeder cattle have still managed to finish recent sessions at the high end of trading ranges while auction receipts reflect growing steps toward some herd liquidation, as action receipts showed 181,600 head marketed last week. Though that’s down from the previous week, it’s more than 20,000 head higher than the same week a year ago. See more on the latest cattle market action.